Fri Nov 30th, 2007 at 07:05:41 PM EST
Very bad things are happening in Canada. I knew the recently elected conservative government was bad, but the extent to which it is so exceeds belief.
Diary Rescue by Migeru
First there is this giant step backward on the death penalty:
OTTAWA - Canada deserves to be blasted by the top European human rights watchdog for washing its hands of Canadians facing the death penalty abroad, Bob Rae says[...]
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government announced earlier this month that it will no longer seek clemency for Canadians sentenced to death in countries such as the United States, where they've received a fair trial. It also announced that Canada will no longer co-sponsor United Nations resolutions urging a worldwide ban on the death penalty.
The announcements marked a reversal in longstanding Canadian foreign policy. Harper has denied suggestions the moves are a prelude to reintroducing the death penalty in Canada, which abolished executions in 1976.
On this last, point, whether this is a prelude to Canada reintroducing the death penalty, Canadian Liberal leader Stephane Dion points out that it is illogical to say it is not:
"They say it's abroad. Canadians facing the death penalty abroad will not have our support, but what is the logic? If you're not ready to fight the death penalty abroad today, that means tomorrow you will restore the death penalty in Canada."
At the same time, the anti-Kyoto, anti-science conservative government is doing all in its power to shut down meaningful global action on climate change:
OTTAWA - There'll be no room for opposition MPs in the Canadian government's inn at next month's crucial climate-change talks in Bali, Indonesia.
Environment Minister John Baird's office confirmed Wednesday that representatives from the three opposition parties would not be welcome as part of Canada's official delegation at the United Nations conference.
That's a departure from a long-held government tradition of bringing critics along to major international conferences - opposition MPs participated in the last major UN environmental conference in Nairobi last November, for example. This coming meeting will set the stage for a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012 and does not include the developing world[...]
Environmental groups have also been told they would not be part of the Canadian delegation.
If Canada wants to go back to the dark ages, it seems to have a government which is more than willing to take it there. The thing I must ask as an American who has long respected the Canadian "model" is: why would Canadians so easily abandon it?