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Silenced debate : the centralized nature of Chrétien foreign policy Gass, Philip Robert 2004

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S I L E N C E D D E B A T E : T H E C E N T R A L I Z E D N A T U R E OF C H R E T I E N F O R E I G N P O L I C Y by Phil ip Robert Gass B.A. Brandon University, 2003 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D EM P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S OF T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R , OF A R T S FN P O L I T I C A L S C I E N C E in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Polit ical Science We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRIT ISH C O L U M B I A September 2004 © Phil ip Robert Gass FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Library Authorization In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. B4p Cos* Xl/wltJOOH Name of Author (please print) Date (dd/mm/yyyy^ Till© of Thesis: Silencec/ b&bufe. '< Tke. CpnUoil^eJ l\l<k,hyrc pf Ckrtkt, firc.'np Pa lit.y : D^ree: of /\rfc Y e a r : Department of fj/Z/j^f 5c/?>,c< The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada"is/?form!D= i HS /asf updated. 20-M-04 Abstract This thesis applies the 'government from the centre' thesis, as put forth by Donald Savoie in his book Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics, to the creation of foreign policy during the Chretien government. Savoie argues that the centre of Canadian government, meaning the Prime Minister and his advisors, dominated government policy and have forced other bodies, formerly involved in policy creation, into an advisory role. The thesis starts with an examination of the central theory as well as the views of its opponents; followed by a brief history of the department and its relation to the centre of government over the years. This is followed in chapters two and three by a study of Chretien himself as well as an examination of other actors in the foreign policy process. By determining the roles of each individual, and how much power each carried to formulate and initiate policy, the 'government from the centre' model is tested. Finally, the international landmine ban created during the late 1990's is used as a case study to show exactly how the centre dominated foreign policy creation when Chretien was Prime Minister. This case initially suggests that the Foreign Affairs Minister is the dominant player in foreign policy creation. Upon further study however, it is determined that the centre controlled the process. 'Governing from the centre' is alive and well in Canadian politics, and is the rule rather than the exception in foreign policy. II Contents Abstract '. ii Introduction 1 1 Theory, Literature and History 5 The Savoie Thesis 6 The Bakvis Thesis, 9 The Evolution of "Government From the Centre" 11 The Evolution of Foreign Affairs in Canada 14 2 The Man in Charge 35 What Makes a Prime Minister Tick? 37 A Life in Politics 42 3 Divisions of Power 49 The Foreign Minister: Second in Command 51 The C iv i l Service: Mandarins No More 61 The P M O : Partisan Politics 64 The P C O : Bridge Over Troubled Waters? 66 Other Sources: Adding Fuel to the Fire 67 4 The Landmine Ban 70 Background • 72 Primary Role Players for Canada 74 Other Involved Parties 83 Conclusions 87 Bibliography 94 III Acknowledgements First and foremost I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Baier, for all the work he has put forth over this past year helping me to create a thesis that was worthy of the school and education that I received at University of British Columbia. He ensured that the results were the best possible and nothing less. He taught me that a thesis is never finished, you just run out of time to revise it. Secondly, I am deeply indebted to all of my fellow students and the friends I have made over the last year at U B C . Without them the experience would not have been worth it as they helped me get through the most trying times over the past year. In particular I would like to thank my friends at St. John's College. To Adam, Erwin, Patrick, and everyone else at SJC, thank you for the levity and thank you for talking about things other than political science. This enabled me to leave my work for a while when it became necessary. Finally I would like to thank my family for all of their devotion and support over the last 23 years. M y sister, Amanda Gass, deserves mention for always being wil l ing to chat, and even pretending to be interested in what I had to say when I talked about work. M y father, Robert Gass, would actually read most of my papers, and always wanted to talk politics whenever I called. He fully supported me when I switched from Science to Arts and never pushed me to pursue a path that I did not desire. Finally I would like to thank my mother, Betty Ann Gass, for offering her complete devotion, love and support, even i f I called at two in the morning. I can never repay the debt I owe them and fully realize that i f not for my family I would not be the person I am today. Thank you. IV Silenced Debate: The Centralized Nature of Chretien Foreign Pol icy Donald Savoie, in Governing From the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics, presents an argument that the Canadian government has devolved into a system where the prime minister and his closest advisors hold complete power and all other elected representatives have been rendered unimportant.1 Savoie argues that the 'centre' controls Canadian politics. His centre includes the prime minister and central agencies (as extensions of the prime minister's power), but not the Cabinet. This thesis examines this theory in the context of foreign policy and uses Canada's championing of a ban on land mines as a test case. The central question to be examined is to what extent Jean Chretien, as Prime Minister, dominated the foreign policy process in Canada, and how his dominance conflicted with D F A I T 2 officials as well as others in the government, including his own Foreign Affairs minister. The question is whether other members of government were allowed to debate, set and devise policy, or whether debate was silenced in favour of the prime minister's own policy preferences. This dominance by the executive in the area of foreign policy wi l l be tested by examining the arguments of several writers against the Chretien era in foreign policy. It wi l l be determined exactly how much dominance he held over the portfolio during his time in office, and how much freedom his foreign ministers were given to pursue their own initiatives. How much the Prime Minister and his staff conflicted with the wishes of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and who came out on top is an important part of the study. The roles of Chretien's Ministers of Foreign 1 Donald J. Savoie, Governing From the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999). 2 Now the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC). 1 Affairs wi l l be examined to determine who was in charge of the portfolio and how much independence ministers were given. Also essential is determining who got their way when a conflict arose between D F A I T and the P M . The landmine ban provides a concrete case to test just who held power in the area of foreign policy. On the surface one is led to believe that the prime minister usually got his way. From the very beginning of his tenure as head of government, Chretien had a 'no-nonsense' approach to policy creation and was not one to debate at length with his Cabinet ministers, giving the impression that his was the only opinion that mattered. The final hours of negotiations on N A F T A between Prime Minister elect Chretien and the United States president, through his Canadian ambassador, are telling. A t one point, the American ambassador wondered about Chretien's political authority to agree to a final deal, given that he had yet to appoint his Cabinet. The ambassador put the question to Chretien, 'What happens i f we work all this out and then your new trade minister doesn't agree?' Chretien replied, 'Then I wi l l have a new trade minister the following morning' 3 We shall put this quote to the test, and see whether Cabinet conflict breeds compromise or new ministers. The first chapter outlines the core theories used in this thesis and provides a quick history of how Canadian prime ministers have conducted foreign policy. This history wi l l also illustrate the evolution of prime ministerial control over the mechanisms of governing in Canada. The following two chapters deal with the prominent actors in Chretien foreign policy in Canada. Chapter two deals specifically with Chretien, and the third chapter focuses on each of the different ministers involved in the department through his time as P M . This analysis provides a general impression of power players in foreign policy 3 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 108. 2 during the Chretien years and their level of influence on foreign policy design and delivery The fourth chapter wi l l directly examine the landmine ban as a case study of Chretien foreign policy. The landmine ban was one of the most significant accomplishments of the Chretien era in foreign policy and was not only a Canadian accomplishment, but a global one. Foreign Affairs minister L loyd Axworthy is the person who got most of the credit for the creation of the landmine ban in Canada and he has been recognized as the most significant contributor to its success. How was it that a minister, and not the prime minister, was the architect behind such a significant policy? What role did Chretien play? The 'power from the centre' theory suggests that there is no way that a simple minister could play a more important role than a prime minister. The landmine ban would seem to contradict this assumption. What role did Chretien play in the ban and is credit going where it was due? On the surface the landmine ban seems to contradict this thesis, chapter four wi l l determine i f this is actually the case. After laying out the central arguments the findings wi l l be examined to determine i f there are significant trends or conclusions that can be drawn from the evidence. Testing the governing from the centre hypothesis is important because i f there are decisions being made that turn out to be to the detriment of the country, we must know not only who is behind the decision, but whether or not there was sufficient debate on the topic and whether or not advice that may have led to a different decision was heeded or ignored. How much blame or credit goes to the department, Cabinet, or the legislature and how much goes to the P M ? Are healthy debate and conflict being silenced in favour 3 of personal preferences, or is there more than one voice in foreign policy? These questions and others wi l l be examined in the thesis. The problem with "governing from the centre" is that it creates a "finger on the button" scenario. When the centre of government controls all of the power healthy debate suffers and we increase the risk of following a policy path that is not properly debated and weighed against all other policy options. Human error is a distinct possibility and wrong policy decisions can be made. By opening up the policy process we can ensure that all policy options are weighed effectively. We also ensure that the views of the population as a whole, and not just the view of one individual, is reflected in the policies that Canada adopts. This thesis wi l l illustrate that this is indeed that case in Canadian government and that it creates a problem for healthy policy making. 4 Chapter One: Theory, Literature and History The department of Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC) evolved over the latter half of the twentieth century. A s Canada became more independent in the twentieth century, developing a unique foreign affairs division became important for the creation of an independent identity on the world stage. The need to become independent of the United Kingdom was the first catalyst that elevated the importance of the department in Canadian government, to be followed by many other events including the Second World War, the Cold War, and globalization. Over the twentieth century Canada effectively went from colony to nation and this growing sovereignty is reflected in the evolution of the foreign policy Canada. Foreign Affairs was deemed to be of such high importance that it was not originally delegated to a minister. The post of Foreign Minister was withheld by the th Prime Minister, under his control, for much of the first half of the 20 century. When the department was appointed a Secretary of State in 1909 it was seen as " a great mistake" 1 and the position was formally taken over by the prime minister in the Borden government of 1912. From this time on the post stayed in the hands of the P M continuously until 1948. While this dominance of the prime minister in foreign policy would seem to fit well in Canadian government, the apparent dominance of the P M in the early years belies the fact that there was much more going on behind the scenes then compared to today. When one 'looks behind the curtain' of these early years in the department it becomes apparent that much of the decision making was done by a group of senior c iv i l servants ' James Eayrs, The Art of the Possible: Government and Foreign Policy in Canada, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961), p. 21. 5 who were close to the P M , offered much advice and controlled much of what was decided. The civil service 'Mandarins' were a group of about a dozen that controlled many government departments, including foreign affairs, during the second quarter of the 20 t h Century. This departmental civil service dominance slowly gave way over time with prime ministers like Trudeau promoting a more centralized approach. The centralized approach has been the standard and it has evolved over the last twenty-five years. This chapter first reviews the theory involved in the thesis. This begins with a look at Donald Savoie's influential "Governing from the Centre" thesis, which serves as the starting point for this piece. The chapter also considers counter arguments to the Savoie thesis. There will also be a look into how this shapes the theory for this thesis. The second section is devoted to tracing this shift from departmental civil service to Prime Ministerial control of foreign affairs. This is done through a review of the literature on Canadian foreign policy. The key variable is how decisions were made and what influence all parties involved had. Each Prime Minister had his or her own view of how foreign affairs should be handled, and who should make the decisions, and each left their imprint on the department as it evolved into what it is today. The Savoie Thesis The starting point for this thesis is the claim put forth by Donald Savoie in Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics. As the title suggests, this book "is about political power: where it lies and how it is exercised at 2 J.L Granatstein, The Ottawa Men: The Civil Service Mandarins, 1935-1957, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1982). 6 the centre of government in Ottawa." Savoie claims that there is a great difference between how government had operated in the past, and how it had evolved to operate today. This Leads to his belief in 'government from the centre'. The Canadian centre of government has evolved a great deal during the past thirty years. B y centre of government, I mean the prime minister, his office, the Cabinet, and central agencies. The book also argues that the centre of government is considerably more powerful than it was thirty years ago.. .it is now considerably larger and extends its influence over more activities than ever before. 4 This general thesis is supported by a wealth of interviews that he conducted with former government officials. What Savoie has found is that all government bodies outside of the "centre" have been greatly reduced in their influence by the increase of power in Cabinet, central agencies and the prime minister. Even further, he argues that the centre is shrinking and that Cabinet had been largely forced out of the decision-making loop in the most recent governments of Mulroney and Chretien. Essentially Cabinet had declined from a strong decision-making body that the prime minister was simply a part of to a "university-type seminar" 5 where the ministers were the students and the prime minister was the professor who handed out grades and assignments. Savoie supports his argument with an examination of the central agencies and their evolution since Trudeau elevated their importance in the 1970s. He finds that "Central agencies fear ministerial and line department independence more than they do line department paralysis." 6 This conflict has led to central agencies hoarding power over the line departments and being the central contributing figure, with the consent of the 3 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, ix. 4 Ibid, 3. 5 Ibid, 3. 6 Ibid, 9. 7 prime minister, to the minimization of line departments and the shift of Cabinet ministers from being decision makers to prime ministerial advisors. Savoie argues that while there are checks on prime ministerial power, none are sufficient enough to combat the movement towards the shrinking power centre of government. There are many levers at the disposal of the prime minister that facilitate his control over foreign affairs. First and foremost the prime minister serves as the chief diplomat for the country and therefore leads all diplomatic missions to other countries and get the most direct contact with the heads of states of other nations. Second, the prime minister has a great advantage over other staff because he appoints all ambassadors and foreign representatives as well as his own foreign minister. With this power the prime minister can ensure that individuals with similar views to himself are appointed to important foreign affairs posts, and i f a particular official is acting in a way that the prime minister does not like, they can be removed and a new official appointed. Finally the prime minister is also the head of Cabinet and chief spokesperson for the Canadian government. If there is policy to be announced it is the prime minister who has the duty of announcing it and it is not l ikely the prime minister would announce a policy that he does not agree with. Savoie also conducts an evaluation of the reforms that have occurred within the Canadian government over the last thirty years and how they have affected the power structure of the centre of government. He finds that most reforms have supported the movement towards a smaller power centre. Any reforms that have tried to combat it have either failed, or been short lived in their effectiveness. He states that Chretien attempted 8 to move back to a form of government that gave power to Cabinet ministers, but that eventually he reverted back to a system that has given more power to the prime minister than ever before. Savoie states: "Cabinet has now joined Parliament as an institute being bypassed. Real political debate and decision making are the Prime Minister's Off ice." 7 While primus inter pares, or the prime minister as "first among equals" model, may have existed in the past, it has long since disappeared. This is his conclusion from his findings and is one that is increasingly accepted as the correct characterization of Canadian government.8 Challenges to Savoie While the Savoie thesis is one that is accepted by many as correctly modeling the nature of Canadian government, there are some that disagree with it. One of those dissidents is Herman Bakvis. Bakvis believes Savoie's model is an overstatement of the situation and suggests his own counter argument in his piece "Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canada: A n Autocracy in Need of Reform?" 9 Bakvis puts much more focus on the ministers in Canadian government and is not wil l ing to dismiss their power in the way that Savoie does. In fact, Bakvis goes right after Savoie and uses him as the basis for the entire camp of academics believing in the 'power from the centre' model . 1 0 While he argues that reforms are needed, he believes "the portrait of prime minister as 'autocrat' is overdrawn, and notwithstanding the presence of some noteworthy counterweights in 7 Ibid. 362. 8 Jeffrey Simpson, The Friendly Dictatorship, (Toronto,(McClelland & Stewart: 2002) and William Thorsell, "Autocracy in Action", The Globe and Mail, Sep. 27, 1997, (p. D9) are both examples. 9 Herman Bakvis, "Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canada: An Autocracy in Need of Reform?", Journal of Canadian Studies, 35, 4, Winter 2001. 1 0 Ibid, 61. 9 the Canadian political system." 1 1 He says that part of the reason that this model gets so much attention is because it is so sensational and the media have eaten it up as an excellent story, further promoting over-exaggeration of the theory. Even i f one accepts Savoie's supposition that now most decisions are a product of interaction between the prime minister, individual ministers and central agency officials, and that cabinet has simply dropped out of the picture, one needs to ask whether that means all power automatically flows upward. It is possible to argue that some of the power has shifted down to individual ministers and departments.. .This may well explain why cabinet appears to be doing less. 1 2 This is the basis of his conflict with Savoie. Bakvis believes that power lies with the ministers instead of the Prime Minister and that while the centre requires reforms, the prime minister does not hold all of the power. Bakvis tests several hypotheses of Savoie and the 'power from the centre' group and attempts to disprove them by using his notion that it is ministers who actually hold a great deal of power in Canadian government. He argues that dedicated ministers have been quite successful at "carving out their own sphere of influence, taking their own initiatives in the name of regional or sectoral interests." 