CANZUK Bloc.

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I was loafing around on YouTube earlier and came across a couple of videos by CANZUK International, which tweaked my interest.

"CANZUK International is the leading advocacy organization promoting closer ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, known amongst diplomats within the United Nations as the “CANZUK group”.

These four countries have shared commercial ties, geopolitical aspirations and a venerable constitutional tradition over centuries.

Amongst CANZUK International’s aims is freedom of movement within the CANZUK group for the citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In addition, it regards the monarch as an essential symbol of a common heritage and the cornerstone of constitutional democracy.

More specifically, it is envisaged that the CANZUK group would collaborate in the following areas:
  • Free Trade
  • Foreign Policy
  • Constitutional Affairs

The four leading Commonwealth realms could build upon existing economic, diplomatic and institutional ties to forge a cohesive alliance of nation-states with a truly global outlook."
The group claims support from various MPs in all four countries as well as majority support from the general population in the countries. The group also has a YouTube channel:

This is a video that explains the group's aims.

Is this group's aim worthwhile and is it achievable? First of all please note that I am looking at this from a NZ perspective. Other posters can speak to it from their national perspective.

Reading some of the comments on YouTube and social media, I get the impression that some poms think that things will return to the old days with London calling the shots and the colonies will do as they are told. They are in for a big shock then because if London tried that Wellington and Canberra would probably tell them to bugger off. At present all 4 nations have HM The Queen as their Head of State, but that may change upon her death with NZ and possibly Australia looking at becoming republics. If that happens will that have any impact upon the uniqueness of the CANZUK bloc?

Whilst the group suggests that the bloc collaborates on trade, foreign policy and constitutional affairs, I would suggest that defence and security be added as well because these areas are important to all four nations. There could also be areas within defence acquisition where savings could be made by bloc acquisitions of certain common equipment. The recent MAN truck acquisition where NZ hitched on to the UK army order which provided savings to the NZ taxpayer. I think that if the ADF had gone in with that too, they could've made significant savings. Of course there are acquisitions where it just isn't going to work, but that happens.

The claim be the group that the CANZUK bloc would have a significant impact upon the world economically, diplomatically and just by its size and shared history, is valid and shouldn't be underestimated. With US leadership in decline at the moment, due to a dysfunctional government, it may be time that the CANZUK BLOC stood up, showed some moral fibre, and lead by example.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
We already cooperate in the Defence space through being 4 of the five eyes, of course; three of us are buying T26, the UK, Aust and NZ still have joint commitments to Malaysia and Singapore; all four have joint commitments to South Korea, and there are a lot of bilaterals. So Defence coooeration is still fairly close although I guess they could always be closer.

In the wider spheres, while we do tend to vote the same way in the UN and support each other’s candidates for international offices, our foreign policies tend to have different focii. NZ’s tends to be on the Pacific islands with a lesser focus on Asia; Aust’s on Asia and the Pacific; the UK’s on Europe, the Middle East and the America’s; and Canada doesn’t seem to have one. So getting quadrilateral approaches in that area might prove difficult.

Free trade agreements already exist or are being negotiated bilaterally by all four at the moment. Making them multilateral might be more difficult.

I’d rather see us promoting the Westminster system than worrying about the Head of State. Anyway, in Aust that is seen as a pretty unimportant issue except by a few die hard s on each end of the spectrum. Our Parliaments already cooperate through mutual visits, and there is some sort of Commonwealth Parliamentary association as well. So some commonality of approach already occurs and is certainly possible.

Agree some Brits probably believe they can go back to some status quo ante, but in that they are certainly dreaming!
 

cdxbow

Active Member
"..........Canada doesn’t seem to have one"

Comedy gold.

As you say spoz, this is already a natural and active grouping across many domains including a shared heritage, and not much to be gained, except by the UK. The remnants of Empire or perhaps the Empire Strikes Back.(sorry). An Argentinian friend of mine, if he read this would have started ranting in a conspiratorial way about the Anglosphere.
 

oldsig127

Well-Known Member
The recent MAN truck acquisition where NZ hitched on to the UK army order which provided savings to the NZ taxpayer. I think that if the ADF had gone in with that too, they could've made significant savings.
Our contract, for 2,500+ vehicles, was signed with MAN in 2013. Were NZ and the UK ready to buy that far back?

I do agree that group purchasing looks like a good idea on the face of it, but given the foibles that defence purchasing throws up in almost every country I can't imagine it going well very often. For example imagine trying to buy fighters with Canada as a partner. Or helicopters. Or anything, really.

oldsig
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Pretty hard to have a CANZUK organization when two of the partners have on again off again separation issues. In Canada’s case, it is no longer just a Quebec separation problem, you can now add a couple of other provinces. As others have commented, defence procurement with Canada as a partner.....duh. As for foreign policy, junior trying to look good and important on foreign visits....like defence procurement, another epic fail for him and the country.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Pretty hard to have a CANZUK organization when two of the partners have on again off again separation issues. In Canada’s case, it is no longer just a Quebec separation problem, you can now add a couple of other provinces. As others have commented, defence procurement with Canada as a partner.....duh. As for foreign policy, junior trying to look good and important on foreign visits....like defence procurement, another epic fail for him and the country.
Yep but the current PM isn't going to be PM all the time. I would take a long term view rather than your almost obsessive dislike of the current PM. He's not going to be around forever.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Yep but the current PM isn't going to be PM all the time. I would take a long term view rather than your almost obsessive dislike of the current PM. He's not going to be around forever.
No he will not be PM forever, but there is a reason why the 23rd PM of Canada is called Junior... Like ties to the 15th PM.

Also looking back at the Canadian gov'ts over the last 30 - 40 years, the culture itself seems to have developed which persists in using political calculations to make defence procurement decisions to the point where mission failures can/will occur.

While many western nations do end up having politics intrude into defence procurement decisions, to get defence dollars into local areas, I cannot really think of an example quite as much an outlier as the Sea King replacement saga in Canada. However as time goes by, it is possible that the Hornet replacement programme might get to similar extremes. I do not lay these faults solely at the feet of the current CANGov though, as many of these procurement debacles were years in the making, having taken place across multiple changes in gov't and which party was in power.

If some of the currently running programmes go well, then Canada might be getting back on track, but it will take time to tell.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I have said many times on several threads on this forum that it is the Canadian electorate that is the source of the problem that selects people like junior. Our whining electorate will eat up any BS promises that pollies offer up. Multicultural elites will control the Liberal party until the day the country falls apart. The opposition Conservatives have recently gained the uncanny ability to pick dysfunctional leadership candidates leading to defeat at election time. From a defence perspective, DND gains little should they ever return to government IMO. The three commonwealth partners would be better off with Canada out until the nation can sort itself out.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
No he will not be PM forever, but there is a reason why the 23rd PM of Canada is called Junior... Like ties to the 15th PM.

Also looking back at the Canadian gov'ts over the last 30 - 40 years, the culture itself seems to have developed which persists in using political calculations to make defence procurement decisions to the point where mission failures can/will occur.

While many western nations do end up having politics intrude into defence procurement decisions, to get defence dollars into local areas, I cannot really think of an example quite as much an outlier as the Sea King replacement saga in Canada. However as time goes by, it is possible that the Hornet replacement programme might get to similar extremes. I do not lay these faults solely at the feet of the current CANGov though, as many of these procurement debacles were years in the making, having taken place across multiple changes in gov't and which party was in power.

If some of the currently running programmes go well, then Canada might be getting back on track, but it will take time to tell.
I think COVID will make it difficult to get back on track, even if the political will was there.
 
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