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)