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Canadian Military Journal

How We Lead – Canada in a Century of Change

Joe Clark
Joe Clark
Abstract :

Joe Clark is in a unique position to comment on the challenges that face both Canada’s foreign affairs and domestic policies. As a long-serving Member of Parliament, Clark has been Canada’s youngest prime minister, and has served also as both Minister of External Affairs and minister responsible for constitutional affairs. This breadth of experience and depth of knowledge is shared with the reader in How to Lead Canada in a Century of Change.

Instead of a memoir filled with stories of political success and failure laced with thoughtful musings on international affairs, How to Lead takes the form of an extended discussion between the reader and a former prime minister. This ease of flow allows for in-depth and engaging discussions on a broad set of topics. Clark sets out to identify in what ways Canada must take advantage of its tradition of democratic institutions and its diverse national strengths in order to be a more effective member on the international stage. By understanding Canada’s history of multilateral initiatives and diplomatic success, Clark envisions a Canada that will move forward in a ‘brave new world’ and ‘punch above its weight.’ Building upon principles first outlined by Louis St-Laurent in 1947, Clark’s book lays out broad themes upon which both leaders and engaged citizens should reflect.

Clark discusses Canada’s historic participation on the world stage, and criticizes what he sees as a step back from meaningful international engagement by the current government. The Canada / US relationship is dissected, arguing that instead of “sleeping with an elephant,” Canada should see itself as “leading from the side.” Along with Canada’s other traditional ties (the Commonwealth, la Francophonie, and so on), this relationship should serve as a foundation to help create solutions as an “active, respected and independent member of the global community.” Clark argues that this is best accomplished through a return to multilateralism and engagement.

Keywords :
How We Lead – Canada in a Century of Change

Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2015 12:02

Last Modified : 08 Apr 2015 12:02

Official URL:

Volume 15, Number 1, - 2015

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