Debating Afghanistan in Canada and The Netherlands

There’s an interesting column by Chantal Hébert in todays Star where she contrasts the Canadian and the Dutch debate over Afghanistan. The interesting bit seems to be that the Dutch parliament was able to create a much stronger consensus over a greater number of political parties than what has transpired in Canada under Harper:

In February 2006, 125 of the 150 members of the Dutch Parliament – where 10 parties hold seats – endorsed the deployment, a consensual outcome that stands in stark contrast with the narrow, divisive Canadian vote on the same matter last year.

If you wanted to make the case that Harper has politicized Afghanistan and has tried to use the deployment as a sort of wedge issue, this would certainly seem to point towards that conclusion.

Also in the article, the Dutch are in the dangerous southern part of Afghanistan just like Canada, yet they have only ten casualties. Are we doing something wrong?

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