“You can only take these as signs of how the government wants to be seen.”

by matttbastard

After Stockwell Day announced last week that the Canadian government would no longer seek clemency for Canadians on death row “who have been tried in a democratic country that supports the rule of law” (ie, the United States), Uncle Steve tried to assure a skeptical public that he harboured “no desire to open the debate on capital punishment here in Canada.” My black ass; as Harry Sterling recently wrote, Harper “is a leader who increasingly appears to base his foreign policy actions more on his personal or ideological biases than on what may be in the best interests of Canada.” Liberal MP Dan McTeague nailed it when he said that “[f]oreign policy is always a mirror of our domestic values.

Yesterday, Harper’s hidden domestic agenda was once again betrayed by its international reflection:

Canada said Wednesday that it will not co-sponsor a United Nations resolution calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty, breaking a nearly decade-old tradition by a country that has long prided itself on its opposition to capital punishment…

Canada will vote in favor of the U.N. resolution in December, but will not sponsor it, Foreign Affairs Department spokeswoman Catherine Gagnaire said Wednesday.

“There are a sufficient number of co-sponsors already, and we will focus our efforts on co-sponsoring other resolutions within the U.N. system which are more in need of our support,” Gagnaire said.

That’s right, ’cause cosponsoring a UN resolution is such hard goddamn work:

Cosponsorship does not involve much more effort than a phone call or raising a hand during a meeting, said Canada’s former ambassador to the U.N., Paul Heinbecker.

“You can only take these as signs of how the government wants to be seen,” Heinbecker said.

With this latest bullish diplomatic gesture, Uncle Steve and Co. again come across as all-too-eager to visibly sacrifice longstanding Canadian principles in order to incrementally further a marginal, far-right ideology, while simultaneously satiating the Old Testament bloodlust of their theocon base. All, it should be noted, entirely contrary to the will of the majority.

To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, every decent Canadian should be ashamed of the government we live under.

(h/t Scruffy Dan)

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PSA: Urge Canada to Vote YES for Nuclear Disarmament at the UN

by matttbastard

From Ceasefire.ca:

Urge Canada to Vote YES for Nuclear Disarmament at the UN

There is an important meeting taking place right now at the United Nations to discuss nuclear disarmament, with voting on key resolutions scheduled to happen this week.
I am worried that Stephen Harper may be planning to reverse Canada’s longstanding support for nuclear disarmament.

The world is watching how Canada will vote. speak_out_for_nuclear_disarmament_-_small_button.jpg

Our sources tell us that the government remains undecided on whether they will vote “YES” in favour of these critical resolutions. I urge you to send your letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, calling on him to vote “YES”, and continue Canada’s tradition as a champion of nuclear disarmament.

Best wishes,

signature_in_blue_-_first_name_only_-_clean.jpg stevenstapleswithcaption.jpg

Related: Tilman Ruff – Let’s ban all nuclear weapons — now; ICAN report: Securing Our Survival (SOS) The case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Elsewhere: The Bulletin Online: A rebirth of the anti-nuclear weapons movement?

During the 1980s, a strong anti-nuclear war movement made the notion of a world without nuclear weapons seem possible. Today, the drumbeat for a nuclear-weapon-free world is growing loud again, with protests in Britain about the Labour Party’s decision to renew its nuclear capability, hunger strikes at the University of California in opposition to U.S. plans for a reliable replacement warhead, and prominent policy leaders such as Henry Kissinger and George Shultz calling for the nuclear states to rethink their reliance on nuclear weapons. Kate Hudson, the chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and head of Social and Policy Studies at London South Bank University, Aaron Voldman, an undergraduate at Brandeis University and director of the Student Peace Alliance, Jessica Wilbanks, a co-coordinator of Faithful Security: National Religious Partnership on Nuclear Weapons Danger, and Lawrence S. Wittner, a history professor at the State University of New York/Albany and coeditor of the forthcoming book Peace Action: Past, Present, and Future, debate whether we are witnessing the start of a new anti-nuclear/peace movement.

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