What did John Baird say to the Maldives? - Macleans.ca

What did John Baird say to the Maldives?

‘A certain standard of values and principles which is clearly lacking in the Maldives’


The Maldives is complaining about unspecified “inappropriate and derogatory” remarks apparently made by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to their acting foreign minister.

So what did Mr. Baird say to offend the Maldives? Here is the explanation from Rick Roth, Mr. Baird’s director of communications.

At the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in New York, Minister Baird outlined Canada’s strong concerns by the delay of the Maldives’ runoff election scheduled for September 28 and by reports of violence and intimidation.

He also pointed out the irony of the Acting Foreign Minister of the Maldives representing that country at CMAG, when her President received 5% of the vote in the first round of the election. Perhaps that is where President Waheed took offence.

It might have also been when Minister Baird pointed out to CMAG members that the second round of elections have been “suspended” under mysterious circumstances and called on Maldivian officials to proceed with the second round of elections without delay.

We believe that this delay is troublesome and can only lead to more instability; which is exactly what we have seen in recent days.

This is not the first time the Minister has raised these concerns, in fact, Minister Baird has been one of the most outspoken foreign ministers of the Commonwealth on the democratic deficit in the Maldives, and will continue to speak out

The Minister believes that countries within the Commonwealth should adhere to a certain standard of values and principles which is clearly lacking in the Maldives.

Canada supports the people of the Maldives, and that judicial authorities and security forces must not unduly delay the expression of their democratic will.


What did John Baird say to the Maldives?

  1. Cons are badly raised….none of them seem to have any manners.

  2. Is the John Baird the Conservative to be giving advice on election practices. Maybe they need to bring back Dean Del Mastro

  3. “The Maldives is complaining about unspecified “inappropriate and derogatory” remarks … ”

    The Weirdest People In The World?

    “Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers – often
    implicitly – assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population.

    Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species – frequent outliers ….. The findings suggest that members of WEIRD societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans.”


  4. When the Cons are done fixing the democratic deficit elsewhere on the planet, maybe they could fix the one they’ve greatly exacerbated at home.

    • Ya no kidding. We should have elections every 3 months when a Liberal starts feigning outrage. That’s how a “real” democracy would work.

      • Really, Ricky, your lame attempts at sarcasm would be more trenchant if they made sense.

  5. Flexing our muscle( maybe a little flab there too?) by getting John boy to lean on the Maldives eh. You’re next Vladi.

    • Ya, he should probably just let it slide. Who cares about democratic rights in small foreign countries anyway? Principles should only be applied to large countries.

      • How about applying them to Canada? They could start with… I don’t know… maybe cooperating with the Elections Canada robocalls investigation?

      • When I see any evidence your party really give a rats ass about democracy at home, then ill take Baird seriously when he lectures places like the Maldives.

        • Yeah, Rick Omen, don`t you know those Cons don`t give a rats patooey about democracy?
          Do you think our good Liberal ship would have been reduced to 30 odd seats IN THE LAST ELECTION If you Cons HADN`T CHEATED ON EVERY LAST ONE OF THE SEATS THAT WE LOST?

          • You and Ricky should lay off the sarcasm – you suck at it. ( Caps on doesnt help much either) Remind me how many safe seats there are out there in any given election, and how much of the vote got split in ON last time out?
            The LPC sucked last time out. But how on earth that justifies clear attempts to put a thumb on the scales is beyond me. Harper’s majority wasn’t even clear until the last week of the election. Are you claiming 20/20 hindsight too?

          • So it is ok if they only cheat on a few seats? Interesting where you draw the line on corruption.

          • A little bit of cheating in an election is like being a little bit pregnant.

  6. I like it when our government calls on our world partners to live up to democratic standards, but I wish it would be consistent.

    I don’t mind Baird telling off the odd despot, I just wish we’d apply those same standards to Canadian companies doing business overseas, and to China, where a policy of engagement by the west has only facilitated the growth of an economic monster which gathers fuel from all over the world but refuses to adhere to basic tenets of human rights and decency.

    • When the CPC was criticizing China in 2006-2007 you Liberals were complaining about it, saying they needed to be more diplomatic. Conveniently, now that they’ve changed tact, you’re wishing they’d be less diplomatic.

      Oh the hypocrisy!

