Obviously not all of Canada’s foreign policy decisions are the result of diaspora politics but many of the important ones, including the likely boycott of the next Commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka, are. As we have argued before, this “dangerous game of diaspora politics” is mostly about short-sighted, self-interested politicians. We believe Canadians need to wrestle the diaspora political agenda away from our elected officials as it is far too important to be left in their self-serving hands. (summary)Complete Article here: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/05/17/dangerous_game_of_diaspora_politics_is_here_to_stay.html
It would be enough for us to argue that there was no principled policy at play here, if being principled means abiding by and enforcing a commitment to basic standards of human rights and rule of law; and especially when violations of those rights are egregious and self-evident. One expects a government espousing “principles” as a cornerstone of its foreign policy to at least understand and apply these basic and fundamental tenets of international diplomacy through thick and thin.
But we have other concerns. As the Conservatives work assiduously to court diasporas from regions of the world deeply immersed in conflict, one must ask if these immigrants are fleeing oppression and long for freedom or are moving here because of business opportunities. With diaspora politics probably the most salient political issue of the 21st century, we are seeing the emergence of a more conservative society that fits perfectly into Harper’s Conservative agenda. If previous generations of immigrants brought in their suitcases issues such as human rights, democracy and the like, now we see a different kind of interests at play: business success perhaps at the expense of human rights, rule of law and justice.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Canada: Dangerous game of "Diaspora Politics"