Thursday, June 11, 2009

Harper Conservatives Set Commonwealth Example For Sri Lankan Gov't Action

When Canada refused entry to a British Parliamentarian (MP), we set a Commonwealth precedent, which has allowed the Sri Lankan government reject the visit of a peaceful Parliamentarian from Canada...

Bob Rae is certainly not nearly as inflammatory or callous in his actions - when compared to the Brit MP. Not even close. Very few of us agreed with much of what Mr. Galloway had to say. Bob Rae, on the other hand, is a champion of human rights, and has been outspoken in his support of the "little people" - the ones who are hurt by conflict world-wide.

To reject someone for hate speech is one thing - and I'm all for it. To reject someone for support of a particular side in a conflict - or rather the weak "little people" on BOTH SIDES who suffer - is not in any way helpful to democracy. It is a shame that nations whose laws (British Common Law) and Parliaments are so similar, can seem to see differences in the values of their citizens.

As a member of a minority who has often felt discrimination and hatred, I find it much better to hear the attack and shout it down. Let people see how stupid the person is (if they truly are saying something hateful, etc.). The court of public opinion is often the best "shout down" to morons who spout off stupid things, while real courts can deal with hate crimes and hate speech.

Getting back to the Rae situation (who in no way is one of the aforementioned "haters"), to call a Commonwealth MP a "threat to security" is a joke. It is clearly a political statement. While we don't take sides in this conflict (there is a long history), there are very clear needs from the human rights standpoint - which need to be pointed out.

We can't selectively choose which human rights abuses are "abuses", and which are not. The measuring stick is pretty clear. There is a defined code set out by the UN. A Universal Declaration.

One cannot recall a past situation where a Commonwealth MP has been refused access to another Commonwealth nation (with the exception of South Africa - and for good reason). The Harper Government started a ball rolling, which could quickly get out of control...

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