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If you run afoul of Conservative morals, you’re screwed as a Cdn citizen abroad.

That didn’t take long.

Remember Stock Day’s statement on how they wouldn’t be advocating clemency for Canadians convicted of murder “in a democratic country under the rule of law”? Well, apparently the bar is even lower then that, as the Edmonton Journal pointed out:

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…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.”

Note to right-wing blogging conservative supporters: this is the Edmonton Journal making this criticism, not the Toronto Star. They thus join that not-exactly-a-liberal bastion called the National Post in their criticisms of the new Conservative foreign policy, which the Edmonton Journal sarcastically calls “support if we feel like it”, and accuses Stockwell Day and the Conservatives of cherry-picking values to uphold. It then goes on to state that if Day and the Cons. won’t bring this to a vote in Parliament, they “should stand by Canadian values as they are currently established, and by Canadians who run afoul of different values abroad.”

This apparent attempt to appeal to the law-and-order segment of Canada isn’t working out quite the way the dinosaurs in the Harper government intended, and I for one am glad to see it. I should note that I’m not particularly shocked by the government’s actions, when it has done absolutely nothing to try and press the US to release Omar Khadr into Canadian custody – alone of all Western nations who have refused to repatriate their citizens from Guantanamo, or even offer a hint of criticism of that place. This is just an extension of that – if you do not fit into the Conservatives “moral values”, you’re screwed as a citizen, whether the country is democratic or not, and whether it has a “rule of law” or not.

(H/T to Bailey in the last comment thread for making me aware of the Edmonton Journal editorial.. and I direct you here and here for more good commentary on the “slippery slope” and selective help the Cons apparently have decided to use in judging whether Canadian citizens are worthy of their help.)

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10 comments to If you run afoul of Conservative morals, you’re screwed as a Cdn citizen abroad.

  • wilson

    ”Note to right-wing blogging conservative supporters: this is the Edmonton Journal making this criticism, not the Toronto Star”

    Note to Scott,  the article was published in the OPINION section of the Edmonton Journal,  it is not an editorial piece.

    A quick glance at the address  proves that.

  • ALW

    Okay Scott, as usual you’ve taken a reasonable criticism and stretched it into something so outrageous that you’re undermining your own credibility.

    On the one hand, I’m not happy about the change in policy to not defend those on death row, because I think it’s inconsistent: we can’t say we oppose capital punishment, if we aren’t willing to also say so abroad. This runs in the face of our position in Afghanistan and on Tibet, for example. On the other hand, I do agree that when Canadians go abroad they have to be governed by the laws of whatever country they are in. Extraterritorial application of domestic law, as you might guess, is a very controversial concept.
    Of course, ultimately I agree that this issue is unique because it is literally a life or death issue and the government of Canada should always seek to defend its citizens on death row.
    You don’t stop there though, Scott. Instead you have to go on some insane rant about how this is proof that the Tories have some radical (no doubt Christian) moral agenda that they are going to "impose" on Canadians. Call me crazy, but I don’t believe that being, for example, a cold-blooded murderer, is something that any moral codes anywhere would tolerate. You aren’t arguing that the people Canada will no longer defend are good people. You’re simply arguing that the punishment they face is excessive. So it’s not the morality of their actions that the government is condemning; its merely abdicating its institutional role to assist them procedurally.
    It’s like saying not helping a guy bloodied on the side of the road is just as bad as running him down with your car. There’s a serious moral (and legal) difference between actively causing harm and allow harm to proceed by failing to act. If you don’t think so, well, I have some swell business opportunities you might be interested in…
    As for Omar Khadr…what exactly was the Liberal government’s position on that again? Or have you hypocritically consigned that down the memory hole like so many other actions of Harper’s predecessors?

  • Then again, when Arar’s case was ongoing, there are plenty of Hansard statements from Parliament  showing Harper and Day and Diane Ablonczky calling Arar a "terrorist" and accusing the Liberals of supporting terrorists – even back then.. so it doesn’t shock me none of them or their supporters online like yourself would have no issues with it. If Harper had been back in power during Arar’s internment, he’d still probably be over there rotting in a jail cell, or dead.

    So long as we’re picking nits, I didn’t say I had "no issues" with it. I said that it certainly represents a deviation from the governmental position on CP, and that if they intend to pursue a policy of this nature with regards to democratic nations, they should withdraw from the United Nations treaty on the abolition of CP worldwide.