      • No, we just figured walking and chewing gum shouldn’t be beyond even the CPC.

      • Hmm…they didn’t change “tact”. They never had any. Try a different “tack”.

      • I’ve told you repeatedly; I’m not a Liberal. I supported, and still support a policy of wariness on China. I was saying that I liked something your guys did, but apparently anything less than complete adoration makes me a “Liberal.”

        • It’s a bleak, black and white world if you’re a Con.

    • One cannot be a Conservative without being a hypocrite. They go together like peanut butter and jam.

  7. 2006 Election: There
    was no appropriate consequence for Harper’s Conservatives (Reform Party)
    breaking Canada’s election law. Harper
    spent $1.3 million more than allowed to by law, “won” the election, was
    charged **and convicted** and paid a penalty of $52,000 (granted this was the
    highest penalty the courts were allowed to charge Harper with, but still,
    pretty low sum).

    The reward? Gaining
    access to the levers of power and deciding how to spend the Government of
    Canada’s $270.5 billion dollar budget.


    • Remind me what fine the Liberals paid for stealing tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds to fund their electoral campaigns? Oh right, not a single dime.

      • A little revisionist history goes a long way in your sad little version of the universe, doesn’t it?

      • Hey, I did not know we got to make stuff up to prove our dubious point.

        If the liberal stole money and did not pay it back, apparently that makes being undemocratic and cheating to win an election OK.

  8. When will Baird learn? If he just followed his insults with a little “no offense,” he could have avoided this altogether. Diplomacy.

  9. Up next :- John Baird offers insightful comment on the electoral
    history of Malaysia. Yes.

  10. My first thought when Baird was appointed Foreign Minister: Oh great, Canada’s chief bullet head is now Canada’s chief diplomat…

    So far, he’s managed to prove me right time and again. And also turned Teddy Roosevelt’s aphorism on its head.

  11. There can be no question the CPC has tried to mask shortcomings at home by trying to distract with atrocities abroad (it goes back to the 90s and the “who cares if we have gay marriage in Canada isn’t it more important to engage in ineffective posturing about murdering gays in Uganda?”)

  12. Finally a government standing up to despots, the UN and the Commonwealth over human rights abuses! Oh wait, can’t do that – Liberal and NDP supporters don’t approve.
    Now to the regular trolls – don’t deflect stay on the topic and explain why this is a bad thing for Canada to be doing. And yes it is Canada through its duly elected majority government, much as you may hate that. So explain please why this is bad in the minds of your political masters who send you out to flood website with anti-governement propaganda, futile though it may be.

  13. On the one hand, Baird is correct. On the other hand, he is a member of the party that includes (somewhere) Pierre Poutine, and has a handbook on how to keep identified non-Conservative voters from the polls. Better that such words come from someone less morally bankrupt.

  14. I’m with Baird on this. A member of the commonwealth should exhibit certain principles; namely freedom, democracy and that old adage peace, order and good government. They should make serious changes or face removal from the commonwealth.

    • Well that assumes that what Baird says happened is what happened, and that this is the reason the Maldives are upset with him.

      But yes, I have no issue with speaking out against regimes that are undemocratic. I am just not sure this is the proper forum for that speaking out.

    • Why should Canada do this unilaterally instead of with its other Commonwealth partners? There’s something to be said about being at the table to lead and facilitate change rather than tossing the checkers and refusing to play. Seems more diplomatic.

      • I agree that Canada should speak out against crass assaults on democracy wherever they appear, in this particular case though I think it was just too much to bear. We have a Commonwealth country represented by someone who received 5% of the vote in the last election. In my opinion sitting at the table with them acknowledges them as the representative of the Maldives.

        I think the government’s response was entirely appropriate. It says that we don’t acknowledge them as the elected government and that we will not continue giving funding to the CMAG if they continue to allow what is so against the principles of the Commonwealth.

  15. I’m as eager as anybody to heap scorn on the Conservatives, but I have no problem with this at all. The Maldives should be called out. Sri Lanka should be called out. I’d want my government, whatever its own faults, to call these countries out. That’s what Canada is doing. I’ve got no problem with that.

  16. I am a Sri Lankan and Maldivians are the most extreme Muslims in the world. They destroy Buddha statues whenever see them.