1 3 Bakvis names several of these power ministers, including Chretien era ministers such as Brian Tobin. Tobin's conflict with the Spanish fleet over fishing rights was indicative of what a powerful minister can do. If these ministers can accomplish so much, then obviously they hold a considerable amount of power within government. Power has not necessarily shifted upward, just out of Cabinet as a collective policy making body. " Ibid, 62. 1 2 Herman Bakvis, "Reviews: Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics", ISUMA Canadian dournal of Policy Research, 1,1, (Spring 2000), p. 163. 1 3 Ibid, 163. 1 A second key argument is that i f primus inter pares is no longer the status quo, one must assume that at some point in time it was. Bakvis argues that this was never the case and at no time was the prime minister simply another minister. "Whi le one can point to powerful figures such as George-Etienne Cartier and Clifford Sifton in the cabinets of Macdonald and Laurier.. .it would be an exaggeration to say that these prime ministers were merely first among equals." 1 4 If primus inter pares never existed, how can we say it has disappeared? Bakvis is wi l l ing, in the end, to state that perhaps the prime minister does have ah inordinate amount of power, just not as much as Savoie attributes to him. Even this critic of the 'power from the centre' model agrees that there needs to be reform to combat the large amount of power that is held by this single individual in Canadian politics. Bakvis ' theory of the 'power minister' is the one that is of particular importance and must be examined. It wi l l be put to the test in the foreign affairs case study of the landmine ban. Bakvis argues that it is ministers who hold a lot of the power; Axworthy gets a lot of the credit for the landmine ban, is this his theory being proven in action, or is there more going on? The Evoiution of "Government From the Centre" „ The theory presented here is that 'government from the centre' was taken to the extreme with the Chretien government and has led to a 'government from the prime minister' model, particularly in the field of foreign policy. The centre of power is actually much smaller than Savoie makes it out to be. We have continued the evolution started by Trudeau and Mulroney and now only one person in Canadian government can, and does, make decisions in the executive. Not only has the Cabinet become largely 1 4 Bakvis, "Autocracy in Need o f Reform?", 65. 11 obsolete as a decision making body, I argue that individual ministers, line departments, and Cabinet in general have all been reduced to a mostly advisory role in government. Foreign Affairs is a good test case for this claim for several reasons. First, Foreign Affairs has been a department that has long been dominated by the centre, and the prime minister has usually had a prominent role in its policy process. With the prime minister serving the duty as chief ambassador and negotiator abroad it is easy to see why this is the case. Second, The evolution of power traveling from the perimeter towards the centre is easy to trace and and very obvious to even those without a political science background. As the second section of this chapter will show, there has been a very persistent shift of power within foreign affairs that had occurred over the last seventy years. Decentralized under the Mackenzie King era, government power reaches nearly complete prime ministerial control under Chretien. Finally, Foreign Affairs presents us with an excellent case study to test the theory of prime ministerial dominance. That case study is the ban on anti-personnel land mines, which was a major foreign policy priority during the Chretien administration. This was a case where it was the Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy, who got most of the public credit for the policy, not the prime minister. This case would seem to initially discredit this thesis, with the prominent role taken by the foreign minister in its creation, and serves as a good litmus test to see who was actually running the policy process. The rest of government is not completely powerless in the policy process, in fact some bodies and persons hold a great deal of power, just not decision making power. These bodies can, and are often successful in, persuading a prime minister to follow their 12 advice on policy decisions. If they disagree with the prime minister, they must keep quiet or face the possibility of losing their job. If a minister wants to follow a policy initiative and the prime minister doesn't agree with it, the minister's hands are tied, and the policy will fail. It is clear how Savoie fits into this thesis. His arguments serve as the starting point for the analysis undertaken here. There is agreement with his 'government from the centre model; it must now be taken further and the centre is smaller than he makes it out to be. Savoie's arguments are tested in chapter four when the focus in on the landmine ban. There is also much to be gained from Savoie's work about the relations between government bodies. One secondary claim that will be examined is that government is so prime minister centric because other government bodies, such as departments and Cabinet ministers, are competing against each other instead of working together, therefore limiting their effectiveness. Line department staff do not get along with ministers and ministers don't get along with central agencies. Often the prime minister might be the only person these bodies will work with because they won't work with each other. This observation comes out of the interviews that Savoie conducted of government officials. This bickering only serves to reinforce the power of the prime minister because he must settle disputes between other bodies and act as an arbitrator. The three general characterizations of Canadian government examined are the Savoie "government from the centre" model, the Bakvis "powerful minister" model, and the model this thesis promotes: the "one-person centre of government", or "prime ministerial veto" model. The next task is to examine the history of the department. 13 The Evolution of Foreign Affairs in Canada The Early Years: The Time of the Mandarins For much of the Mackenzie K ing era, and into the Louis St. Laurent years, the foreign policy of Canada was dictated largely by a concentrated group of c iv i l servants; the so-called Mandarins. These dozen or so men were the ones behind the scenes in the department during some of the most important times in the development of Canadian foreign policy. They wielded a great deal of power considering that they were appointed personnel and really only had to answer to Prime Minister K ing (and later St. Laurent), who they, in turn, had a great deal of influence over. This was a time of turmoil and K ing felt the best thing to do was minimize the amount of open debate in Parliament to ensure important decisions could be made, especially about the Second World War. I have been criticized for saying that Parliament would decide [whether to jo in the war]... [many thought] that I meant by that we would leave it to a sort of general discussion in Parliament.. .1 had not meant anything of the kind.. .we would not wait until Parliament assembled to announce our pol icy. 1 5 The only real policy debate that took place was between K ing and the Mandarins 1 6 or between K ing and Cabinet. 1 7 The power in government was concentrated formally in the Prime Minister (who did not appoint a minister of external affairs). The start of power centralization, at least formally, gave great power to K ing , but also to his advisors. Most of the key decisions were made by the civ i l service; with their recommendations going to K ing for formal approval. Granatstein examines these Mandarins and their role in the system in The Ottawa Men. He offers a good deal of insight into how the department operated in the time that 1 5 J.L. Granatstein, Canada's War, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975), p. 7. 1 6 Ibid, 9. 1 7 Ibid, 7. 14 included such important events as gaining complete independence from Great Britain and the outbreak of the biggest war Canada ever took part in. So who were these Mandarins? How was this group created and what were its characteristics? If one were to think of the Mandarins as a sporting team then it was one created by an entry draft and continually reinforced by new recruits over the years as some of the veterans retired. Starting with a few key members and drawing up a list of what talents were required the founders "enticed to Ottawa the best of the bright young men they could locate from universities across the country"18 much as a sports team scouts the farm teams. These recruits were "trained, polished and force-fed.. .on the proud ethos, which they themselves honoured and practiced, of public service as a duty and a privilege."1 9 This system of recruiting created a small elite body of civil servants, approximately a dozen at the beginning that would come to control the departments of External Affairs, Finance, Trade and Commerce, as well as The Privy Council Office (PCO), Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and the Bank of Canada. A l l of the members had shared characteristics and while a person of any class, and most backgrounds, was able to break in if they showed talent in their field, there were some remarkable similarities in the kind of persons who excelled in these ranks. Of all the'members of this elite, there were some prominent common traits. A l l were male, which is not much of a surprise considering the time this body was created, a time marked by much gender discrimination. Second, and the more striking fact, according to Granatstein, was the fact that there was not one French Canadian. This he 1 8 Granatstein, Ottawa Men, 2. 15 says was " a true reflection of the concentration of power in Canada: only English Canadians had it." Third, it certainly helped to be a person with a W A S P background. Only one Catholic (John Deutsch) and one Jewish person (Louis Raminski) were in the group. Finally most were from a middle class background and most were young (only the founder of the group, O.D. Skelton, was over 50). If one were to extend the sports analogy, then there is no question that the General Manager of the team has to be O.D. Skelton. Skelton, who was a well respected professor and Dean of Arts at Queen's University prior to his appointment to the public service in 1925, had close connections to both Mackenzie K ing and Wi l f r id Laurier and was a staunch defender of Laurier's pol icies. 2 1 His connections with K ing , and their shared view of foreign policy eventually led to his appointment at the post of Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1925. With much prodding Skelton eventually convinced K ing to allow him to choose his own staff and thus the Mandarins were created with what he felt were the most capable men in the country, including the future Prime Minister Lester Pearson. Skelton enjoyed not only a lot of independence from K ing within the department, but also a lot of influence over K ing and even Bennett (who he worked for in the early 1930's) on policy issues. In O.D. Skelton, Mackenzie K ing had found a deputy minister in whom he could repose as much trust and confidence as his nature could allow. Skelton's influence upon the formation of external policy was very great. During the early 1920's, not yet a member of the Department of External Affairs, Skelton "strengthened and refined" K ing 's views on inter-imperial affairs; during the later 1930's his great experience was thrown.. .into an attempt to protect Canada from involvement in a European War.. . [even] 2 0 Ibid., 5. 2 1 Ibid, 34. 16 R.B. Bennett... came to recognize the quality of his judgement and advice.22 While Skelton was not able to keep Canada out of the Second World War, his being the key advisor such a substantial issue of foreign policy further proves just how much influence and power he carried within the Mackenzie King government. The fact that King was the type to rarely give up control on any issue further shows the amount of respect that he had for Skelton and the civil servants in the department of External Affairs to give up so much responsibility to them. A further testament to the sway that civil servants like Skelton carried is the fact that since he left the department, no one has served as long as he had in his former post of Under Secretary for External Affairs. 2 3 This is also a testament to the growing importance of the elected official over time and more of a focus on the Cabinet and Prime Minister in the area of foreign policy as the life expectancy of a civil servant in his post decreased after the end of the Mandarin era. Skelton enjoyed a great deal of influence and autonomy on a personal level within the department of External Affairs during the time King was Prime Minister, but the department as a whole was also able to maintain a great deal of influence and the opinions of the civil servants were always regarded with high levels of importance during this time by King. James Eayrs shares Granatstein's view of the importance of the civil service at this time The day of the 'administrative eunuch with neither policies nor politics' is over.. .the administration of things.. .has come to mean the government of men. The civil servant.. .has been drawn ever more intimately to the centre of the political process.24 Eayrs, The Art of the Possible, 40-1. Ibid. 41. Ibid, 32. 17 Government work was not just the responsibility of those that were elected. No longer were decisions and debate only carried out in legislature or cabinet and carried out by an impartial and dutiful civil service. The centre of government was now bigger than it had ever been, including for the first time the civil service. Perception was key to the civil service gaining such an upper hand in policy making during this era. Rather than seeing civil servants as being more like servants in the literal sense who were simply hired to carry out the government's bidding in policy decisions, the civil service in the King, Bennett and St. Laurent governments was seen as a kind of government "think-tank" or advisory body.2 5 Once it is recognized that the governments of this time, particularly that of Mackenzie King, truly valued the opinions and advice of the civil service and allowed them into the decision making process, it becomes easier to understand how un-elected officials were able to make decisions without even being present in the formal decision making process of Cabinet. A l l that Skelton or his colleagues had to do was to communicate their ideas to King directly or to the PMO, which also had its own contingent of Mandarins, friendly with those in External Affairs. Prime Minister Arthur Meighen, who also valued his civil servants, wrote to Loring Christie once "on matters of external affairs.. .1 value your views more 26 highly than any other I know." The civil service held a great deal of power and pioneered a lot of the policy ideas from this time. The age of the Mandarins ended in 1957, the same year that the Conservatives were able to upset the Liberals after more than 20 years of uninterrupted dominance. 2 5 Ibid, 33-4. 2 6 Ibid, 38. 2 7 Granatstein, Ottawa Men, 276-7. 18 With this change in government, and the largest parliamentary majority ever elected (until Mulroney in 1984), the focus changed. Not only was the power structure different; those young men who came in and dominated the civ i l service in the thirties were now mostly gone. The civ i l service lost some of its luster after this period and a shift in foreign policy formation occurs. The prime minister during the Mandarin era did not have a Foreign Affairs minister, and perhaps this is why he was so close to the department. Fol lowing the Mandarin era there was more often a foreign minister appointed that stood between the prime minister and the department and perhaps led to the prime minister focusing more on his own staff for foreign affairs advice. The closeness to the department during the Mandarin era also led to a belief that the department was heavily partisan. Diefenbaker fully believed this during his time in power, leading him to keep his distance from them and creating a more centralized foreign policy agenda. Diefenbaker: Thrown into the Lion's Den John Diefenbaker wanted to exert a complete control of Foreign Pol icy when he was elected to the office of Prime Minister in 1957. Unl ike Pearson; he was forced to do it for different reasons. While Pearson took control due to his expert knowledge of the department and his experience from a career in the civ i l service, Diefenbaker felt he was forced to take control and wrest it from the largely Liberal Mandarins who had held the power during the K ing and St. Laurent eras. After he took office, many of these people remained in Foreign Affairs and he feared that the body had become too partisan. Diefenbaker was not to appoint a minister to the department and took control himself the 19 way prime ministers had done prior to the Second World War. He would be the last P M to make such a move and it illustrated his desire to be the one in charge of foreign policy. To his credit, Diefenbaker did have experience with foreign affairs. International policy had been an interest of his and he had even served as a competent external affairs critic during his time in opposition. He was a strong supporter of the U.S. during the cold war, and while he sometimes criticized the administration, he was closer to the U.S. than the Liberals were. He was also a strong defender of the Commonwealth even as it was perceived to be losing its significance. He had several foreign policy successes, however, many also attribute the significant blunders of this time to him directly. Robinson, Granatstein, Newman in Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years, and Nash in Kennedy and Diefenbaker, all make reference to how at least some of the responsibility for Canada's Foreign policy stumbles at the time lay with Diefenbaker himself, for both his diplomatic style, or lack thereof, and his distrust of the civi l service. These failures are generally attributed to three reasons. The first is the argument that Diefenbaker, as a populist, was simply more interested in domestic policy and thus his foreign policy suffered. 2 9 Since he was, the head of External Affairs at the same time there was no one who could 'pick up the slack' on the international front while he dealt with domestic policy. Even when he did appoint Ministers to the post of Secretary of State for External Affairs they were "totally inexperienced at first in foreign affairs." 3 0 H. Basil Robinson, Diefenbaker's World: A Populist in Foreign Affairs, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989), p. 3-4. 2 9 Ibid, 313. 3 0 Ibid, 315. 20 Second was his distrust of the civil service. Calling the External Affairs department a bunch of "Pearsonalities"31, he had much distrust and disdain for what he thought was a highly partisan agency that had become a Liberal stronghold. Diefenbaker was skeptical of their alliances and "had an abiding distrust and dislike of the Ottawa civil service, which he saw as little more than a 'local branch of the Liberal Party.'" 3 2 While he knew they were knowledgeable he did not have the luxury that King and St. Laurent had in trusting them to run the department the way he wanted. Where St. Laurent before him and Pearson later would tap into familiar and trusted sources of advice and assistance in the Department of External Affairs, Diefenbaker was familiar with few such general he felt uneasy with its style and approach and at first was reluctant to rely on it for advice and support33 Surely the fact that several prominent Liberal MPs had come out of the department, including Pearson, helped fuel his distrust and uneasiness. Diefenbaker had remarked after his time as P M : "there were quite a number of senior people in the public service, about whom I had not known, who had simply been underground, quietly working against my government and waiting for the Liberals to return to power."34 This distrust of nearly all of the Mandarins had a significant negative effect on policy as the two sides that had worked well together during the previous era now were at odds. He thought they were "at best waiting for him to leave; at worse, plotting his downfall."3 5 Interestingly, Diefenbaker replaced few of these officials when he took office,36 instead just ignoring 3 1 Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, "History of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: Dealing with Diefenbaker - 1957-1963", DFAIT Website, ONLINE [2004], Available: (Dec. 12, 2002). 3 2 D.C Story and R. Bruce Shepard, The Diefenbaker Legacy: Canadian Politics, Law and Society Since 1957, (Winnipeg: Hignell Printing Ltd, 1998), p. 155. 3 3 Robinson, Diefenbaker's World, 6. 3 4 Granatstein, Ottawa Men, 266. 3 5 Story and Shephard, The Diefenbaker Legacy, 156. 3 6 Ibid, 155. 