A View of Mulroney

ON June 3, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney told President Clinton that his government was "ready to commit military assets" to blockade Haiti in order to bring down the illegitimate military regime there.

He also encouraged Mr. Clinton to send American troops to the Balkans to help force a settlement in that area.

Clinton, trying to brighten his image at home and win Senate approval of his economic program, is not likely to follow that advice. But Mr. Mulroney, who will soon relinquish his leadership of the Conservative Party and the Canadian government, takes his losses in stride.

In the spring of 1992, recession and opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), among other complaints, dropped his approval rating to 12 percent. Parliamentary reins temporarily remain in Tory hands, and an election will be called by November to select a new parliament. Polls indicate the Liberal Party could win.

Whatever the outcome, Mulroney's successor will be hard put to duplicate the kind of relationship he has had with US leaders, particularly Presidents Reagan and Bush.

Mr. Bush said Mulroney "never wavered - he led. While battling for Canada's best interests, he also has been a staunch ally for the United States. I particularly think of Canada's support for Desert Storm and Canada's leadership on the Somalia crisis."

Americans responded to Mulroney's candor. He approached the most troublesome of his nation's problems head-on. That is a characteristic people in the US like in political leaders.

The prime example of Mulroney's forthright approach was his attempt to rid his nation of the constitutional crisis over the status of French Canada.

Perhaps on that subject he could have been more circumspect, an approach that he did utilize in some other situations.

Determined to maintain their regional identities and to avoid domination by the colossus to their south, many Canadians charge that Mulroney "sold" Canada to the US, particularly in the form of the free trade agreement between the two nations and the forthcoming NAFTA, which includes Mexico.

After having seen Mulroney in action for the past nine years, it would not be surprising to find him, after a time, playing some substantial role in the government/political realm.

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