Tuesday, April 8, 2008

PM Harper Pussies Out Over Beijing Boycott

Freedom and democracy. These are the values that animate us as Canadians. They give us meaning and identity. And yet we are happy to participate in amoral and relativistic institutions like the United Nations and, more relevantly, we are pleased to send delegates to countries that flaunt their repudiation of our values as a matter of public policy. And why? Because a boycott is deemed to be impractical.

There are a thousand reasons to condemn China and, consequently, Canada's participation in the Beijing Olympics. Their frequent human rights abuses. Their communism. Their government's stranglehold over their domestic economy. Pick one and ask yourself why that isn't enough to preclude our presence at the 2008 Olympics. Our participation is a tacit moral sanction of their practices.

That isn't to say I expected another outcome. Doesn't politics require compromise? Isn't it impractical to hold such standards? I've always maintained there was nothing impractical about living according to one's values. Apparently, the government disagrees.

UPDATE: Mike Brock adds his two cents.

UPDATE II: My favourite camel chimes in as well. Give it a read. Alice digs it.

UPDATE III: The Steyn weighs in:

Well, I think there is something sort of disgusting about the world’s leaders gathering in China to, in effect, sign off on this. I think the International Olympic Committee was wrong. And while I think there’s something slightly pathetic about downgrading, you know, that we do that a lot, at this horrible Durban conference on racism, the State Department signaled its displeasure by not sending the Secretary of State, but downgrading to a low level diplomat. The low level diplomat is effectively the gun boat of 21st Century diplomacy. As I said, it’s pathetic. But I do not think, there’s no obligation for the President to be in Beijing. Other heads of state are not going to be there. The Queen is not going to be in Beijing. So I think it’s entirely reasonable to say well, you know, the International Olympic Committee made the wrong call, but if the athletes want to go, that’s one thing. But we’re not going to politically endorse what’s going on there.

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