21 their advice. Often Diefenbaker felt he was on his own and thus spearheaded much policy himself. This was not the best course of action. The third and final factor leading to the problems with Diefenbaker's foreign policy was his awkward diplomatic style. His approach was labeled as "outdated and 37 sloganeering," he was not as well suited in personality to foreign diplomacy as his Liberal predecessors were. His relationship with Eisenhower was fairly warm and they got along fairly well during the time they were both in office. When Kennedy became president however things changed drastically. Kennedy found Diefenbaker "Insincere and did not like or trust h im.. .for his part the prime minister eventually came to believe the president brash and arrogant." 3 8 This coolness was to remain until Pearson took office. Diefenbaker, while a staunch defender of Canada was not a smooth diplomat and sometimes this had a negative effect on is foreign policy. With Pearson's return a drastic change in foreign policy occurs, i f not in substance, then at least in style. Pearson: From Mandarin to Manager The situation of Lester Pearson with respect to foreign policy is one that is unique to the group of Prime Ministers that have led this country since the 1930s. This was the first time that the prime minister had sat on both sides of the political fence, so to speak, and had seen the department through the eyes of a civi l servant, through the eyes of a Cabinet minister, and also through the eyes of the prime minister. Pearson was one of Granatstein's Mandarins, and Granatstein characterized him as " a complex man, careful in all of his dealing with his friends and colleagues and 3 7 Peter C. Newman, Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years, (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1963), p. 249. 3 8 Nossal, The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, 209. 22 unwilling to reveal what he truly thought." Having been hand picked by Skelton, Pearson rose quickly through the ranks of external affairs and eventually gained much power over the way that the department was run. He eventually carried this power with him when he left the civil service, first as the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and then as the Prime Minister. It is no wonder that Pearson wielded so much power in foreign policy, when you consider his path to the executive. When Pearson became Secretary of State for External Affairs he "blurred the line between minister and advisor."40 Many were outraged at not only the promotion of Pearson, but also the idea that King whole-heartedly accepted the idea of this path to politics. The accepted thought was that the civil service was to be non-partisan, yet here was the clearest partisan move a civil servant could take. More important was the amount of experience that Pearson carried with him into the department. Until this point it was the Mandarins who made most of the decisions and had held most of the experience in External. Now the Mandarins had one of their own in the Minister's office, a man of experience and history with the department. With his appointment, the historical shift from the power being held within the civil service to the elected officials began. This dominance of policy, influence, power, and continued secrecy over the department can be seen through his dealing with the affair over Herbert Norman. Herbert Norman began his career with External Affairs before the Second World War. While working in the department he had developed a close personal relationship with Pearson and this continued throughout their lives. Norman, however, had a shady past. During his years at Cambridge he had been associated with a Communist student 3 9 Granatstein, Ottawa Men, p. 74. 4 0 Ibid, p. 265. 23 group and his name had been brought to the attention of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security. Throughout the 1930s, until his suicide in 1956, Norman was continually hounded by the Americans; who accused him of being a communist spy. The only thing that kept him alive in the department, and away from the hands of the U.S., was Pearson 4 1 . Pearson continually went to bat for Norman, despite the fact that he was damaging not only his own credibility, but that of the whole Canadian Government. In an interview for a Norman biography; one U.S. official remarks "personally I thought he [Pearson] was trash." 4 2 Despite this he was untouchable for his work to resolve Suez and thus was saved from accusations from the U.S. about his protection of Norman. Pearson knew of Norman's communist connections, but kept them secret during the Affair. In 1956, after Norman's death, he painted Norman as a hero for his work on the Suez Crisis and his "selective release" of information eventually even brought new opposition leader John Diefenbaker on board for praise of Norman. Diefenbaker condemned the U.S. for their treatment of Norman, something he would later regret when questions of Norman's past finally came to light. Diefenbaker then attacked the Liberals and Pearson: "The House was left feeling that it had been deceived, and the government was floundering, that the truth remained hidden." 4 3 Very little is made of either the civi l service, or Prime Ministerial role played in this affairs, clearly showing the most of the power was in the hands of Pearson 4 1 John Kramer, Gerry Flahive, The man who might have been: an inquiry into the life and death of Herbert Norman, Videorecording (Montreal: NFB Canada, 1998). 4 2 Ibid.. 4 3 Denis Smith, Rogue Tory, The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker, (Toronto: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, 1995), p. 222. 24 The other major work of Pearson was also before he became P M . His "most famous diplomatic achievement" 4 4 came in a dispute where he originally had little political pull or reason to get involved. Pearson did the l ion's share of the work in drafting the plan for the peacekeeping force and used his connections (including Norman, then ambassador to Egypt, who was eager to repay Pearson for his previous support) to convince Egypt to allow Canada to be part of the U N forces in the area. Pearson was well rewarded for his work: Pearson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in October 1957, on the grounds that the Suez crisis was a victory for the U N and for the man who contributed more than anyone else to save the world at that time.' Save the world? He was just doing his job, he said to me at the t ime. 4 5 What is of interest is that he completed so much without even being P M . He was simply the Secretary of State for External Affairs and despite the fact that he was effectively ranked below the P M , he was the one in charge of the whole operation. This is a testament to the amount of sway that c iv i l servants and ministers had at the time. St. Laurent, like K ing before him, was wi l l ing to give the department a good degree of latitude. When Pearson became P M , much of his style for foreign policy continued. He got along well with the U.S. Presidents of his time and had many allies, as well as enemies, among the U.S. administration. Generally good relations did not stop him from criticizing the U.S. i f he felt criticism was necessary. In 1965 he took a strong stand against the U.S. over Vietnam, not worried about the negative effect it may have on Geoffrey A. H. Pearson, Seize the Day: Lester B. Pearson and Crisis Diplomacy, (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1993), p. 137. 4 5 Ibid, 153. 25 relations. This style for knowing and carrying out foreign policy on his own was one the he retained during his career. His lifetime of working for the civi l service allowed him to do this and he used his knowledge to its full extent in spearheading an executive centered foreign policy during his years as P M , much as he had spearheaded a department centered foreign policy during his years with the Mandarins. Trudeauvian Internationalism Trudeau, following the lead of Pearson before him, took much direct control of foreign policy. Much of the policy during this time was reflective of his personal world-views, and his unwillingness to be bullied or influenced by the superpowers of the Cold War. Trudeau got along well with his American counterparts, and in particular found Kissinger "altogether impressive." 4 7 A t the same time, he would not cave to U.S. pressure and was not afraid of taking anti-American policy stances. While the U.S. opinion meant a great deal to some like Diefenbaker, it meant little to Trudeau. While Diefenbaker was so worried about the reaction of the U.S. that he cancelled a visit with Castro, Trudeau, in Cuba, declared to 25,000 "Long live Cuba and the Cuban people. Long live the friendship of Cuba and Canada! " 4 8 The two even developed a friendship based on mutual respect: Into the wee hours, Fidel Castro and Pierre Trudeau would hash over international politics, the United States, their diving techniques and what their kids were doing. 4 9 Nossal, the Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, 210. 4 7 J.L. Granatstein and Robert Bothwell, Pirouette: Pierre Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), p. 48. 4 8 Jennifer Ditchburn, "Castro Travels to Canada to Mourn Trudeau", The Canadian Press, ONLINE [2004], Available: trudeau3-cp.html. (Oct. 2 2000). 26 This idea of foreign policy against the traditional allies and of his own accord would mark Trudeau's career. "This was Trudeau's Third Way in action, a foreign policy that depended neither on the States or Britain, but that was subject to Canada's own interests"50 and his own interests. The civil service role was minimized in favour of an increased power within the PMO and PCO, which were closer to the P M and offered all the advice he felt he needed. He was also more in favour of 'rational management' and his government would see more problems dealt with by committees than by Cabinet or line departments directly. Michael Tucker and Bruce Thordarson see the Trudeau era as fundamentally different than the previous times. Tucker defines it as an era of "Trudeauvian Internationalism."51 The idea behind the Trudeau years was they were markedly more interventionist than the previous Cold War Canadian governments. The policy towards China, troop reductions within NATO, and the general theme of trying to reduce tension in the rest of the world despite what the United States had to say about it all are considered pretty brash acts that tended to agitate the superpower United States. This shift was indicative of the more direct role the prime minister was taking in Canadian government and the policy of Canada at the time was reflective of Trudeau's opinions. The purpose of these actions was not to create any tension, or to distance Canada from the United States. The purpose was to create an independent foreign policy for Canada at a time when most countries, including Canada, were focusing their policies around the actions of Cold War superpowers. Trudeau comments: 5 0 Ibid.. 5 1 Michael Tucker, Canadian Foreign Policy: Contemporary Issues and Themes. (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson), 1980. 27 Canada should endeavour to function as an "effective" power in world affairs.. .Canada should not be content to accept a typecast role based on past experience or previous self-image, but should be an active, responsible participant in international events. 5 2 It was inevitable that the United States would be angered by what appeared to be defiance of them, but the purpose was one that was for the betterment of Canada, and Trudeau was not worried about who was upset with the new policy direction. Since the new direction also created many opponents within his own government, Trudeau had to wield much of the power himself i f he was to achieve his goal . 5 3 There is no question that the foreign policy of this era is one that is focused on and generating from one source, Trudeau himself. His policies and stances left little room for a cautious and conservative approach or lengthy debate. Trudeau had started and completed the transfer of power from civ i l service to Prime Minister and close advisors. Line departments and Cabinet ministers were starting to be left out of the policy process more and more in favour of committees and central agencies. When Brian Mulroney came to power the ties were completely severed and the two bodies actually started to seem to work against each other. The Mul roney Years : The C E O of Foreign Pol icy or " C r a v e n Toady "? By the time that Mulroney came to power there was a marked difference and almost complete 180-degree turn with regard to the relationship between elected ministers and the civ i l servants that worked under them. This shift had been taking place since the end of the St. Laurent government in 1957, but the full extent of how far the balance of power had tipped in favor of the the Prime Minister was only felt now. Once 5 2 Ivan Head and Pierre Trudeau, The Canadian Way: Shaping Canada's Foreign Policy, 1968-1984, (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1995), 310. 5 3 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 84. 28 again, it was a Progressive Conservative government that would find problems with a civ i l service department staff that it felt was too Liberal. Some believe the foreign policy of the Mulroney years can be traced distinctly to one man, Mulroney himself. While a dominance of one character is present in previous administrations, particularly that of Trudeau and his foreign policy aspirations, no previous Prime Minister had centralized his foreign policy within his own aspirations as much as Mulroney. Nossal comments on how some see the concentration of power: The prime minister purposely set out to alter Canada's foreign relations, particularly with the United States. Both [Lawrence Martin and Marci McDonald, Mulroney foreign policy experts] argue that Mulroney had a clear foreign policy agenda that he spent his mandate implementing... McDonald suggests that Mulroney had what she calls an "American agenda".. .Martin argues that Mulroney's purpose was no less than the Americanization of Canada 5 4 Both McDonald, in Yankee Doodle Dandy55 and Martin, in Pledge of Allegiance56, adhere to this view that Mulroney was in complete control of the system and the goal of his administration was to "Americanize" and "Conservatize" Canada's foreign policy initiatives. This argument does have some sway and the marked departure from a slightly confrontational stance with the Americans under Trudeau to Mulroney and Reagan arm and arm singing When Irish Eyes Are Smiling is plain to see and has some credence. The idea that Mulroney was similar to the head of a company making every decision about what was best for business, is one that was common. This side believes that the process Mulroney used was both centralized and negative. There was no room for a civi l service, Kim Richard Nossal and Nelson Michaud, Diplomatic Departures: The Conservative Era in Canadian Foreign Policy, 1984-93, (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2001), p. 3. 5 5 Marci McDonald, Yankee Doodle Dandy: Brian Mulroney and the American Agenda, (Don Mills Ont: Stoddart, 1995). 5 6 Lawrence Martin, Pledge of Allegiance: The Americanization of Canada in the Mulroney Years, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1993). 29 or government department, to debate options in this process and the man in charge made all of the decisions, making for a strong shift in foreign policy initiatives in the Mulroney years. This stance is contested. There is no general consensus with either of the ideas that Mulroney controlled foreign policy all by himself, or that there was a concerted effort by the whole party to "Americanize" Canadian politics. Nossal disagrees with the assumptions of McDonald and Martin. Nossal takes the almost opposite stance that the Conservatives had no formal policy program or plan in place when they took power in 1984, and that Mulroney, far from being the craftsman and controlling personality that McDonald and Martin make him out to be, was just as disorganized as the rest of the party. Nossal and Michaud state that to others Mulroney was simply "a craven toady who embarrassed the country by his fawning behaviour"57 towards the Americans. This school believes that the Mulroney foreign policy initiatives were nothing more than the transplantation of Thatcherism and Reaganism in Canada to negative results such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and involvement in the first Gulf War. They also do not agree with either of the two extremes that have been presented. They feel that the latent negativism associated with the Mulroney government and its approach to foreign policy has created skewed views of how and why decisions were made and a more "dispassionate" view of Mulroney's foreign policy is required. This presents us with a third view of Mulroney foreign policy. Nossal & Michaud, Diplomatic Departures, 290 . Ibid., p. 291. 30 Nossal and Michaud combat the argument that Mulroney simply cowed to American and Brit ish pressures by highlighting the stances that Canada took on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), in opposition to the Americans, and the Canadian stance on Apartheid in South Afr ica, in opposition to Great Britain. They argue that while neither conservative nor liberal in nature, Mulroney foreign policy was nonetheless unique. They argue that the process was largely disorganized and this led to disagreements and much finger-pointing going on between the elected officials and the civ i l service. Sutherland and Doern argue that as power shifts away from departments the idea of ministerial responsibility disappears. 5 9 The two bodies did not get along as in the Mandarin era and often blamed each other for problems that arose in foreign affairs. Never was this clearer than in the Mohammed al-Mashat affair. Nossal calls the al-Mashat affair "The most telling example of the dissension that had appeared between ministers and the mandarins." 6 0 In January 1991, Mohammed al-Mashat was the Iraqi ambassador to the United States. Eventually he was recalled to Baghdad, but fearing for his safety he tried to get access to another country so he could get out of the reaches of Saddam Hussein. Eventually al-Mashat applied to the Canadian Embassy in Vienna to get immigrant status so he could settle in Canada. Despite the fact that the P C O felt that it would be very inappropriate to allow al-Mashat to "defect" to Canada, he was allowed to complete an application in the normal manner. Not only was he allowed to apply, his application was fast tracked and he was granted security clearance within twenty-four hours by CSIS. When the application eventually reached Raymond Chretien, associate undersecretary of state for external affairs and nephew of 5 9 Sharon L. Sutherland and G. Bruce Doern, Bureaucracy in Canada: Control and Reform, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), p. 37. 6 0 Nossal, The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, 249. 31 opposition leader and future P M Jean Chretien, it was deemed to be of significant importance to have to get the minister's approval. The application was passed along to the Minister's (Joe Clark's) chief of staff David Daubney, but never reached Clark himself. Thinking that Clark had seen the application and not raised any questions, Chretien and external affairs granted al-Mashat landed immigrant status and he entered the country in March 1991.61 Eventually the story hit the media and became a hot issue. How was this member of a rogue government allowed to settle in Canada? Historically the plan of action called for the Minister responsible for the department to take responsibility for the mistake and accept whatever punishment was meted out. In this case however the tradition of Ministerial responsibility was broken. When the story broke "the Mulroney government immediately distanced itself from the decision, maintaining that ministers had not been involved." Essentially it was a defense of ignorance, it was better to say that Clark had never known about the issue, rather than having him accept responsibility for his department, the Westminster tradition, and face the possible end of his political career. Both Chretien and Daubney, civil servants, were forced to bear the brunt of the blame for the issue and even forced to issue an apology to Clark. Ministerial responsibility was turned on its head. Very rarely in the previous eras would a civil servant, an un-elected official, be held responsible for a mistake in a government department. Rather than having the P M , the Minister, Cabinet, or the Civil Service taking charge of policy initiatives, the new plan became blame avoidance and non-decisions. The best-case scenario of this issue is that Clark was ignorant of what was going on in his department 6 1 Ibid.. 3 2 (bad enough on its own) and the wrong action was taken. The worst-case scenario is that no one knew what was going on and the wrong action was taken. A couple of key observations can be made from this incident. It hurts the assertion by some that Mulroney foreign policy was organized and government centred. This mess well illustrated disorganized nature of foreign affairs. It would appear that in some cases the word came from the top on foreign policy issues, such as Mulroney's stance on Apartheid. In other cases however it appears that the word came from nowhere and a disorganized civ i l service was left to pick up the pieces. After this incident, and the supposed end to ministerial responsibility, the c iv i l service had to be a lot more cautious as it was not necessarily a given that the front line of criticism would be the elected government. 