July 04, 2009

[Irony] A Failure in Canadian Foreign Policy

Yet again the Harper Conservatives have made a grave failure in their dealings with foreign matters. Soon enough the rest of the hemisphere - and the world for that matter - will look upon Canada as a backwards, market fundamentalist, war-mongering, anti-democratic and environment-destroying state in a new century that is marked by the ideals of environmentalism, peace and mass democratic representation.

In recent months the Conservatives have barred foreign politicians and even Canadian citizens from entering the country, and attempted to expel Canadian nationals. They've tried to sign free trade agreements with murderous regimes against the will of the Canadian people, and continued to pursue a war of aggression in Afghanistan under the guise of "development". They've turned a blind eye to worldwide negotiations being made in preparation for the Copenhagen conference on climate change. But this time it's what they didn't do that is setting Canada apart on the world stage: The Harper Government didn't come out expressly in favour of democracy - as every other country in the hemisphere did - when it failed to call for the current authoritarian regime in Honduras to allow the democratically elected president to return.

The recent coup in Honduras is a throwback to the last century when pro-American oligarchs and unfathomably rich landowners and capitalists in Latin America deposed left leaning governments that showed any semblance of support for the masses. But we citizens of the world can not allow this type of violent authoritarian behaviour of times past. We have to say "no"; Our leaders in government should be making clear statements regarding the current wrongdoings in Honduras.

But instead, our minister of foreign affairs, Peter Kent, has actually come out as an apologist for the dictatorial Honduran regime. As reported in the New York Times, Kent argued that there is a "context" in which President Zelaya laid the groundwork for his own downfall! The suggestion is dangerous: It implies that militarists are justified in seizing power in a coup d'etat if their democratically elected leader has a constitutional tiff with Congress.

How interesting... as only a few months ago we were having a bit of a constitutional crisis here in Canada. Our (minority) elected leader, Stephen Harper, went against the will of the majority of parliamentarians. He went through back door channels and prorogued parliament - shutting down open debate, just to hold onto power! Following Kent's logic, the coalition of opposition parties would have been justified in hiring masked gunmen to storm 24 Sussex, kidnapping Harper and expelling him to the United States, forbidding him from entering Canada again! But such actions would not have been tolerated - not by the people of Canada, not by the citizens of the world - not even by those of us who are in opposition to Harper politically.

Canadians have had enough irony and hipocrasy in their foreign policy. It's time to get rid of the Harper government - through peaceful democratic means - so that we have a chance at saving Canada's international reputation before it's too late.

1 comment:

  1. As a follow up: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/bullet234.html