Some were quick to jump onto the implications of this Edmonton Journal editorial. Canadian Cynic points out how the standards described by Stockwell Day to determine Canadian government intervention in cases where Canadian face capital punishment have suddenly expanded to include non-capital crimes in countries where democracy and the rule of law are clearly not factors.
The Vanity Press expanded on that to point out that this is not a slippery slope we're facing; it is a slippery slope we are already on.
Rational Reasons spells out the incipient danger of the moral relativism now being employed by Harper and Day and how it not only violates the rule of Canadian law, but makes Canadians expendable if the circumstances do not fit with the Harper/Day agenda - an agenda which, under a Conservative Party banner, they have been trying to camouflage.
I stated in this post that, regardless of protestations to the contrary, Harper and Day do indeed have an agenda which does not fit with the current view of most Canadians. As they justified the reasons for their decision not to intervene in a capital punishment case in Montana, they linked their "tough on crime" agenda with capital punishment elsewhere, effectively out-sourcing an execution. JJ and Eugene did a little looking around the bazaars and found what can be described as a very quiet oops! emanating from the minority constituency which forms Harper's electoral base. Whether that mixture of queasiness and silence is an indication that even Harper's worshipers are uneasy with the position taken by Harper and Day, or whether it signals a fear that the "hidden agenda" is being dangerously exposed is something that remains a question.
That takes us back to the Edmonton Journal piece.
Canadian travellers, consider yourself warned.Because this is, and always has been, the approach offered and demanded by Day and Harper.
If you get into trouble in a foreign country, the Harper Conservatives will only go to bat for you if the effort fits in with one or another of their political, social, or moral agendas.
Want to conduct a "Free Tibet" protest on the Great Wall of China, and by so doing vex the godless commies in Beijing? No worries, Canada's New Government will be there for you.
"W'ell be doing everything we can do to help and of course pointing out to the Chinese government -- as we're entitled to do -- that such expressions of opinion are a natural part of the human rights that Canadians do expect in this country," said the prime minister in his sternest, father-knows-best tone when three Canadian activists were apprehended by the Chinese authorities for unfurling a provocative banner on the ancient structure.
But get yourself convicted of having sex with teenagers in Cuba -- that noted bastion of democracy, fair trials and the rule of the law -- and your government's response is "Gee, good luck with that." In the case of Edmontonian Perry King, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has turned his back on past practice of arranging to at least have sentences served in Canada.
When I said that this is the Conservative Party agenda, I meant it. Too often we are lulled into believing that the Harper Conservatives are just another incarnation of the Tories of John Diefenbaker, Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. Nothing could be further from the truth. These guys are not the centre-right party which constituted the former Progressive Conservatives. They are, and will continue to be, the Alberta-spawned Reform Party replete with the policies they espoused before they twice changed their name in an attempt to hide their agenda. They were a good fit with the fiscal conservatism of Canada's Tories, but short in almost all other areas. Where Canadians came to expect that the government would not intentionally moralize upon, discriminate against, marginalize or expend Canadian lives for any reason, these guys feel no compunction to meet that standard.
The political party name they adopted in this present incarnation is a convenient cover, a party name which is electable, despite the fact that its members represent something which most Canadians find repugnant: selective and prejudicial treatment.
Stockwell Day, already known for being loose with the truth, is simply presenting the beliefs now that he has always held to be worthy of actionable political policy. Any talk of tempering his beliefs or a "mellowing out" has to be met with his recent decision to inject moral relativism into the implementation of government policy. Compare what Stockwell Day has perpetrated in the last few weeks with that of his stance when he was positioning himself to challenge Preston Manning for leadership of the Canadian Alliance Party. Under a headline of Alliance leadership candidate tough on crime:
Day attacked the Chretien government for abusing taxpayers' money and he condemned the justice system as too soft on crime.His lack of "desire to impose his own views on Canadians" had everything to do with the fact that Raif Mair, who was interviewing him at the time, would have chewed him up for dog meat, not because he actually meant to restrict his actions. If he truly did not wish to impose his views on Canadians, he wouldn't have enunciated them in the first place. In any case, the lie has been laid out before us because he is imposing his views through government action or inaction, depending upon how you choose to define it.
[...]Defying political correctness Day says he won't bow to political correctness and drop his hard-line stand on social issues. He favours restricting access to abortion and opposes equality rights for gays and lesbians.
And while Day says he believes homosexuality is a matter of choice, that capital punishment should be restored for certain crimes and that he favours restricting access to abortions, he has no desire to impose his own views on Canadians.
Harper, who again was declared to have changed his views, is no better. This consummate little control freak, given the methods he has employed over his cabinet, could easily have countermanded Day's position on government intervention in capital cases abroad but clearly didn't. In fact, he came out in support.
The painting of Harper as someone who has tempered his extreme views is little more than concealment. There is a deliberate attempt by his handlers to obscure Harper's path to his present-day position.
His role in creating the Reform Party of Canada is mentioned nowhere in the biography of him that appears on the Conservative Party of Canada website. Nor is his stint as president of the National Citizens Coalition.Instead, obfuscating language is employed in an attempt to de-radicalize his past.
That changes nothing.
While most Canadians view the role of government as being required to publicly present any changes it wishes to impose, Harper is quite prepared to adopt a different approach. While he must be careful in his present minority position against angering the greater Canadian population, he is compelled to move forward with at least the modicum of a social agenda which keeps the radicals satisfied with the belief that, should he acquire a parliamentary majority in the future, he will fully integrate their narrow system of beliefs with government policy.
We have the recent actions of Stockwell Day and Harper's support to prove it.
Having taken a position to introduce moral relativism in one area of government policy, without a means of stopping it, this crowd would feel no need to hold back in expanding that to other areas. Day has already done what he said he wouldn't do: impose his views on Canadians by condoning the execution of a Canadian without attempting to intervene. He has declared a statutory rapist, despite that person's protestations of innocence, a "threat to the security of Canada", with no other evidence than that provided by a country with no democracy and an abysmal record of judicial fairness. Given an opportunity he and Harper would remorselessly begin to marginalize any group which did not meet their personal moral beliefs. They've done it once; they'll do it again.
That means that, based on Day's publicly held beliefs and Harper's past pronuncements, equal rights for homosexuals, the poor and particularly women, would become targets for selective discrimination. We don't need to guess whether it's going to happen. They've already started.
So, travellers aren't the only ones who should consider themselves warned.
Welcome to the Reform agenda. It hasn't changed save for the political party name under which it exists.