6 3 This may have contributed to the Prime Ministerial focus of foreign policy during the Chretien era as civi l servants, who had fearlessly run the department in the K ing era without having to worry about public criticism, now had to be a lot more cautious and made fewer decisions without ministerial approval. No one was free of responsibility and those that took it had to face the consequences; it didn't matter i f you were an elected official or a member of the civi l service. Conclusion The evolution of the decision making in foreign affairs in Canada over the last 70 years is one that is clear and easily traceable. Initially the system is completely dominated by the civ i l service, which has the complete trust of the prime minister. Today it is a system dominated by the prime minister. This is not only true in foreign affairs, 6 3 Eventually, almost all involved in the issue, including Clark, Chretien, and Marchand (Chretien's immediate superior) were shifted away from the external affairs department. 33 but reflects a greater evolution of power. In all government areas power was moving from the periphery towards the executive, reflecting Savoie's thesis about government from the small centre. By the end of the Mulroney era, Canadian government held little resemblance to the way it was run in preceding administrations. The task now is to determine if the evolution of the shrinking centre carried over to the Chretien years. 34 Chapter Two: The Man in Charge By examining the history of prime ministers in the field of foreign policy it becomes clear that each had their own managerial style and approach to foreign policy. Some, such as Mackenzie King, allowed civil servants to take a great deal of power and play a large hand in the formulation of foreign policy. In this setup the 'mandarins' had the power to carry out most any policy approach they desired, subject to the approval of the prime minister. Other prime ministers, such as Trudeau, enlarged the role of the PCO and PMO and trusted them above all else to keep him informed on foreign policy issues, much to the chagrin of the external affairs ministers involved. Still others, such as Mulroney, took a great deal of control in their own hands and used foreign policy as a means towards achievement of goals that were important to themselves, such as close relations with the U.S. Now that the historical examination is behind us we can look directly at the Chretien government, and more specifically Chretien himself, in an attempt to gain a detailed understanding of his approach to foreign policy and how it was formed. The prime minister is an important post because of the inherent power it carries. How this power is handled is different for each prime minister but the structures remain the same. The prime minister first and foremost is the head of Cabinet and chairs all Cabinet meetings. If there is a dispute within Cabinet meetings it is always the prime minister who has the authority to settle the dispute. By appointing each and every other Cabinet minister the prime minister is also able to ensure that his views are the ones that will be reflected in his Cabinet by appointing like-minded people. Having his own advisory agency, the PMO, also structurally provides him with a resource that regular 35 ministers simply do not have. These structural advantages, among others, help to shape why the prime minister is so integral to the Canadian system. This chapter studies the prime minister, outline his personality, and how he may have affected the policy goals of the Liberal government. What international goals were important to him? We have seen in the past that the personality of the prime minister not only affects what the policy goals are, but how the policy hierarchy is designed. Once you know how the individual thinks, and what their opinions are, it becomes easier to predict how government wi l l work and what amount of direct involvement the prime minister w i l l take in policy formation. Second, it is important to look at Chretien's own government experiences as a minister in previous Liberal governments, including a very short time as Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1984 under Turner. What were his views of the role of a Cabinet minister, and his view of how the policy process worked? What were his opinions of the way Trudeau, the man he spent most of his ministerial career working under, handled government, the policy process, and foreign policy in particular? While Chretien was a Cabinet minister the evolution of the P M O and P C O to their present position took place. His reaction to the growth of these two un-elected bodies and their elevated importance may have affected his opinion of them once he became prime minister. As for his ministerial experience, Chretien only spent about two months in the external affairs portfolio, but served in government for over thirty years before being elected as prime minister. He became well aware of the policy process under more than one prime minister in a wide variety of ministerial positions. 36 Chretien's style will be studied to see how it affected the policy approach he took in office. How he ran government, and whom he trusted and did not trust are the elements that are to be uncovered in this section. We have seen that the personality of the prime minister, and personal goals, have affected foreign policy approach in the past and there is little doubt that the same model applies in this case. Determining how personality and personal goals affect policy is the goal of the third section of the chapter. Overall this chapter is the study of one man, the man who headed foreign policy in Canada for ten years. The goal is to understand how the Chretien government worked from the perspective of the man in charge, and how this affected foreign policy decisions. What Makes a Prime Minister Tick? Personal characteristics and goals of a prime minister are a key in determining how a government is run for most, if not all, of Canada's prime ministers leading up to Chretien. As Savoie suggests, "style and personalities are important in understanding how Cabinet government works"1 and should not be neglected from study. Savoie begins his own discussion on Chretien's personality by comparing him to Trudeau directly. To Savoie, Trudeau was "much more tolerant of meandering and long-winded interventions from his ministers at Cabinet meetings than Chretien."2 This first and most agreed upon value that Chretien held was an impatient nature with Cabinet ministers and an unwillingness to put up with much delay in policy debates. He was a person who wanted to get things done and had little desire to wait for others to catch up. Even in his personal life he was seen as someone who "projected the image of a man in a ' Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 81. 2 Ibid, p. 81. 37 hurry. He strode, never ambled, to his next destination."3 A minister who did not follow orders, or wanted to go into detailed debate with the prime minister over policy issues would find himself out of Cabinet very fast. The quote in the introduction about N A F T A negotiations, where Chretien said he would fire a minister rather than debate with them, was very telling. Not only does it allude to the sweeping power that the prime minister has in negotiations, but it is also a bit of a view into Chretien's personality. The simple fact that Chretien would rather dismiss a minister than debate a trade policy is quite reflective of his impatience for philosophizing and his unwillingness to expend a great amount of time discussing policy options. It is unlikely that Chretien would dismiss a minister at the drop of a hat for holding up a policy decision, however, the fact that he even alludes to this as an option shows how adverse he is to a drawn out decision-making process and serves as a warning to ministers. He did not care much about whether ministers agreed with him or not and spent little time getting them on his side. According to Savoie, Mulroney spent more time "either cajoling or, if necessary, browbeating his ministers to come to his point of view to establish Cabinet consensus."4 Chretien would not waste time trying to get others to see his point, he would act and if they disagreed they could resign from Cabinet. The other characteristic these observations allude to is Chretien's stubborn nature and rigidity, another quality that is well documented. As prime minister, Chretien had a very direct personal manner, and just as he was unwilling to go on in endless debate over an issue, he also had little time for ideas he did not agree with. If Chretien felt an idea was bad, or a minister was not acting appropriately on a policy issue, there was no arguing with him. 3 Edward Greenspon and Anthony Wilson-Smith, Double Vision: The Inside Story of the Liberals in Power, (Toronto: Doubleday Canada Ltd., 1996), p. 11. 4 Savoie, Governing From the Centre, .81. 38 Chretien has on occasion been even more direct than Trudeau when seeing proposals he does not like. One career public servant who worked in the P C O under both prime ministers reports that Chretien could, before the discussions went too far, simply say to a minister in private or even in front of his colleagues, T know what you are going to recommend. The answer is no. Forget it.' 5 The goal was to, as fast as possible, get " a stupid idea out of the system." 6 His stubbornness was also evident in certain policy situations. In 1993 Chretien made very public comments during the election campaign that he was going to scrap the Mulroney idea to buy new search and rescue helicopters for the Canadian military. 7 Chretien won the election and the plan to replace the helicopters was scrapped. In doing so, Chretien alienated the military, had to spend $500 mil l ion in cancellation fees of the original deal, and caused damage to the credibility of his defense minister. Nevertheless, he would not replace the helicopters. Aside from his stubbornness on policy issues, Chretien has also shown stubborn loyalty to those close to him. Just as he would dismiss a minister he did not like, he would stand by staff that he was close with. This personality trait has, like the stubbornness over the helicopters, cost him on the political stage, but remained a part of his management style. Several examples of this quality are present, but one immediately comes to mind. The Ducros affair started with a simple flip remark that a reporter overheard and quickly became an international issue affecting Canadian/US relations at a time when those relations were already under considerable strain. Francois Ducros was a Chretien aide and communications director, often speaking on his behalf to the press. Most of the 5 Ibid, 85. 6 Ibid, 85. 7 Ibid, 268. 39 time these officials get very little notice themselves and what they say is attributed as the view of the prime minister. This is not so when one of these trusted advisors, viewed as the public voice of the prime minister, says something, or acts in a way, that gets the prime minister in trouble. In November 2002, a story broke that Ducros, after hearing Bush request that N A T O countries spend more on defense, remarked "what a moron" 8 when referring to Bush in the presence of two reporters. Media reaction was swift and heavy. Christie Blatchford remarked on how the government handled the situation. How the P M and the P M O collectively handled this thing, as it blew up into a furor after the National Post's Ottawa bureau chief, Robert Fife, first reported the remark on our front page last week, was to minimize, dissemble, evade and bully: In other words, they behaved as the arrogant thugs they are. 9 A n embarrassing public comment of this nature is often immediate grounds for dismissal. In this case, strangely, it was not. Here, in a time when Canada/U.S. relations were already cold (partly due to the actions of Chretien himself) a person who literally speaks for the prime minister had called the President of the United States a moron. Savoie makes clear the usual plan of action in just such a situation. A 'screw-up' which reaches the media and which makes the minister [or prime minister] look bad or not in control, or which makes the department look incompetent can have grave consequences.. .Indeed, current and former deputy ministers I consulted put the ability to keep 'their ministers and the department out of political trouble' as the single most important criterion of success. 1 0 The fact that the mistake in this case came right from a person representing the prime minister directly as opposed to simply a minister would likely make the consequences all the more grave for the person making the blunder. The response here would seem to be Tim Harper, "Inside story of why PM aide had to quit; 'Moron' brings down Ducros Seven days of damage control", The Toronto Star, Nov. 27, 2002, (p. AO 1). 9Christie Blatchford, "She Spoke for Many, Unfortunately", The National Post, Nov. 23, 2002, (p. A22). 1 0 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 119. 40 simple. Ducros is fired and publicly disassociated from the party for her comment and a formal apology is issued to the United States as all ties to the offending party are cut. This would be the normal plan of action. One thing stood in the way of this however, Ducros had been a close and trusted aide of the prime minister for quite some time and he was unwill ing to chastise her or 'throw her to the wolves', so to speak. Chretien would not fire Ducros for her remark about Bush. Even when Ducros voluntarily resigned Chretien refused to accept the resignation 1 1. Chretien stated that Ducros had apologized for the situation she had created and that the issue was over. He even joked about the remark saying to reporters "She may have used that word [moron] against me a few times and I am sure she used it against you many t imes." 1 2 Opposition members were 'call ing for her head' as they demanded she be fired immediately. The opposition was infuriated that he not only did not fire Ducros, but that he had not accepted her resignation and was wi l l ing to joke about an incident that could have an impact on international relations. Even Ducros herself did not apologize for the remark specifically, only for the furor it created. In a press release, Ms . Ducros said her comments did not reflect her view of the President but said she was sorry to have created an international controversy. "I regret that they have attracted so much media attention. I accept full responsibility for them and I sincerely apologize." 1 3 It was perceived by many that Chretien had let a personal loyalty get in the way of good government. His commitment to Ducros seemed to some more important than Canada's relationship with the U.S. This was a perfect example of how committed to his 11 Tim Naumetz, "Ducros resigns over moron flap: Conservative leader Joe Clark says PM mishandled the issue", The Vancouver Sun, Nov. 27, 2002, (p. A4). 1 2 Robert Fife, "PM's aide in 'moron' flap won't lose job: Comment didn't hurt Canada- U.S. relations: Chretien", The National Post, Nov. 23, 2002, (p. Al). 41 staff Chretien was and that he was not going to allow himself to be bullied into betraying one of those close to him. It is clear that personality played an important part in Chretien's government. His impatience, stubbornness, and commitment to those close to him all affected policy. When you are the final decision-maker for a government there is no way your personal feelings can be left out. This is not the only factor however. Examined next is how a life in politics and time spent as a minister affected his government's style and how decisions were made. A L i fe in Poli t ics Chretien used his experience as a government minister to his benefit when he was elected prime minister. To an extent he already knew the ropes and knew that one wrong step would put a stable government in chaos. How to react to the pressure is something he had to learn to survive his long service in Cabinet. The art of politics is learning to walk with your back to the wal l , your elbows high, and a smile on your face. It's a survival game played under the glare of light. If you don't learn that, you're quickly finished. The press wants to get you. The opposition wants to get you. Even some of the bureaucrats want to get you. They all have an interest in making you look bad. 1 4 These are definitely the words of someone who has spent his life playing this game. It is reported that it was because of a lack of similar experience the Mulroney government had many troubles in his early years as prime minister. Mulroney had never been in a governing party prior to his election, Chretien had over 25 years of previous experience. In many cases what he learned, and the opinions he formed carried over to his own government and shaped the way the Chretien government was to be run. 1 4 Jean Chretien, Straight From the Heart, (Toronto: Key Porter Books Ltd., 1994), p. 18. 42 During his time in Cabinet, Chretien developed a distaste for the two advisory bodies close to the prime minister: the Privy Counci l Office, and the Prime Ministers Office. Unl ike Trudeau or Mulroney, who both had enlarged these bodies and gave them a lot of power within their governments, Chretien, at least initially, wanted to limit their involvement. Chretien, as a minister, did not like the central agencies because they limited the power of Cabinet as a decision-making and advisory body to the prime minister. Chretien had felt "chafed" 1 5 by the P M O and P C O as a minister in the Trudeau government. Officials from these bodies seemed to be constantly looking over his shoulder. Greenspon and Wilson-Smith comment that "Chretien had been on the wrong end of a Cabinet of unequals. No matter how far he rose with Trudeau, he could never hope to compete with Marc Lalonde, parliamentary secretary, for influence with the prime minister or clout over the Quebec wing of the party." 1 6 When he first took office he remembered the treatment he had received as a Cabinet minister and vowed to curtail the power of unelected advisors. This led to a more "hands o f f approach and ministers were given a good deal of free reign over their departments, even i f they did not get along with the prime minister on a personal level . 1 7 Over time Chretien softened his views of these two bodies, but this was not until they were filled with persons he could fully trust. The further he went in his time as prime minister the more power these bodies gained, but at the beginning his prejudices were clear and changed the way the government was run. During his time as a minister Chretien had developed the natural politician's characteristic of never showing any signs of weakness. Rather than immediately come 1 5 Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 35. 1 6 Ibid, 36. 1 7 Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 163. 43 clean and admit guilt i f a mistake was made or a gaffe had happened, the goal was to deflect blame or try to defuse the situation. This came out in several issues such as the G S T debacle (which the Liberals campaigned to get rid of and never did), the so called H R D C boondoggle, the Sponsorship Scandal (in the heat of the scandal Chretien called the program " a very useful program to sell Canada to people who wanted to separate from Canada," 1 8 ) , and in the Ducros affair. Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, while perhaps being a bit melodramatic , argue that Chretien "recoiled from signs of weakness, preferring not to spill his own blood in the shark-infested waters of national pol i t ics." 1 9 Knowing how to deal with issues and deflect blame and criticism is a key to a long life in politics and something a politician only learns from experience, as Chretien did during his time in government. When the second Iraq War was the foreign policy issue that dominated Canadian politics it was Chretien that would not sway or cave to the U.S. pressure to jo in the 'coalition of the wi l l ing ' . Despite veiled threats from the opposition, and the U.S. directly, that trade and relations would be adversely affected, Chretien would not jo in the forces to overthrow Saddam Hussein. During his whole time as P M , Chretien was known as a person that could negotiate well and be very hard to push around. If there was a goal he felt was important it would be achieved. There would be no bending over backwards to help others at Canada's expense. This was something he learned from working under Trudeau. CBC News Online Staff, "Sponsorship Scandal an 'administrative problem': Chretien", CBCNews Online, ONLINE [2004], Available: london040330. (March 30, 2004). 1 9 Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 380. 44 In his own book, Chretien comments on what he learned about negotiating: "If you never resist, i f you say 'yes' to every memo from Finance or the Privy Counci l Office or the Prime Minister's Office, then you' l l always be weak and you' l l have no one 20 to blame but yourself." This along with his stubborn nature led him to be a natural hard negotiator both at home several times with Quebec, his home province where he became 21 very unpopular, and abroad with countries like the United States, where he also became unpopular. Trudeau had forced Chretien to be front and centre in the campaign to keep Quebec as part of Canada during the first referendum on Quebec sovereignty. The result was that Chretien turned into a key presence for the federalists during the campaign and helped lead the no side to a decisive victory in 1980. The skills that^rthe^earned stayed with him throughout his career in politics and not only helped him learn how to deal with power players within his own country, but with powerful nations all over the world. Chretien was called "Trudeau's firefighter" for his referendum work. 2 2 If it was delicate negotiating that was needed Trudeau would look to someone like Marc Lalonde, but i f he needed someone to be unwavering and lay down the law, it was Chretien to whom he turned. The PQ and Rene Levesque were drumming up large support among Quebec citizens towards outright sovereignty in the run up to the 1980 referendum and a strong federalist presence was required to both temper this feeling and present an alternative to Quebec citizens to outright separation. It was a very hard fight and one that Chretien threw himself into whole heartedly. This ordeal also put the minister in a public light much bigger than a minister may be used to and thus was good preparation for the 2 0 Chretien, Straight from the Heart, 86. 2 1 Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 17. 2 2 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 243. 45 spotlight of being prime minister. He also learned how to deal with harsh criticism from his opponents. I had to take a great deal of abuse from the intellectuals. Many of them were separatists, of course. There were howls of protest in the newspapers when I compared separatism to gangrene, yet no one protested when Claude Mor in described federalism as cancer. 2 3 Having to deal with such criticism, and ostracism, in ones home province serves to harden a person and prepared Chretien for a life as the leader of a country where you fight for your job and have to make tough decisions every day. This skil l was prominent in many of the foreign policy decisions that Chretien had to make when he was prime minister, such as his decision to avoid committing to the war in Iraq in 2003. Chretien took a tremendous amount of heat making the decision to stay out of the war from many in the media and the opposition. The Canadian All iance called it "juvenile and insecure anti-Americanism" and leaving "us outside our Brit ish and American allies in their time of need." 2 4 Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney made similar statements. Alberta Premier Ralph Kle in joined in and said that i f he were Prime Minister Canada would not abandon its allies . In other issues such as the landmine ban Chretien stood up to the military despite their pressure to derail the ban. 2 7 Continually he has been a tough opponent to beat and this stems not only from his personality, but also from his training during his years in government before his time as prime minister. Chretien, Straight from the Heart, 128. 2 4 The Canadian Alliance, "Support Canada's Allies", The Canadian Alliance Website, ONLINE [2003] Available: (2003). 2 5 Chris Morris, '"I would have gone to war': Mulroney", The Ottawa Citizen, May 10, 2003, (p. A2> 2 6 Margret Kopala, "Ralph Klein is set to leave his own national legacy", The Ottawa Citizen, July 12, 2003, (p. B6). 2 7 CBC News Online Staff, "Canada's military tried to stop landmine ban", CBC News, ONLINE [2003], Available: (Mar. 13 1999). 46 Just as personality played into his style of government, we have seen that his personal experiences have helped to shape how he handled the role of prime minister. Both were central to determining how he behaved in government and created a style of governance that was unique to him and unlike any prime minister before, leaving his stamp on the foreign affairs policy process, and government in general. Conclusions The prime minister is the key individual in any Canadian government and thus it is important to understand this individual and know their traits and mannerisms. Personality and personal experience affect the way policy is developed and how decisions are made. For Chretien the experience is no different. Chretien took a strong approach to the role of prime minister and his approach is fueled by both his personality and personal experiences. It is easy to draw the conclusion that personality and prior experience wi l l have some effect on how decisions are made, but it has been shown that the effect is more than minimal. These factors can drive policy and when the person is in charge their personal feelings are all that much more important in determining outcomes. While this one individual has undoubtedly the most power, he does not hold all of the power. In the Chretien government there were many others that would come to play key roles in foreign policy formation, as others would in other policy areas. The next chapter wi l l look at these individuals and the amount of real power they held. The question is not whether each individual or group had total power, but how much each had and how the relationship was modeled. 4 47 It has been displayed that Chretien was a stubborn and impatient individual at times who did not enjoy long policy debates with ministers, often taking charge i f he thought things were not proceeding at an acceptable pace. On the other hand, he vowed that he would allow more ministerial independence and shrink the power of the un-elected P M O and P C O (bodies that plagued him as a minister under Trudeau) when he took office. Which Chretien, hands-off or hands-on, was the one that became prime minister in 1993? How did the others in his government take to his management style? As we wi l l see, it depended who you were and where you were as to how this last question was answered. 48 Chapter 3: Divisions of Power While the argument that Savoie and others make about the strong centralization of power within Chretien's office is well supported, some argue to the contrary.1 Herman Bakvis believes that that Savoie's agrument is "overdrawn." 2 The way to determine whether this is true is to define the roles of the others in government. This includes both individuals, Such as Cabinet ministers, and members of advisory bodies, such as the P M O / P C O . By assessing their roles we can determine whether the P M and his advisors hold all of the power, or whether it is more evenly distributed. We have seen in Canada two strikingly different forms of cabinet government over the last 70 years. The Mackenzie K ing era saw a very "departmental" government where there was more focus on the minister as an information source and advisor to the P M . The minister, with the help of his/her department, formulated policies and presented them to Cabinet where they were collectively debated and implemented. The Trudeau era saw the rise of the "institutionalized" Cabinet and its centre of power architecture. In Trudeau's time it was not the departments, but the central institutions, such as the P M O and P C O , that began to wield the greatest amount of power. In a departmental Cabinet "decision making is, with some exceptions, decentralized...which favours departmental autonomy over the power of the central executive." 3 The Institutionalized Cabinet is where "decision making becomes, with some exceptions, more centralized...which favours the power of the central executive over departmental authority." 4 Chretien 1 Herman Bakvis, "Autocracy in Need of Reform?", 62. 2 Ibid, p. 62. 3 Christopher Dunn, The Institutionalized Cabinet: Governing the Western Provinces, (Kingston: McGill -Queen's University Press, 1995), p. 16. 4 Ibid., 16. 49 experienced this second form first hand and did not like it. How did this affect how he treated ministers, the departments and central institutions in his government? As this chapter shows; there were key officials and departments within the Chretien government that did carry at least a limited amount of sway and decision making power in Canadian foreign policy making. The structure of government, while allowing the Prime Minister to be the central power-wielding figure in Canadian politics, has also left room for others to work in at least an advisory role. These players in foreign policy include first and foremost the Foreign Affairs Minister (formerly Secretary of State for External Affairs). Chretien allowed varying amounts of freedom to his Foreign Affairs Ministers. Those who held the post during Chretien's time as P M were Andre Ouellet (1993-1996), L loyd Axworthy, (1996-2000), John Manley (2000-2001), and B i l l Graham (2001-2003).5 The one that stands out as most notable is Axworthy. Axworthy is associated with several accomplishments in the department of Foreign Affairs, first and foremost the international effort and eventual treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines. Axworthy got most of the credit for the effort and planning of this policy initiative, an event which at least on its surface refutes the 'governing from the centre' thesis. The role of the civ i l servants within government is also one that is important. Whether it is in the P C O / P M O , or the departments, it is c iv i l servants who do a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure policy success. Chretien maintained the use of cabinet committees for policy analysis, something started by Trudeau, and these bodies are largely responsible for policy creation. It is only when a recommendation has been made 5 DFAIT, "Our Past: The History of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade", Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Website, ONLINE [2004], Available: (Jan 5, 2004). 50 by a Cabinet committee that it goes to full Cabinet for ratification.6 The PMO and PCO are the bodies that generally carry out this role. These offices are advisory in nature and offer a lot of policy options to the Prime Minister for him to choose from. What exactly is their role in the policy process? Their advisory power has expanded to include many portfolios that traditionally it did not. The PMO is the highest ranking and closest partisan advisory body that the Prime Minister relies on in his policy decisions. Finding out which body of civil servants holds the most power and how it compares to that of elected officials will be one of the tasks of this chapter. To know how foreign policy is made in Canada all actors must be examined. The role of the prime minister has already been determined, now the others involved must be examined. Who does the 'Primus' listen to, or does he listen to anyone? The Foreign Minister: Second in Command While power and influence are hard to come by unless you are the Prime Minister in Canadian government, it is naive to think that there is no distribution of power whatsoever. Bakvis comments that: "It would be unwise to think of Canadian cabinet ministers in the present era as essentially powerless."7 He points to former members like John Crosbie and Don Mazankowski as heavyweights in Cabinet who have wrested a degree of power from the PM. Aucoin comments in "Prime Minister and Cabinet: Power at the Apex" that "A handful of key ministers," led by the Deputy Prim Minister, carried a significant amount of power in the Mulroney Government. Chretien, he 6 Evert A. Lindquist, "How Ottawa Plans: The Evolution of Strategic Planning", in Leslie A. Pal, ed, How Ottawa Spends 2001-2: Power in Transition, (Don Mills Ont.: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 62-3. 7 Bakvis, "Autocracy in need of Reform" p. 65. 8 Peter Aucoin, "Prime Minister and Cabinet: Power at the Apex" in James Bickerton and Alain-G. Gagnon, eds., Canadian Politics, 3rd Edition, (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1999). 9 Ibid, 125. 51 concludes, was even more wi l l ing to give ministerial authority to those who desired it. Chretien "expects his cabinet ministers to manage their portfolio responsibilities using their individual statutory authority." 1 0 The Minister of Foreign Affairs is one individual in the Canadian system that has enjoyed marginal success and power in policy creation during the Chretien years. This power is not given to this minister; it must be taken. Some of Chretien's ministers were wi l l ing and eager to seize this opportunity, and were quite successful at influencing Prime Minister. Others were more wi l l ing to defer to, the P M and thus contributed to the centralization that occurred. At least during the early years "Chretien.. .meddled remarkably little in substantial portfolios such as...Foreign Affairs and has given ministers in these portfolios considerable latitude." 1 1 Andre Ouellet: 1993-1996 Despite requests from L loyd Axworthy that he wanted the position, Ouellet was the first Foreign Affairs Minister appointed by Chretien when he took office in 1993. Toml in characterizes him as " a consummate politician whose policy streak did not run deep." 1 2 He did create the Global and Human Issues Bureau within the department, "an innovative body designed to recast the department's thinking on emerging issues such as the environment, crime and terrorism." This move strengthens the advisory role of the department by modernizing its thinking, but is not really designed for big decision 1 0 Ibid, 126. 1 1 Bakvis, "Autocracy in need of Reform" p. 66. 1 2 Brian W. Tomlin, "On a Fast Track to a Ban: The Canadian Policy Process", in : Maxwell Cameron, Robert J. Lawson, and Brian W. Tomlin, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 194. 1 3 Lloyd Axworthy, Navigating a New World, (Canada: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), p. 47. 52 making powers or to create a shift in a new direction in foreign policy, simply a refocus of the thinking at the time. One interesting piece of information about Ouellet is that it was him, not Axworthy, who first thought of the idea of a ban on anti-personnel landmines. Axworthy gives him due credit: Our government was eager to be involved. As early as 1994, my predecessor, Andre Ouellet, had begun to advocate to the defense minister, David Collenette, the idea of declaring a moratorium on the use of land mines by Canadian forces to demonstrate Canadian seriousness. 1 4 Ouellet even went so far as to issue a statement demanding Canada destroy its stockpiles of mines at a time when the government was officially opposed to a ban. 1 5 Much of the government focus in the first years after Chretien was elected was on domestic issues, but Ouellet fought for recognition for foreign issues. It was when Axworthy came in, however, that the limits of a minister's power were truly pushed. L l oyd Axwor thy : 1996 - 2000 Axworthy has been credited as being "blessed with ample native intelligence, a prodigious memory, and a profound belief in the value of the 'hands-on,' direct delivery approach to pol icy-making." 1 6 A strong regional advocate earlier in his career, Axworthy had always tried to use his posts in ways that benefited the West. 1 7 Having established himself as a strong regional minister in the early 1980s, and desiring to branch out, Axworthy had wanted the position of Foreign Affairs Minister when his party formed the government under Chretien in 1993. He had previously held three different Cabinet posts 1 4 Ibid, 133. 1 5 Tomlin, "Fast Track to a Ban", 185. 1 6 Herman Bakvis, Regional Ministers: Power and Influence in the Canadian Cabinet, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), p. 182. 1 7 Ibid,. 201. 53 and had served as external affairs critic during the Mulroney government. When Chretien took power, however, Axworthy was assigned to be Minister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification. In 1996 there was a Cabinet shuffle and he got his previous wish to be Minister of Foreign Affairs. Unlike Ouellet, Axworthy was a lot more vocal and independent in his foreign policy approach, and thus drew a lot of credit to himself for foreign policy developments during his years as the minister of Foreign Affairs. When Axworthy took the helm of the department he had a very clear view of how foreign policy should be structured in Canada, and did everything he could to focus Canada's foreign policy on the issue of human security and the protection of individual rights around the world. He felt that by helping others in the world we were helping ourselves in the long run. The values we express internationally help define who we are when other distinctions are being erased. Equally our welfare is tied to international rules and practices. Daily while at Foreign Affairs I saw how little separates what we do inside our border from what happens outside and vice versa... What this means is that we win in a stable, equitable cooperative world. We lose when it is turbulent, divisive and unfair. It only makes sense, therefore, to examine carefully how we can do to tip the global system in a constructive way. 1 9 The goal becomes global cooperation rather than competition and foreign affairs as a humanitarian effort rather than international business or military strategy. Human security is the focal point of the approach Axworthy takes and he defines that as well: The concept of human security emerged as the lens through which to view the international scene. The security risk to individuals was our focal point, and around that we [the Department of Foreign Affairs] developed a strategy for working towards new standards of international behaviour, 1 8 Owen Wood, "Lloyd Axworthy Profile", CBC News Online, ONLINE [2004], Available: (2004). 1 9 Axworthy, Navigating a New World, 1. 54 using soft power tools of communication and persuasion. While simple in concept, in some ways it was revolutionary, since it set the notion of human rights against deeply held precepts of national rights. 2 0 It immediately becomes clear that when appointed to the department, Axworthy had a definite agenda. It was human security focused, and strongly against the use of hard power by any state, allied or not. These were values that he carried with him into the department and values that stayed with him and helped determine the foreign policy that Canada was to adopt during his time in foreign affairs. His actions prove that there was room for a minister to have an opinion in Cabinet, but the question is whether his opinions were translated into policy. He enjoyed a great amount of independence and support from the P M . As we wi l l also see, this ministerial independence allowed him to pursue many goals, and garner a lot of the international spotlight. Very few ministers outshine their prime ministers on the international stage. Axworthy did, and proves that i f he or she possess the right qualities, and share similar views as the P M , a Foreign Affairs Minister can rise to a very powerful position in foreign policy development in Canada. So how was the relationship between Axworthy and Chretien and how important is the notion of 'shared views' to the success of a Foreign Minister? Axworthy stood for the notion of human security, soft power, and international development. Chretien agreed with him on most issues and granted him a lot of independence on foreign policy. The important question become whether or not their shared views on these issues were the only reason Axworthy was granted such leeway. D id Axworthy really wrest control of foreign policy development from Chretien, or did Chretien simply give it up to someone that he knew would act in the same way he would? 2 0 Ibid, 4-5. 55 When Axworthy mentions Chretien in his book all of the references seem to show that the two of them had a pretty good relationship and worked together on many issues from African Aid, to the Landmine Ban, to a number of other issues. Over and over again we see that no matter what Axworthy took to the Prime Minister, on almost any issue the Foreign Minister had the complete support of the Prime Minister and in the issues where Chretien took control, Axworthy reciprocated this level of support, with the notable exception of relations towards China, where he felt Chretien put economic relations ahead of calling the country on its human rights abuses. On their personal relationship: He certainly gave me a good deal of space. We had, I believe, a relationship of mutual respect, born out of the many years serving together in the House of Commons, and had forged a bond of loyalty during his leadership run.2 1 This relationship clearly worked in Axworthy's favor in to persuade and advise the Prime Minister, as well as make decisions in the department of Foreign Affairs. Axworthy has always been in favour of a more expansive policy making process and has argued that more democratization must occur in Foreign Affairs.22 When he was a member of the Liberal Caucus Committee on External Affairs and National Defence, Axworthy stated: "We need a foreign policy decided in a more democratic, open way.. .There must be a clear role for Parliament in making decisions."23 This was a view he held throughout his career. 2 1 Ibid, 57. 2 2 Denis Stairs, "Transnational Pluralism and the "Democratization of Canadian Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Millennium", in William Cross, ed., Political Parties, Representation, and Electoral Democracy in Canada, (Don Mills Ont.: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 173-4. 2 3 Ibid, 173. 56 The problem was that any role for the public or Parliament was "advisory only.' Despite Axworthy's desires "nothing that has happened in recent years that is really new." 2 5 Parliament is still "largely - although not completely - bypassed" 2 6 in foreign policy creation and power still resides, to a great extent, with the head of government. This is not something ignored by Axworthy in his work. The final and most telling issue however is the one that brings the argument full circle and clears up any confusion about where the 'buck stops' and shows that while he was largely independent, he was still under the control of Chretien. While they shared a lot of views and were able to complete a lot as a team in foreign policy, Axworthy knew that i f they differed, it was Chretien who would win the policy debate. As previously mentioned, China was a sticking point. "There were, of course, certain prime ministerial lines that one didn't cross without a great deal of care and some trepidation, relations with China being a prime example." In this case Axworthy wanted to admonish China for its human rights violations. Chretien felt that relations with China were too important to alienate, in this case Axworthy had to acquiesce to the Prime Minister. For his part, Chretien alludes to a cordial relationship in his book Straight From the Heart where he speaks well of Axworthy on several occasions. He speaks about campaigning for h i m 2 8 and how powerful he was as a minister. 