AKIN: I wanted to begin with some broader foreign policy stuff. I had a chat with [former Foreign Affairs deputy minister] Peter Harder the other day and it was his impression - probably mine, too - that when you and the Conservatives took office, you might have been skeptical of the value of summits. And Peter actually found you - and this is his phrase - “incurious” about the world but, as he watched you, he found you engaged in summits and that you’d become a master of whatever happens at these summits and you now see a value about them.
HARPER: My observation would be that, generally, opposition parties are almost exclusively concerned with domestic policy. I think if you look around the globe, David, that’s what you’ll find. And then when you become government, foreign policy becomes a much bigger part of your reality. I would say the one thing that has really struck me in the last four years has been the degree to which everything is international. There are just so many important issues . Economy - the biggest one - climate change, you just go through the list, even sport with Canada hosting the Olympics. Everything now has such important international dimensions. The economy especially. There’s lots we’re doing in Canada to improve the relative performance of the Canadian economy. And we talk about how we’re doing better than the Americans or better than other Western developed economies but nevertheless the trajectory of our economy is still determined by what’s happening globally because we’re in a global economy.
So that would be my biggest observation. The military is another thing - Afghanistan, our defence and military policies are all part of an international system. So we really are in a global world. There’s not much that can’t be done without reference to foreign policy - especially in Canada - without reference to the United States because obviously we’re in a very integrated economy.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Kudos to Mr. Akin for showing how to conduct a respectful interview! Other so called journalists should read this interview and take lessons.