Respect.

The Toronto Star has a faceoff today about Canada’s decision to reject the U.S. ballistic missile defence program.

Linda McQuaig says “standing up to the U.S. will gain us respect abroad“:

Canadian advocates of missile defence have long argued that joining the scheme is the best way to protect our sovereignty — the logic apparently being that Washington is going to intrude into our airspace anyway, so it’s better if we look like that’s what we wanted all along. It’s only rape if you resist.

Fortunately the Martin government, under enormous pressure from the public, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, ignored this convoluted logic. After months of dithering on the issue, Ottawa showed surprising spunk last week in standing up to the American empire — a spunkiness that will only improve our standing in a world increasingly alarmed by U.S. unilateralism.

Rondi Adamson says “once again Canada looks childish and petulant“:

Japan, Australia, South Korea and Israel, none as powerful as the U.S., but grown-ups all, are currently working with America toward a successful missile defence operation. They are willing to acknowledge the frightening truths of our world, the dangers that face democracies. By contrast, our grudging, reactionary stance on the matter puts us in a league with certain European leaders, concerned more with American power than with threats from foes.

In short, our rejection of missile defence will increase our standing in the dream world the majority of Canadians appear to live in, the one where the enemies of the U.S. are not our enemies. It will increase our standing in our own minds, and our popularity with enemies of the free world — inasmuch as any of those people think about Canada, except in terms of how easy we’d be to dominate without the U.S. on our side.

Given that Japan, Australia, South Korea and Israel are supporting the U.S., it’s not clear whose respect we are looking for. Would it be the United Nations?