OTTAWA/SURREY, British Columbia (Reuters) - The United States made an unprecedented foray into Canada's election campaign on Tuesday, warning politicians not to bash Washington in their bid to win the January 23 election.
But an unapologetic Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin responded immediately by saying "c'est la vie" -- that's life -- if the United States did not like his remarks, and he would not accept anyone telling him he cannot defend his country.
In a hard-hitting speech in Ottawa, U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins lamented what he called relentless and incessant criticism of his country, which he speculated might begin to sow doubt about the strength of the binational relationship.
"Canada never has to tear the United States down to build itself up," Wilkins said.
"It may be smart election politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner. But it's a slippery slope and all of us should hope it doesn't have a long-term impact on our relationship."I'm no expert on international relations, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that our reputation with Canada isn't going to be improved by veiled threats. It's like the time the principal in my high school decided to get involved in the student body elections by pointing out what dopes two of the candidates were. If she had kept her mouth shut, the students would have made a sensible choice. Instead, the dopes won in a landslide.
Thanks to Mil Apodos for the link.