Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Casting Canadian Values to the Trade Winds

CBC News has obtained a draft blueprint for a new Canadian foreign policy that focuses upon trade ties as the Harper government's paramount priority.

"Now the Harper government wants to focus Canada's international efforts primarily on one goal: forging new trade deals and business opportunities in the rapidly expanding markets of Asia and South America.

"The document makes scant mention of Canada's traditional roles as peacemakers in war zones like Afghanistan, foreign aid providers in disasters such as Haiti, and everywhere represented by a highly respected diplomatic corps.

"It also drops any pretense of using trade deals to pressure countries such as China on human rights and other matters of democratic principle.

"On the contrary: "To succeed we will need to pursue political relationships in tandem with economic interests even where political interests or values may not align."

"Instead, the draft doctrine is mainly about money, recasting Canada's international role from aiding the world's needy to reaping its riches."

How Harper has changed his tune:

"'I think Canadians want us to promote our trade relations worldwide and we do that," the prime minister said in November, 2006. "But I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values, our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights. They don't want to sell that out to the almighty dollar."

"Six years later, almost every aspect of the Harper government's international plan casts foreign policy as a tool to give Canada either direct economic benefit or access to China and other emerging markets."

Now, to the uninitiated, that might sound pretty hypocritical, perhaps even cynical.   But that's only if you ever believed that Steve meant what he said in 2006 or, for that matter, ever.  Old LardAss is the consummate huckster and, like any good sociopath, what he means depends on what he wants and how he thinks he can get it on any given day.

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