2 9 Little else is offered about the two, or their relationship, but it should be noted that the first edition of the book was written in 1984 and revised in 1994, before Axworthy was Foreign Minister. Ibid, 174. Ibid, 175. Ibid, 176. Axworthy, Navigating a New World, 57. Chretien, Straight from the Heart, 119. Ibid, 159, 57 Axworthy had very strong views about how foreign policy should be structured. Nossal comments: "Axworthy had very particular ideas about a range of foreign policy 30 issues." His idea was that "Canada would cease to be merely a camp follower of the United States, but would play a leadership role in international politics.. .Axworthy had been the leader of a group within the Liberal Party that was vociferously opposed to economic globalism."31 Perhaps it is this intensity and ferocity towards a certain view of foreign policy that was the reason Chretien kept him out of the department early in his term. Chretien agreed with him on a number of issues, but perhaps he wanted a minister he could easily reign in. This was something Axworthy was not. He would follow orders when swords crossed, as he did over China, but would use every inch of slack he was given to shift foreign policy in a direction he felt was best for the country. After Axworthy we return to the prior pattern of the Prime Minister taking more direct control over the direction of foreign policy in Canada and a couple of ministers more willing to defer to the Prime Minister. John Man ley : 2000-2001 Manley did not spend a great deal of time in the department, at least compared to his predecessors. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in October 2000 and was eventually shifted to the post of Deputy Prime Minister in January 2002. His time is significant for two key reasons. First he was closer to the Prime Minister than any foreign minister in recent history. Second, he was foreign Minister during the aftermath of the biggest terrorist attack ever perpetrated on North American soil; the September 11 t h 2001 attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Centre. 3 0 Nossal, The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, p. 188. 58 Manley was very close to Chretien, particularly during Chretien's later years in power. This relationship was clear and many touted him " a longtime star of Prime Minister Jean Chretien's cabinet" 3 2 as he was shifted from high profile post to high profile post. In the span of three years he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance. These posts were some of the most powerful and influential in Canadian government. Many M P ' s work all of their lives to get a shot at just one of these posts, Manley held all of them in a three year span. This leads one to believe that his appointment was one that was more for political reasons than for any feeling that he had any unique abilities that would suit the post. It appeared that Chretien was grooming someone to take over for him once he retired. This is not to say that Manley was not competent at his posts, which he was. Unl ike Axworthy, who had a definite agenda within the department, it appears that Chretien and Manley were more focused on how Manley being Minister of Foreign Affairs could be a stepping-stone towards the goal of eventually becoming prime minister. The biggest event that Manley faced as Foreign Minister was the September 11 t h terrorist attack on the United States. It was definitely Chretien who seemed to be in charge of most of the Canadian government reaction. It appeared initially that Chretien and Manley were on the same page, policy wise, but then they started to drift apart. Just when it appeared their views had diverged, Manley was shifted out of the department. While the immediate reaction to 9/11 was that of sympathy and offering help, as the situation cooled it became apparent that Chretien had his own personal views of what 3 2 Louise Elliot, "John Manley Quitting Politics", CNEWS Politics, ONLINE [2004], Available: (Nov 23, 2003). 59 happened and made the following statement to C B C regarding the attacks on September 11 2001. When you're powerful like you are, you guys [the U.S.], is the time to be nice.. .You know, you cannot exercise your powers to the point that of humiliation for the others. And that is what the Western world, not only the Americans, the Western world has to realize. While this was said after Manley had left the department, there is evidence that their views were not the same. Just five days before the Chretien comments; Manley, now Deputy Prime Minister, had the following to say in a C B C interview of his own: Deputy Prime Minister John Manley says Canada doesn't need to be different from the U.S. to prove it's sovereign.. "If we don't want to be treated like a junior partner we should stop thinking of ourselves as a junior partner. We should think of ourselves as an equal partner and conduct ourselves accordingly," said M a n l e y . 3 4 The equal partner vs. "you guys" distinction is one that should not be lost and reflects the view of each to the U.S. It would appear that they differed on the issue, but by the time any policy clashes may have occurred, Manley was out and B i l l Graham was in. Bill Graham: 2001-2003 B i l l Graham would come to be the final foreign minister to serve under Chretien. He is one of the few that survived the Paul Martin switch over in late 2003. Graham came in with a fair background in the department having chaired the foreign affairs committee since 1995. The most significant event in foreign policy during his time at the helm was the second war in Iraq that occurred in early 2003. This was also an event that was almost single handedly dealt with by Chretien, at least that was the view the public Jean Chretien to Peter Mansbridge, C B C News Online Staff, "Chretien Interview on September 11", CBC News Online, ONLINE [2004], Available: interview.html. (Sept. 16,2002). 3 4 C B C News Online Staff, "Post-Sept. 11 relations with U.S. hurt Canadian sovereignty: critics", CBC News Online, ONLINE [2004], Available: (Sept. 5, 2002). 60 had. Since Graham was in the department so recently, not much is written about his relationship with Chretien and there is less available for analysis than the previous ministers. Sti l l , a few observations are clear. Almost every story printed about Canada's decision not to get involved in the Iraq War paints Chretien as the sole decision maker. Graham agreed with his views, and it appears they were much on the same page, but it was clear that the decision was solely Chretien's to make. For what it is worth, it appears Graham was more convinced than Chretien that Iraq was a threat, but never voiced any criticism of the P M over the decision not to get involved. It becomes clear from examining the relationship between the foreign minister and prime minister during the Chretien years that it was not a relationship of peers, but more one of employee and supervisor. Several times the foreign minister, i f he wished, was able to pursue his own goals and work on an agenda that suited his platform. When push came to shove however, it was Chretien who always made the final decision. Most of the time i f a minister had a criticism it was not until after retirement that it was shared, or very subtly once he was out of the department, as in Manley's case. The united front position is very clear, and the position united behind was the one that the prime minister dictated. One thing that was proven however was that the Foreign Minister was not the lap dog of the P M , at least i f he didn't want to be. Axworthy, in particular, took every inch of slack given him to pursue his agenda and constantly tried to fulf i l l his goals even i f they conflicted with those of Chretien, as they did over China. The Civil Servants: Mandarins No More 61 Far removed from their mandarin days, the civil service at the time Chretien came to power was perhaps less influential than it had ever been. The Mulroney era ended with the civil servants in External being exposed to public blame over the al-Mashat affair and damaged in their credibility. How was the system to run in the Chretien years? Chretien, upon coming into power, made clear that "he wanted to return decision making to ministers and their departments."35 The goal was to return power and ability to ministers and departments, particularly departments whose civil servants had taken a beating under the Mulroney government. The problem however, was that little was actually done, to return this power and, i f anything, more power was actually taken from the departments by Chretien. Savoie interviewed ministers under Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien and all seemed to agree that in each government decisions were largely made in the same manner. They all revealed that major or extremely controversial issues are often resolved by the prime minister, a few key advisors, and a few senior ministers outside the Cabinet committee system...Chretien has left the machinery of government at the centre intact and as large and as powerful as it was under Trudeau or Mulroney. If anything he has enlarged its scope.36 Clearly there is little room left for anyone, let alone civil servants who are outside the centre of government, to work independently of the political executive. There is a feeling in Canada that it is the elected official whose job is on the line when a policy decision is made and thus policy debate should not be left to department staff. This leads to a Minister; "when expecting controversy over a decision [to].. .act in the knowledge that Savoie, Governing from the Centre,. 325. Ibid. 325. 62 colleagues or the centre have been consulted." This way i f there is blame to be laid, the minister did everything he/she could to let the top know what the options and decisions were. If it is a c iv i l service decision the minister is supposed to take the blame. If it is made by the centre, the minister is in the clear. For this reason the relationship between the Foreign Minister and the civ i l service, the key link between the foreign affairs department and the Prime Minister, has also seemed to deteriorate further since the al-Mashat affair. A t the time that Governing from the Centre was written, Savoie mentions that both Andre Ouellet and L loyd Axworthy had negative relationships with, and negative comments about, the civ i l service. This is in part due to a recent phenomenon that Savoie calls the rise of the "macho ministers." 3 8 These macho ministers are ministers who work against the advice of their own departments, instead going on their own instinct, and thus communication and productivity between minister and department are severely compromised. Even worse is that "Macho ministers take delight in challenging or even overturning departmental 39 positions or decisions" . Brian Tobin behaved in this manner in the dispute with the Spanish over Turbot fishing and remarked: "at times like those, you have to trust your instincts, and I d i d . " 4 0 Many, including Foreign Affairs, 4 1 were upset by Tobin's brash style, and even the Prime Minister was not impressed with Tobin's 'in-your-face' approach to diplomacy. 4 2 Staff working under these ministers are often upset with this approach because i f there is a bad decision made or ineffective policy adopted, it is the 3 7 Ibid, 56. 3 8 Ibid. 258. 3 9 Ibid, 259. 4 0 Brian Tobin, All in Good Time, (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2002), p. 131. 4 1 Ibid, 131. 4 2 Ibid, 124. 63 civil service that takes the blame for not providing the minister with the proper advice and information. Needless to say, i f the civil service cannot get through to their own ministers in their own departments, their chances of getting through to the prime minister are slim to none. Truly the image of the departmental mandarin with respected power and influence is long gone and so is any power and influence that may have existed. There is still power to be held by civil servants within Canadian governments; now it is just in different bodies. The PMO and PCO, both filled with civil servants, have become the new mandarins of Canadian government. The PMO: Partisan Politics The Prime Ministers Office is the highest-ranking partisan body in Canadian government. This body is made up of officials that report directly to the prime minister and no one else. With respect to policy creation, the PMO does not have a policy area of its own. The PMO's policy area is every policy area. Its mandate is to advise the prime minister on the political benefits and costs associated with every area of policy he or she faces. Unworried about how department staff feel about the intrusion of their policy areas, "senior PMO staff will get involved in whatever issue they and the prime minister think they should."4 3 The minister of any affected department may offer his advice on the issue, but since the prime minister holds ultimate decision-making power, and the PMO is his private advisory body, they are never far from his ear. This setup has led to the PMO having a great deal of influence in Canadian government. Originally, Chretien had wanted to minimize the role of the PMO in his government as much as he had wanted to strengthen the role of Cabinet. Having 4 3 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 103. 64 previously been in Cabinet himself; "he had chafed under the central PMO and PCO controls imposed on ministers in the Trudeau years."44 He once expressed his distaste for these two offices, but that feeling seemed to disappear over time. As Chretien filled the office with those close to him he warmed to the idea of his own personal advisory agency and started using it more and more, eventually favouring its advice over that of his ministers. Greenspon and Wilson-Smith comment about Chretien's appointment of Mitchell Sharp to the PMO in a dollar-a-year position so he could keep his "mentor" at his side to offer advice to the "star pupil." 4 5 By the end, things were much the same as they were under Trudeau. For their part, the Ministers detested the PMO officials just as much as they did the civil service. Chretien had a strong dislike for the PMO when he was a Cabinet minister, and many of those serving as Cabinet ministers under him felt much the same. PMO staff members "do not hesitate to.. .challenge a Cabinet Minister." 4 6 There have also been high profile cases where the PMO has not hesitated to intervene in the work of a minister if they feel that the department is being handled poorly. These interventions have even been known to come through very public means from time to time, as they did when the PMO leaked embarrassing information about David Dingwall to the media over highways funding in an effort to discipline him 4 7 It is the PMO who disciplines ministers when they make mistakes and this leaves the ministers with a bad opinion of the PMO. Greenspon Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 35. Ibid, 37. Savoie, Governing form the Centre, 102. Ibid, 103. 65 Worse to ministers is the idea that these staffers are somewhat untouchable because they are so close to the prime minister. Wanting a bit of revenge at a P M O staffer who had angered him, Brian Tobin once remarked "I 'd like to get h im in cabinet with me on an equal foot ing." 4 8 This animosity goes to prove that there was just as much of a rift between the ministers and the P M O in the Chretien government as there was between the ministers and their own departments. One definitely does not get the idea that this was a healthy environment in which to devise policy. We have seen little in the way of encouraging teamwork within the Chretien government so far. Next is an examination of the Privy Counci l Office. The PCO: Bridge Over Troubled Waters? We have seen that there is a great deal of division between the P M O and ministers, but can the P C O bridge that gap as they are the body that is supposed to be non-partisan, working for both the prime minister and Cabinet? Also, how would the P C O , which is supposed to coordinate policy, work with the department of foreign affairs? Once again, as with the P M O , Chretien's vow was that "he would not allow the Privy Counci l Off ice.. .to monopolize power." 4 9 Many of the ministers knew that this was his feeling at the beginning. [Former Finance Minister Paul] Martin knew that Chretien had resented the manner in which the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office had dominated ministers during the Trudeau Years and, so much the product of his personal experiences, would refrain from doing the Ibid, 103. Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 35. Ibid, 163. 66 To his credit, for a while, the P C O was relegated to the sidelines. Martin in particular was granted a good deal of freedom, as was Axworthy in foreign affairs. On one occasion, when confronted by the P C O with a finance policy that was particularly sensitive, Chreiten simply replied: "I am not going to tell my finance minister what to do . " 5 1 After a while however, this promise turned out to be fleeting and the P C O maintained a great deal of power in the Chretien government, as it had during the previous governments. The P C O played a significant role in the landmine ban. It was Axworthy who got a lot of the credit, and rightly so, for getting the process going after being handed the portfolio by Chretien in 1996. What we find however is that without the P C O and the prime minister being on side, not much would likely have been accomplished, or at least accomplished so quickly. Savoie reveals how the Ottawa summit occurred. Consultations with senior government officials reveal, for example, that the key organizers of the high profile land mines summit in Ottawa in late November 1997 were from P M O and P C O , not from Foreign Affairs. As he left the conference, Prime Minister Chretien turned to the assistant secretary of Foreign and Defense Policy from P C O and observed, 'Congratulations, you have organized a very successful conference'. The prime minister left little doubt as to who was the driving force behind the conference, and his comments were not lost on anyone, including officials from Foreign Af fa i rs . 5 2 This illustrates the competitive and uncooperative manner in which the different agencies within the Chretien government worked together, i f one can call it that. The P C O , despite its supposed coordinating mandate, is not the solution to the fighting between departments that occurred in Chretien's government. Other Sources: Adding Fuel to the Fire 5 1 Ibid, p. 163. 5 2 Savoie, Governing from the Centre, 135. 67 As i f it wasn't bad enough that these agencies were fighting each other, other sources were constantly getting involved in the policy debates and adding fuel to the already roaring fire. These people, un-elected, but affected by the policy process, were often called in to advise on policy areas that affected them, but often were unable to offer workable solutions. One of these sources prominent in the foreign policy debate is the military. If it is peacekeeping, land mine bans, missile defence, or any number of issues, the military is often involved in the policy process. For the military, foreign policy is often a key issue as it is he military that is sent overseas. Foreign policy is also tied through the military to domestic policy issues such as defense and military spending through finance. These involvements serve to complicate the foreign policy process. Conclusions The dynamic within foreign policy is anything but smooth and unproblematic. After examining the parties involved it is a wonder that anything gets done at all. The egos continually seem to clash and it is no wonder that the prime minister is directly involved in almost every decision in the foreign policy portfolio. Each party involved seems to have a loathing for all others and the connecting factor is that all seem to be continually competing for the ear of the prime minister. It seems that seldom is one body or individual wil l ing to give credit to another and i f they do it is only grudgingly. We have seen that the prime minister does not hold absolute power and there are others who are directly involved in the policy process. The roles of these bodies cannot be discounted and the government from the centre argument can only be taken so far. On 68 the other hand; there is a mentality that in each and every case the prime minister holds the ultimate decision making power and that while it may not be absolute, it is certainly very close to absolute. Even Bakvis grants this. These checks [on prime ministerial power] are not always capable of being held accountable by popularly elected bodies, are inefficient or idiosyncratic, and as Savoie notes, have a tendency to act as "bolts of electricity", leading the centre to resort to control rather than openness or dialogue. 5 3 Bakvis therefore says that to truly combat the Savoie argument, reforms have to be made to the system because the current system, while not completely as Savoie puts it, is certainly closer to governing from the centre than primus inter pares. It is hard to imagine that any decision can be made when examining this set of actors, but every day decisions that affect the way the Canadian government responds to foreign issues emerge. Do these actors actually work together for a cooperative solution, or does the prime minister finally just pick a side he prefers and listens to the loudest voice in the shouting match? Are the opinions of these groups considered, or does the prime minister simply fol low his or her own agenda? By examining a case study these questions can be answered. That is the intention of the next chapter. Bakvis, "Autocracy in Need o f Reform?" 76. 69 Chapter 4: The Landmine Ban It has been shown that the Canadian government appears to be one that is prime minister centric, with minor roles for the ministers, Cabinet, and government departments. The purpose of this chapter is to apply a real case to this theory and determine its validity. What was the importance of the prime minister to foreign policy during the Chretien era? Could the other players achieve policy success without, or in spite of, the involvement of the head of government? This chapter wi l l explore the international campaign to ban anti personnel land mines. It is an issue central to the cause of human security, a cause that many within the Chretien government became proponents of. The landmine ban had been called "one of the most significant Canadian policy achievements in decades" 1 and Chretien said it was "without precedent or parallel in either international disarmament or international humanitarian law." A lot of the credit for the eventual ban and its acceptance in Canada went to the foreign affairs minister at the time, L loyd Axworthy. From the outside it appears that the landmine ban was Axworthy's project and that without him, it would not have gone ahead. This case provides us with the opportunity to test i f a single minister can be more important to the success of a foreign policy than the prime minister? We have found that in policy creation, the Prime Minister is in complete control most of the time and at the very least must approve all initiatives; this does not fit with the idea that it was Axworthy, not Chretien, who spearheaded the move to ban landmines. ' Maxwell A. Cameron, "Democratization of Foreign Policy: The Ottawa Process as a Model", in : Maxwell Cameron, Robert J. Lawson, and Brian W. Tomlin, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 444. 2 Robert J. Lawson, Mark Gwozdecky, Jill Sinclair, and Ralph Lysyshyn, "The Ottawa Process and the International Movement to Ban Anti-Personnel Mines" in: Maxwell Cameron, Robert J. Lawson, and Brian W. Tomlin, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 181 . 70 How can this be explained? Was it Axworthy, or Chretien, who was the driving force behind the ban? It is well known that Chretien supported the ban, and considered it one of the biggest accomplishments of his government, and yet Axworthy gets most of the credit himself, even earning a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. 3 How much of this credit should actually go to Chretien? Under Savoie's model, Axworthy could never have pushed this policy initiative without the approval of the centre. There were also several within the Canadian government who opposed the ban. Were they given a legitimate chance to sway the prime minister against the ban or were they simply brushed aside and ignored because they disagreed with him? There have been multiple references to Chretien's impatient and stubborn nature on policy issues, and one would think that i f they were true then those that opposed the policy would be quickly silenced. The landmine ban was a significant policy move and one that was taken despite much pressure from opposition. Axworthy gets a lot of the credit, but one wonders i f this was indeed a case of a policy succeeding because of one of Bakvis ' 'heavyweight' ministers was behind it, or simply that Savoie's 'centre' allowed the policy to succeed. First the event wi l l be examined and then the role of each policy actor. Background The campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines is one that is well documented and was not originally started within the Canadian government, but by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide. Long before the Ottawa Process to ban landmines in 1996 there was a movement going to end the use of these mines. The Canadian 3 Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, "Llyod Axworthy: A Man of Peace", Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Website, ONLINE [2004, Available: 1-en.asp. (Apr. 6, 2004). 71 government also worked to end their use by Canadian forces long before the ban went international. The campaign was organized in the early 1990s and was consolidated in October 1992 by bringing together the efforts of groups such as Human Rights Watch, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Mines Advisory group and Physicians for Human Rights 4 . They succeeded, with the help of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, in 1992 to get the U.S. Senate to pass a moratorium on the export of land mines and increased funding for de-mining 5. Axworthy called what the campaign did "earth moving" 6 and by the time the Ottawa process was ready to go the campaign had succeeded in making the cause to ban landmines a global humanitarian issue. Today the campaign includes: over 1,100 human rights, demining, humanitarian, children's, veterans', medical, development, arms control, religious, environmental, and women's groups in over 60 countries, who work locally, nationally, regionally, and internationally to ban antipersonnel landmines. 7 The campaign itself received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Without direct state support however, the campaign could not persuade many nations to support a ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. This is where the Canadian government came in, not exclusively, but as one of the leaders of the movement from the government side. Canada's Involvement Long before Axworthy got involved, in fact as early as 1994, there was talk within the Canadian government of a ban on anti-personnel landmines to "demonstrate 4 Williams and Stephen Goose, "The International Campaign to Ban Landmines", in: Maxwell Cameron, Robert J. Lawson, and Brian W. Tomlin, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 22. 5 Axworthy, Navigating a New World, 128. 6 Ibid, 128. 7 International Campaign to Ban Landmines, "A Brief History of the ICBL", JCBL Website, ONLINE [2004], Available: (Feb. 18, 2002). 72 Canadian seriousness" on the matter. Andre Ouellet, the Foreign Affairs Minister at the time, was a strong proponent and worked to persuade the government to accept the ban. He stated to the Canadian government in 1995 that "[landmines] should be banned not only in Canada but everywhere in the wor ld" 9 came at a time when landmines were not a major issue to government and served to get the ball roll ing on a Canadian ban. It was at this time that Axworthy became Minister of Foreign Affairs. He picked up where Ouellet had left off and continued the push for a ban. Eventually the Canadian government accepted an informal ban on the export of mines by Canada. A t the end of the Ottawa discussions on the international level in 1996, Canada called for an international ban to be put in place before the end of 1997. The treaty, created by a team interested countries and N G O s , was presented on December 3, 1997 for signature and 122 countries signed on . 1 0 By March 1999 the requisite number of ratifications had been reached (Canada ratifying the same day it signed the treaty) and the treaty came into force instituting an outright ban on the use of anti-personnel land mines and mandating the destruction of mine stockpiles. The treaty also pledged $500 mil l ion (USD) for de-mining and victim assistance. As of May 13 2004, there were 151 signatories and 142 ratifications/accessions/approvals to the treaty.1 1 Only 43 countries, including the United States, Russia and China, had yet to approve the treaty. Clearly the treaty was a huge success and a powerful statement towards human security and Canada played a key part in its creation. Axworthy, p. 133. 9 Brian W. Tomlin, "Fast Track to a Ban", 185. 1 0 Ibid, 148. 1 1 International Campaign to Ban Landmines, "Ratification Updates", ICBL Website, ONLINE [2004], Available: (May 13, 2004). 73 Primary Role Players for Canada Lloyd Axworthy Axworthy is certainly deserving of a good deal of credit for the landmine ban, and i f someone were to attach a face to the Canadian movement in this respect, Axworthy would likely be it. He was hailed by many as a driving force and even earned a personal nomination in 1997 for the Nobel Peace prize. Credit aside however, it is important to find out just how integral to the cause he was in order to determine how much power he held. Axworthy gives himself some credit for his role in the Ottawa process in his own book Navigating a New World. He paints himself as not the only player from the Canadian standpoint, but certainly as one of the few key players representing Canada in the Ottawa process. His own words relay the fact that he was one of the people holding the power in this process, even perhaps more than Chretien himself. He constantly uses the term "we" when referring to the actions taken to during the process, referring to himself and D F A I T , not really including Chretien as a key inside player. 1 3 It would appear that Foreign Affairs was given a great deal of independence from the prime minister, at least according to Axworthy. A n example of this comes from Axworthy's account of the announcement of the creation of the treaty at the end of the Ottawa discussion. U .S. President Harry Truman is famous for his saying that "the buck stops here." That morning in the crowded backroom of the old Ottawa railway 1 2 DFAIT, "Llyod Axworthy: A Man of Peace", Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Website, ONLINE [2004, Available: (Apr. 6, 2004). 1 3 Axworthy, Navigating a New World, 134-5. 74 station, I understood what he meant. There was no one else to pass the decision onto. I said, "It's the right thing. Let's do it". 1 4 In saying 'Le t ' s ' Axworthy was presumably referring to a group of officials from D F A I T and a couple of close advisors. Notably absent from this group was Jean Chretien. In fact during Axworthy's recounting of the entirety of the Ottawa process Chretien not included in much of the discussion. The only mentions are of his approval of the process, 1 5 and his efforts to convince the leaders of the U.S. and Russia to sign on . 1 6 The idea that a foreign minister had the power, after a simple stamp of approval, to announce a highly risky treaty is quite stunning. The landmine ban had the possibility of making Canada look "audacious, even impudent" 1 7 internationally due to its breaking of diplomatic tradition. Usually treaties are negotiated between heads of government, and only after much debate. Axworthy had breached this protocol and some, including the U.S., were quite upset at the sudden announcement. "We were totally surprised," notes one member of the U.S. team. "We, had been assured that i f we came [to the Ottawa Conference] that the Ottawa Declaration would not be close ended.. .Then on the last day of the conference Mr . Axworthy dropped the bomb on us."..."they essentially 1 R boxed us in and made everybody extremely angry." Despite the reservations of many superpowers that did not sign on, the treaty went ahead and was labeled a success. This revelation about the process, and Axworthy's central role within it is somewhat hard to believe when one has ascribed to the thesis of "power from the centre" put forth by Savoie. It is acceptable that a minister would have some degree of latitude, 1 4 Ibid, 137. 1 5 Ibid, 141. 1 6 Ibid, 146, 150. 1 7 Ibid, 136. 1 8 Christopher Kirkey, "Washington's Response to the Ottawa Land Mines Process", Canadian-American Public Policy, 46, (August 2001), p. 8. 75 but the latitude that was given to Axworthy was incredible in this case. According to him, it would appear that he was the one who actually made the decision to promote an international treaty to ban landmines. That the prime minister did not take a central role in the negotiation of an international treaty is completely against the concept of the prime minister as the ultimate power holder. When one thinks of a statement like "the buck stops here" in Canadian government the immediate conclusion is that this is a description of the P M , not a minister. In this case Axworthy used it to describe his own role. In his defense, Axworthy does not take all of the credit for the process, and as previously mentioned, does defer some of the kudos to Chretien for his effort, although failed, to get the U.S. and Russia on board with the treaty. He also hints at where the ultimate power lies in Canadian government by saying that "the key to this commitment [to a Canadian ban] was the prime foreign affairs, prime ministerial approval, or at least acquiescence, is essential."19 It would appear that the fact that Chretien was on board and approved of the process washelpful, and essential in achieving the ban. The impression Axworthy gives is that direct involvement is not required, but certainly acquiescence is. As we know, there are two sides to every story. It is to be expected that by his own account, Axworthy would highlight his own role in the process over that of any others. How much Axworthy was essential, as an individual, to the cause can be examined by looking at the roles of others involved. What others thought of his involvement, and how they perceived the role of the prime minister in the decision making process are key to developing a balanced analysis. The next task is assessing the 1 9 Axworthy, Navigating a New world, 141. 76 role of the prime minister in the Ottawa process explicitly apart from the role of the foreign affairs minister. Jean Chret ien When one looks at the contributions of Axworthy to the landmine ban, it would appear that Chretien played a minor role in the process, serving only as a negotiator with other foreign leaders, and approving the process. It would appear that Axworthy did most of the footwork on the ban, and was the integral player in the process with Chretien simply signing off on it. If power truly does radiate from the centre, then we wi l l see that Chretien was the player who was integral in the process and that one without him it would have failed. The relationship between Chretien and Axworthy is important to understand in knowing how this process unfolded. When Chretien was first elected Prime Minister he put an emphasis on returning power to the ministers of his cabinet. This suited Axworthy 20 perfectly. Axworthy had been a supporter of Chretien in the leadership selection process and so had gained his trust. This meant that the Prime Minister was wi l l ing to grant Axworthy a degree of latitude in his portfolio. 2 1 Even on occasion when Axworthy's opinions or actions went against the grain of government, as they did over China, he was not transferred or fired from his Cabinet post. 2 2 This suggests that the prime minister had a great deal of respect for him and was wi l l ing to forgive minor indiscretions. Axworthy had some problems with Chretien during his time with Human Resources Development Canada. Axworthy was keen on "making a mark" in the 2 0 Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision, 11 2 1 Nossal, Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, 224 2 2 Greenspon and Wilson-Smith, Double Vision,. 248 77 department and was in favour of substantial reforms to the way the program was run. Chretien was not too fond of Axworthy's outspoken nature and this is part of the reason he was initially not appointed to Foreign Affairs, getting H R D C instead. Axworthy held views on China and free trade that Chretien was against. Chretien felt by appointing Ouellet he would get someone "unlikely to rock the boat." 2 3 Despite this there were signs that Chretien respected Axwor thy 2 4 and eventually did give him the post he desired in Foreign Affairs. Their relationship was neither cold nor particularly warm, but there was a good deal of mutual respect that existed and Chreiten would often support Axworthy's initiatives, as long as they did not oppose his. As far as his own opinions of the landmine ban, Chretien was strongly for it. It was not a situation where a minister had to try to sway the opinion of the prime minister and fight for permission to pursue the idea. In fact, Chretien has long been a supporter of the idea of human security and the need to pursue humanitarian goals in foreign policy. He has repeatedly argued that increased focus on humanitarian principles and human rights in foreign policy and has been a supporter of humanitarian interventions 2 5 Since Chretien supported the ban, it was much easier for Axworthy to act in its pursuit, since he was not in direct opposition to government, something that wi l l immediately k i l l most, i f not al l , agendas of a minister. Apart from the fact that Chretien was not directly opposed to the proposed policy; there was much more that he did to ensure that it would pass. During his research, Savoie talked to a few government officials about the landmine ban specifically. One P C O official commented on who' they thought the real power player was in the Ottawa process. 2 3 Ibid, 45. 2 4 Ibid, 77. 2 5 Shawn McCarthy, "Give UN right to intervene, PM pleads", The Globe and Mail, (Sep. 24, 2003). 78 'The success of the treaty banning land mines had everything to do with the prime minister. Only the prime minister could make it happen in the Ottawa system and have access to the other heads of government to get them to focus on the issue. It is one case where [Lloyd] Axworthy [the minister of Foreign Affairs] gets a great deal of the credit, but where the prime minister is largely responsible for the success.' He added, 'One would have to be extremely na'ive about international relations to think that a minister could deliver the so-called Ottawa process which led 125 countries to sign a ban of land mines. Without the prime minister's direct involvement, we would still be trying to get 12 countries to sign.' 2 6 This is certainly a statement that undermines the achievements of Axworthy and minimizes his contribution to the whole process. It is clear that this PCO member has a feeling that Axworthy would have gotten nowhere without the direct involvement of Chretien. This view is not exclusive to Axworthy's role, but the whole department of Foreign Affairs. Chretien credited the PMO and PCO, for their role in the Ottawa Process. Axworthy does not credit either the PMO or the PCO as playing any significant role in the landmine ban. There is certainly some conflict over who played what role and who deserves the credit. This leads one to believe that the role of Chretien was the important one and Axworthy was not integral to the process. What was it that Chretien could accomplish that Axworthy could not? The prime minister certainly has powers that the minister of foreign affairs does not have, and in this case it took the use of these powers to ensure that the Ottawa Process would succeed. We can assess the importance of Chretien, and power from the centre by looking at the actions that Chretien took and determining whether Axworthy could have succeeded without the involvement and intervention of the prime minister in the landmine ban process. 2 6 Savoie, Governing From the Centre, 135. 79 The first major role that Chretien played was before the ban was ever taken international. Before Axworthy could introduce an international treaty there had to be assurance that such a ban would be accepted in Canada. This meant getting the Department of Defence on board, including Defence Minister David Collenette. Axworthy and the Department of Defence did not see eye to eye on many issues, including defence spending , the role of N O R A D and missile defence all of which Axworthy has repeatedly criticized. The response to the landmine ban was no different. Defence had been against the idea of a ban on anti-personnel mines since the time Ouellet first suggested it. Defence argued that "safety of Canadian soldiers would be * 30 jeopardized without [landmines]" and that it was too much of a risk to ban a weapon, that i f used properly, could save Canadian lives in battle. Defence argues that it would destroy its mine stockpile when "effective and humane alternatives" 3 1 were found. They also argue that the landmine process was "only the thin wedge in D F A I T ' s efforts to control D N D weapons po l icy . " 3 2 The process appeared to be at a standstill. Eventually Axworthy took over, but not much appeared to be going forward for quite some time. Collenette and Axworthy were eventually able to work out their differences. 3 3 This was a startling turn of events. One minute the Department of Defence was against the idea, vehemently opposed it would seem, and then the D O D are all of the sudden wil l ing to work out their differences and support the ban. This leads one to speculate 2 7 Axworthy, Navigatin a New World, 97. 2 8 Ibid, 103. 2 9 Ibid, 103. 3 0 Valarie Warmington and Celina Tuttle, "The Canadian Campaign", in Maxwell Cameron, Robert J. Lawson, and Brian W. Tomlin, eds., To Walk Without Fear: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 50. 3 1 Tomlin, "Fast Track to a Ban", 191. 3 2 Ibid, 191. 3 3 Axworthy, Navigating a New World, 135. 80 about what was going on behind the scenes. Axworthy states that it was the close nature of Cabinet that enabled a solution, but, perhaps, when the prime minister made his support of the ban known, Defence was "convinced" that they should work with Axworthy. Tomlin reveals that this was very much the case. [DFAIT] asked the Privy Council Office (PCO) to get involved to broker a deal between the two departments so that Canada could announce plans to destroy its stockpiles [of mines].. .the PCO foreign policy advisor, presented various options to the Prime Minister, and he opted for compromise.. .that neither party was happy with the trade-off may be a reflection of its Solomon-like wisdom. 