Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday April 8, 2023
Demolition by Neglect
The state of 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Canadian prime minister, is a fitting metaphor for Canada’s declining international reputation. The building has been unoccupied since 2015 due to its severe state of disrepair, just as Canada’s influence and standing on the global stage has been steadily eroding in recent years.
Canada’s traditional allies, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have been preoccupied with their own domestic issues, leaving Canada to fend for itself. Its once-sterling reputation on the world stage has taken a hit in recent years, with the country being accused of being a laggard on climate change, Indigenous reconciliation, and global security. Furthermore, Canada has been slow to respond to China’s human rights abuses and has been hesitant to take a more assertive stance on the world stage, unlike France, which has been pushing for a more assertive European Union.
France’s ambassador to Canada, Michel Miraillet, recently highlighted Canada’s weak military engagement and urged the country to choose between broadening its links with Europe or tying itself entirely to the United States. Miraillet argued that the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia was the culmination of a decade of Moscow and Beijing working to weaken democracies.
Miraillet’s warning that all elected leaders are subject to short-term mandates while autocrats remain in power, and his suggestion that Canada needs to demonstrate a commitment to global security, echoes concerns raised by other countries about Canada’s declining influence.
As the world organizes itself along new axes of power, with the China-Russia pact on one side and democracies on the other, Canada cannot continue to align itself only with American interests. The democratic world needs to act together and have close friends to navigate the transition to a more multipolar logic. Canada must deepen its partnership with countries such as France to strengthen its position on the world stage.
The dilapidated state of 24 Sussex Drive is a physical representation of Canada’s current state of disrepair. It is time for Canada to invest in itself, to strengthen its military and its commitment to global security, and to broaden its links with Europe. If Canada fails to act, it risks being left behind in a world where autocrats are gaining power and democracies are losing ground. (AI)
From sketch to finish, see the current way Graeme completes an editorial cartoon using an iPencil, the Procreate app, and a couple of cheats on an iPad Pro. If you’re creative, give editorial cartooning a try.