    I do support what the government is doing, but in the name of consistency, I agree we should be making is unambiguous.

    Oh and Scott, Omar Khadr’s situation is undesirable, but nobody has denied he killed an American soldier. He should be tried and convicted and sentenced, but not left in purgatory. Personally I couldn’t care less if everybody forgot all about him, as he is a terrorist after all, and that’s fairly undeniable considering his family, but it would give the Americans more credibility in the war on terror if they had some form of due process for these detainees.

  • Tell that to the Alberta Liberals, who just hired one of the Journal‘s top political reporters as their Director of Communications

    I’d actually love to read some of your evidence for the supposed conservative nature of this paper, honestly, because everybody who actually lives here, regardless of what party they’re from, knows that the Edmonton Journal loves its Liberals.

    We can agree on one thing, though, the Toronto Star is even more biased…

  • Rapahael: you obviously didn’t read the final editorial piece of the column: It’s not for the government to pick and choose who they stand up for – whether they be innocent or guilty, savoury or unsavoury. That includes both Maher Arar and Omar Khadr (who hasn’t even been charged with anything yet, much less found guilty).

    Then again, when Arar’s case was ongoing, there are plenty of Hansard statements from Parliament  showing Harper and Day and Diane Ablonczky calling Arar a "terrorist" and accusing the Liberals of supporting terrorists – even back then.. so it doesn’t shock me none of them or their supporters online like yourself would have no issues with it. If Harper had been back in power during Arar’s internment, he’d still probably be over there rotting in a jail cell, or dead.

    ID: I’ve read the Edmonton Journal.. It may be no Edmonton Sun, but it certainly is no Toronto Star. I stand by my comments.

  • Why in hell would we abolish capital punishment at home, then turn around and support it south of the border. Doesn’t make sense.

  • I don’t disapprove of the silence on Omar Khadr [his family is a proven terrorist connection], but I would like to see him sentenced once and for all, instead of this purgatory existence in rights-disabled Cuba. As for Ronald Smith, well, if the feds want to maintain consistency then, yes they should lodge a small complaint. Or they should change their official policy on capital punishment. I don’t think the silence on Smith is a bad thing, since he got a fair trial and should be executed. But I think what people object to is the symbolic principle. The problem is that the principle was forgotten for almost all of 25 years while he was sitting on death row.

  • foottothefire

    Scott, as far back as two years ago and as recently as last week I predicted exactly that approach from Conservatives as they rearrange Canadian jurisprudence to align with biblica interpretation (using the much maligned and error filled King James version) and they get to make the interpretations.  Of course, if youre a Conservative you get your ass protected (make sure the dues and membership is paid up) and if your connected, expect royal treatment.  If you’re weak, defenseless and dumb enough to do stupid things in foreign lands, your ass is grass.
    This is only the start; leave these guys around much longer and you will see them zero in on seniors, mental health and all the other social programs that are’nt protected by money or power.
    Conservatives from Alberta have long lusted for ass to kick and typical of bullies everywhere they target the most vulnerable.  It happened in Alberta and give Steve half a chance, it’ll happen across this land.
    We are dealing with bible thumping hill billies on a level with anything the S. USA has to offer.

  • <i>Note to right-wing blogging conservative supporters: this is the Edmonton Journal making this criticism, not the Toronto Star.</i>

    *eye roll*  Oh, come ON.  The Edmonton Journal is a VERY Liberal paper.  And on the provincial level, Edmonton’s a VERY Liberal (and NDP) city, too–so much so that Ed Stelmach’s PCs have a pretty good chance of losing every one of the (already very few) seats they have there in the next election.

    I’m not disagreeing with the substance of your argument, mind, just encouraging you–no, begging you–to learn a thing or two about western Canada before you make these kinds of overgeneralizations.

  • A clear demonstration on how these moral relativists would run Canada if they ever got a majority. Don’t fit into their idea of morality? They you get the treatment a Communist dictatorship would dish out. Day clearly agrees with Castro’s methods and approach when it comes to even the allegation of sex with 15 and 16 year olds. It may be noted that the Canadian in question maintains his innocence and feels he was railroaded.

    When are some principled Conservatives going to speak up and take their party back from the Reformers that have taken it over?

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