3 4 The compromise agreed to was that one third of all Canadian mines were to be destroyed immediately and the rest after the implementation of the treaty. The idea of Chretien acting "Solomon-like" also seems to fit with the general theory. The decision by Chretien to support the efforts of DFAIT effectively silenced DND and allowed the ban to proceed without hinderance, despite their reservations. Minister's and department's hands are tied once the prime minister has spoken. On an issue of disagreement between a department and the prime minister "it is very rare that the prime minister is openly challenged in Cabinet.. .nobody wants to challenge [Chretien]." This leads one to believe that it was not necessarily Axworthy's negotiating skills that brought Defence onside, but the support of Chretien, which forced Defence to go along with the ban. It was only after "Peter Donolo of the Prime Minister's Office gave the green light" to the ban that Axworthy was allowed to make it publicly known. 3 6 Tomlin, "Fast Track to a Ban", 199. Savoie, Governing From the Centre, 86. Axworthy, Navigating a New World, 137. 81 Another reason that Chretien likely ensured success of the ban, was his role as a negotiator. Chretien was key in getting the U.S. to even consider the ban, even if they eventually did not sign on. Without him, or with Axworthy as the lead negotiator, it is likely the U.S. would not have gotten involved at all. It has already been mentioned that reaction to Axworthy's announcement of the ban by "the U.S. government was extreme anger at the Canadians."37 Some felt that the Canadian government, particularly Axworthy, was "grandstanding at [U.S.] expense."38 Chretien was friendly with several of his foreign counterparts and his friendship with former president Bi l l Clinton is well documented. It was a friendship he was going to have to rely on to try to repair damage that had already been caused by Axworthy's bold announcement. Apart from friendships, Chretien could make up for Axworthy's lack of people skills. Chretien was a relatively good negotiator, but Axworthy's awkward style,40 and tendency to come off as Anti-American 4 1 would surely have worked against him in trying to get nations of the world, some of which he deeply disagreed about policy with, to sign on to such a bold treaty. Negotiating on the world stage required a certain style that Chretien possessed and could use to support the eventual treaty and also convince the other leaders to sign on to the treaty. Chretien's stature and style, and credibility as a world leader made up for Axworthy's lacking in these areas. After all, world leaders want to negotiate with each other, not Cabinet ministers. Some would argue that there was little point in Chretien getting involved with the Americans anyway, so his importance as a negotiator was reduced. If the U.S. did not 3 7 Kirkey, "Washington's Response" 8. 3 8 Ibid, p. 8. 3 9 Savoie, Governing From the Centre, 349. 4 0 Greenspon and Wilson Smith, Double Vision, 80. 4 1 Nossal, The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, 188. 82 sign on to the ban, what was the point of him negotiating with them? One word: Money. "Without money, the treaty is a shell. Without money, all those mines wi l l stay in the ground, waiting to blow off people's feet and legs." 4 2 Whi le the U .S. didn't sign on to the treaty, they provided significant funds towards helping victims and removing mines. The U .S. government claims to have "trained about a quarter of the people involved in demining around the wor ld . " 4 3 Losing the support of the U .S. , even i f it is only informal support, is a blow that is not worth taking and is part of the reason it was so important for Chretien to get involved to calm the waters that Axworthy had unsettled. It increasingly becomes clear that the Ottawa process, and the landmine ban treaty that came out of it, could not have happened without Chretien's full support and his willingness to use his powers to ensure its success. Axworthy was integral to the cause, but could not have succeeded without the full support and help of Chretien. The power from the centre became the ultimate and required power for the success of the ban, much as Savoie would have predicted. Other Involved Parties There were also other parties that were involved in the Ottawa process with the Canadian government and tried to sway the decision one way or the other. None held the sway or power of either of the aforementioned two, but played minor roles in the policy process that are worth highlighting. O f all of the parties involved, the most strident against the ban was the defence establishment and the Department of Defence. D O D was against the ban from the start. "Canada's top generals opposed Foreign Affairs Minister L loyd Axworthy's initiative 4 2 Michael Valpy, "Landmines and the CAW model", The Globe and Mail, Dec. 2, 1997, (p. A17). 4 3 Jeff Sallot and Murray Campbell, "Mine-ban treaty given final push", The Globe and Mail, Dec. 5, 1997, (p. A4). 83 [and]... tried in vain to block the government's plan to destroy its stock of antipersonnel landmines." 4 4 A couple of military officials made their opinion known to the public and staunchly defended the use of anti-personnel mines. Generals Jean Boyle and Maurice Bari l argued that in the past, Canada has always used anti-personnel landmines properly and only against military targets. The leaders insisted the antipersonnel mines were needed to protect Canadian troops in the field 5 The opposition of these parties was not made public until well after the treaty was formed and even then many of those involved stated that they had changed their opinions of the ban, Bari l "had a change of heart, calling anti-personnel mines the 'weapon of a coward ' " 4 6 when asked about the ban when the news of his previous opposition to the ban became public. This sudden 'change of heart' suggests Cabinet and all involved were told to publicly support the prime minister's decision to go ahead with the ban, even i f they disagreed with it. This is purely speculation, but leads one to wonder what was going on behind the scenes in Cabinet meetings that would cause internal opposition to suddenly change its view. A s far as the P C O and P M O were concerned there is evidence that they were involved in the process. Chretien's lauding of their efforts, makes that clear. There is not much evidence, however, that they were a powerful advisory body in the decision making process. This is not to suggest that they did not advise the prime minister, which they most certainly did, just that there was no powerful lobbying for the cause in the same manner as Axworthy. There is also little evidence to suggest that either body was trying to work against Axworthy's initiative. If these bodies had questions about implementing 4 4 CBC News Online Staff, "Canada's military tried to stop landmine ban", CBC News, ONLINE [2003], Available: (Mar. 13 1999). 4 5 Ibid. 4 6 Ibid. 84 the ban, or were completely against it, there is little evidence that gives this position away. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also played a role in ensuring the success of the ban. For Axworthy, their involvement was an advantage in that these groups made the public aware of the problem and also served as "reinforcements in beating back opposition from inside his own department, as well as from within Cabinet itself." 4 7 Axworthy was in favour of giving N G O s "enhanced opportunities for influencing pol icy" because they were on his side and added pressure to the rest of the government to conform to what was seen as the humanitarian view. N G O ' s used powerful tactics, such as piles of shoes from landmine victims who had lost their legs, 4 9 to sway public opinion in favour of the ban, which would, in turn, help Axworthy to achieve his goal. The government could still have opposed the ban, but would have had to face a backlash from the public and N G O s that supported the ban. Axworthy, of course, couldn't have done anything without the civ i l servants within the department of foreign affairs. A lot of credit goes to them and their work. Jeffrey Simpson was one to applaud their work on the ban. Three cheers to the civ i l servants, that sometimes maligned breed. Foreign affairs officials such as Gordon Smith, Ralph Lysyshyn, Bob Lawson, Paul Heinbecker and others - people who labour in public obscurity -have done the foreign service, and by extension the country, proud. 5 0 The efforts of these people were also integral to the cause, but more in the implementation of the ban, rather than its fight to get accepted. 4 7 Stairs, "Transnational Pluralism", p. 173. 4 8 Ibid, p. 173. 4 9 Axworthy, Navigating a New world, 131-32. 5 0 Jeffrey Simpson, "A treaty that was just a dream two years ago is now a welcome reality", The Globe and Mail, Dec. 4, 1997, (p. A24). 85 Conclusions The development of the ban on anti-personnel landmines within Canada reveals two key policymakers and two principal players in the policy process. Those two are L loyd Axworthy and Jean Chretien. Both Axworthy, as foreign affairs minister, and Chretien, as prime minister, were essential to the process and suggest at the very least that this was a Cabinet driven policy initiative. The fundamental difference between the two is that Axworthy, while certainly important to the cause, and the most vocal proponent of a land mine ban, was not indispensable. Chretien, on the other hand, was. If Axworthy had not supported the initiative to ban landmines, and Chretien had, Chretien could simply have shifted Axworthy out of the portfolio and replaced him with someone who would agree with him. If Axworthy had supported the ban, and Chretien been against it, it simply would not have happened. Only the prime minister has the supreme power to single handedly pass or defeat a policy. His was the support that was crucial to bringing the opposing department of defence on board and ensuring approval of the ban. Axworthy did a lot of the work and was a valuable ally of the cause, but he did not have the discretion to propose or implement any ban without help from Chretien. This is a perfect example of how not only power from the centre, but from the centre of the centre, is the only ultimate power that exists in Canadian policy making. Without his approval, the ban would have failed. As the P C O official stated: "Only the prime minister could make it happen." 5 1 In this case he did. 5 1 Savoie, Governing From the Centre, 135. 86 Conclusions It has been shown through this thesis that power truly emanates from the centre and that foreign policy has become the domain of the prime minister and his close advisors. While this has not always been the case in Canada it has evolved over time to become the standard approach to the development of foreign initiatives in Canada. Here the prime minister's personality and characteristics greatly affect how and when decisions are made and how the government as a whole reacts to a situation that arises. Savoie argues that governmental power in Canada is concentrated within the centre of government, meaning Cabinet, P C O , P M O and the prime minister himself Often the circle of power is even smaller and i f desired, the prime minister can ensure that he is the only one within it. Nevertheless, the evidence in this thesis supports Savoie's hypothesis of government from the centre. The landmine ban, rather than refuting 'government from the centre', serves to reinforce his argument because of the integral role played by the prime minister, and the central agencies. Bakvis ' argument about the powerful cabinet minister is important to consider. We found, through the example of L loyd Axworthy, that a minister in a senior portfolio can get a lot accomplished. However, even the most powerful minister; is constantly reigned in by his or her prime minister. Ultimate decision-making power resides in only one individual in the Canadian government, and while some ministers have significant wiggle room, it is always within an enclosed area dictated by the P M . It appeared that the landmine ban would support Bakvis ' argument, and it does to a certain extent. What the landmine ban proved however was that no minister, no matter how much of a powerful minister they were, can act without the consent of the Prime Minister. There is 87 no way around the 'power from the centre' model and it appears it is not as overdrawn as Bakvis suggests it may be. The evidence also suggests that the centre of power in Canadian government is shrinking. Often it has collapsed to only include the prime minister. The bickering amongst the other power wielding bodies of government has served to cement the position of prime minister. Playing an arbitrator's role in some disputes gives the prime minister a tremendous power advantage. Canada's role in the development of the landmine ban showed that it was the prime minister who played the integral role in foreign policy formation. Chretien was the only person who would have caused the ban to fail i f he were against it. Not even Axworthy, with all of his tireless work, would have been able to save the ban had the prime minister been vehemently opposed. Chretien's role as arbitrator also came into play here as he settled the dispute between D N D and DF AIT, coming out on the side of DFA IT . He silenced the opposition and forcefully supported the ban, something that had to be done for it to succeed. The centre has become smaller, but more powerful. Chapter One traced the history of prime ministers and control over foreign policy in Canada. A pattern emerges through all of the different governments that Canada has had. Each long serving prime minister had his own unique way of handling the foreign affairs portfolio and each had a unique outlook on how foreign affairs should be conducted by Canada. Mackenzie K ing decided to place almost complete trust in his Mandarins in the civ i l service, led by O.D. Skelton. These Mandarins held a dominating control over many departments. 88 Trudeau revolutionized and expanded the centre of government to a size never before seen. To him the key was his personal advisors and the P M O was greatly expanded to become the centre o f policy development. Officials from the centre loomed over every decision made and pressured ministers within the Cabinet to act towards the goals they thought were best for the government, much to the chagrin of his ministers. Mulroney also put a lot of faith in his close advisors, but his revolution within the field of foreign policy was not because of who held power, but what they did with it. Mulroney took Canada closer to the U.S. than it ever was before, showing a strong break from the Liberal tradition of the like of Trudeau. Mulroney formed a close personal relationship with the U.S. president and this had a strong influence on the policy approaches that the Mulroney government tried to achieve in the 1980, many of them (such as N A F T A ) were indicative of the deepening, and extremely close, relationship that had developed with the United States during the time Mulroney was in power. Rather than combating the movement towards 'government from the centre', each successive government in Canada has strengthened this notion. Over time the centre has become more and more powerful, and the role for ministers, and Cabinet in general, has diminished. A historical pattern has emerged. This pattern led to speculation of how Chretien would run government. The second chapter outlined how Savoie's thesis about government from the centre, and the dominant role of the prime minister in Canadian government applies to the government of Jean Chretien. The focus was how his personal attitudes, opinions and personality affected the way that government was carried out during his time as prime minister. Chretien's business style, no nonsense attitude, stubborn nature, and other 89 characteristics were shown to have affected the policy developments in Canada a great deal. The effect was felt on issues ranging from the final negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement, to replacements to the Sea K ing helicopter fleet, to the war in Iraq, as well as many others. Chretien's previous experiences in government over a life in political office had also shaped the. way his government was constructed. His personal opinions of the central agencies in government, particularly the P C O and P M O , led to an overhaul when he was elected prime minister in 1993. He didn't like the bodies so their role was reduced. Chretien had not liked the central agencies because he felt he was treated shabbily by them when he was a minister in the Trudeau government. As he started to fill these bodies with trusted officials however, they slowly regained their old power and eventually held a similar amount of power as they held under Trudeau. A n attempt to temper this view, and combat the idea of the prime minister as the sole power holder in Canada was conducted in chapter three. Here an argument by Herman Bakvis was presented that made the case for other power players, particularly Cabinet ministers, as a foi l to the power of the P M . Bakvis makes several good arguments leading to an examination of other government players to see how much real power they had in Chretien's government. As it turned out, some carry a significant amount of power, others very little, but a common theme emerges. In the end, all are beholden to the prime minister and no amount of autonomy on their part brings them from under the thumb of the prime minister, at least in respect to foreign policy. 90 Even Lloyd Axworthy, one of the most powerful ministers in Chretien's cabinet, and the architect of the anti-personnel land mine treaty ban, constantly needed to seek Chretien's approval to move forward on his initiatives. When Axworthy acted in a way that was against the wishes of Chretien he was quickly silenced and reminded of who was in charge. Bakvis presented a valid argument, but the case remains that there is not a challenge to the primus. Chapter four used the case study of the landmine ban to apply and test the arguments made in the first chapters. The land mine ban, showed that while the minister can do all of the footwork, and get the lion's share of the credit for an initiative, the project can not go ahead without the support of the prime minister. Chretien not only had to give his support for this initiative to succeed, but, had to take a direct role in negotiations with foreign nations. If he had not taken part, many within his own government believe that the initiative would have failed in Canada despite Axworthy's tireless efforts. The general theme is that the prime minister has no one even close to equaling him or her in power in the Canadian system. Far from having gone to a Cabinet government, we have gone to a prime ministerial government system where the personal feelings of one individual, and their personality, can dictate policy to the rest of the world on behalf of Canada. While this may not be the case in all portfolios, it certainly appears to be the case in Foreign Affairs. The system has given power to the prime minister that is larger than we realize and has minimized the role of almost everyone in government by allowing this to occur. We must be aware that so much power has been given to this one 91 individual, and be aware that one person with one personality, one set of emotions, and one ideology speaks for 30 mil l ion in foreign matters. As Orwell said: "until they become conscious they wi l l never rebel." 1 The purpose of this thesis is to show just how dominant "governing from the centre" is in Canada. Chretien came into power claiming he would end this phenomenon, clearly he did not. We have opened ourselves to a dangerous possibility. The Canadian system has evolved into a "finger on the button" scenario. Healthy debate and power distribution have been sacrificed for expediency and concentration. N o w the power to go to war and decide all Canadian policy effectively rests with one individual. Ralph K le in stated that i f he were Prime Minister, Canada would be fighting in Iraq 2. The reality is that i f he were Prime Minister with a majority government, there is little that the Commons, the Cabinet, the Senate, or the public could do to stop such a move. This is the system that we have allowed to be created, and it is one that requires change. This thesis goes part of the way to identifying the problem. It is not enough to be conscious of the problem however, we must now rebel and change it. As a final note, the elections results of June 28, 2004 are in and the Liberals have secured only a minority government. Perhaps we wi l l see a return to a more divided power structure as the majority government that Chretien enjoyed is gone and these political parties that differ strongly from each other have to work together. Perhaps individuals from the Conservatives, Bloc, and N D P wi l l challenge the authority of the prime minister in the way his own party never could from within. There have been calls 1 George Orwell, 1984, (London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1954). 2 Margret Kopala, "Ralph Klein is set to leave his own national legacy", The Ottawa Citizen, July 12, 2003, (p, B6). 92 for more free votes and an easing of party discipline, which would weaken power from the centre. Opposition members owe nothing to the man in charge and can oppose him without fear of losing their jobs. Perhaps a minority government is just what Canada needs. 93 Bibliography Axworthy, Lloyd. Navigating a New World. Canada: Alfred A. 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