Victor Vargas is a compatriot and close friend of mine who attended Michael Ignatieff's speech with me. Here's what he had to say about Ignatieff's comments regarding China, as published in the University of Alberta Gateway:
"It seems that Michael Ignatieff, deputy leader of the federal Liberal party, believes that Canadians don’t know much about India or China. During his address last Friday, he implied that Canadians are still stuck in the Cold War and are too Eurocentric, but in fact, Mr Ignatieff would be surprised to know that Canadians are smarter then he thinks.
As Canadians, we above all others pride ourselves on our vast knowledge of the world around us—Rick Mercer proves this on a weekly basis. Granted, defeating the United States in world trivia is about as great a triumph as beating a blind man at Pictionary, but at least we go out of our way to demonstrate our superiority—after all, I don’t see anybody putting out a Talking to Canadians show.
And while Mr Ignatieff may believe that it’s important for Canadians to know about the emerging Asian Tigers, I believe that Canadians not only know enough about these rising powers but have no need to fear China and India’s place in the world.
All Canadians know that everything, from our flags to our pencils, is manufactured in China. This is because ever since the Chinese accepted the teachings of Communism, the world saw them transform from kung-fu-fighting wise men to business-suit-wearing buddhas that are completely consumed in the quest for the holy dollar.
Some people would argue that such economic power in the hands of leaders who, in many cases, have shown little regard for business ethics might be a bit worrisome. But fortunately, Canadians are smart enough to judge nations by their actions, and through action, China has demonstrated its understanding of international needs. Just this past weekend, in fact, the Chinese showed their generosity by starting up a campaign to divert water from drought-stricken areas just to make sure the world will have a splendid time at the Olympics in Beijing this summer. Clearly any nation willing to do that is a place Canadians should be doing business with.
As for India, great movies, like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom have taught us a great deal about Indian culture and history. For example, I learned that a long time ago India was part of the immense and evil British Empire, but one day, a man named Gandhi rose up and freed India from Imperialism after Lord Irwin tossed the Emperor into the CANDU reactor.
And while some would worry that India is a nuclear power currently in a cold war with an unstable Pakistan, they clearly don’t understand Indian politics. Since India is a democratic nation, it surley will have the sense not to start anything, say over Kashmir, which could lead to a major nuclear war. If something were to happen in Pakistan, India would take things in stride and make calm, rational decisions—after all, every Canadian knows that democracies always do the right thing.
So take ease, Canada, despite what Ignatieff may think, because you already know everything there is to know about those pesky international issues concerning China and India. And other things like arctic sovereignty and Darfur are issues that will simply resolve themselves. I mean, we live in a world where all free nations are governed well and their leaders make logical and rational decisions. Anyone that would say differently is paranoid and should be tuned out."