Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'Democracy on the sly'

Today, the Current's summer host David Michael Lamb presented an illuminating examination of some alarming alterations to Canadian foreign policy of late.

Primarily, widespread alarm has followed the Federal Government's recent appeal of Omar Khadr's return to Canada (

The Conservatives' decision to eliminate two crucial terms, 'child soldier' and 'humanitarian law' from the Department of Foreign Affairs' lexicon has also precipitated speculation of a dangerous shift in Canadian foreign policy.

Admittedly, as posited by Errol--forget his last name! will fix later (interviewed by Lamb this morning), who is an expert in Constitutional and international law, a government is completely justified in altering its foreign policy course. Thus, recent criticism is not evidence of an unwarranted attack from by Liberal/NDP factions against the depravity of right wing views or Conservatism in Canada. [Incidentally, this move has indicated a significant break in continuity with the legacy of the (Progressive) conservative party. Brian Mulroney was actually one of the primary champions of the 'rights of the child' in international law.] Rather, opposition is directed at Harper's persistent execution of 'Democracy on the sly'. In order to legitimately address constitutional questions, politicians must adhere to a fully open and democratic process. Lamentably, (and, not for the first time) the Harper government has covertly implemented its changes, while maintaining that actions were backed by the majority of Canadians.

As an individual who paid close attention to last year's election issues, I do not recall significant foreign policy changes being critically examined at all. Hm.. suspicious. Once again, Harper has opted for 'democracy on the sly'.

View episode brief and links to the podcast here: