By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 10, 2012 - 0 Comments
Asked about how Iran might respond to Canada’s decision to cut diplomatic relations, the Prime Minister says nothing would surprise him. Iran dismisses the Harper government as “racist.” John Baird says he has no knowledge of military action against Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu and Simon Peres praise the Harper government. Irwin Cotler assesses the situation.
Iranian students in Canada are worried. Iranian-Canadians in Calgary are concerned. Haaretz suggests sanctions and isolation may compel Iran to negotiate. The Tehran Times reacts to the move. Doug Saunders and Gus Van Harten question the Harper government’s decision. The Toronto Star worries about war between Israel and Iran. The Globe questions Mr. Baird’s reasoning and says it’s better to talk with your enemies.
The presence of an embassy and the retention of diplomatic relations is not evidence of support for or approval of a regime, it is an acknowledgement that it is better to talk, even to an enemy, than not.
Cardinal Richelieu devoted a chapter of his Testament politique to the imperative of continuous negotiation, stating, “I may venture to say boldly that to negotiate without ceasing, openly or secretly, in all places, and though no present benefits accrue, nor any prospects of future advantage present itself, is what is absolutely necessary for the good and welfare of States.” It is precisely because it is a threat to its own people and those in other countries that Canada should continue to talk with Iran and not retreat from its international responsibilities.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM - 1 Comment
Doug Saunders considers refugee policy and calls for an international solution.
What Lamey proposes is to internationalize Canada’s approach and expand it. He calls it a “portable-procedural” system by which “lawmakers could relocate asylum applicants to a sufficiently rights-respecting third country,” which would “thereby break the vicious circle of unfounded claims and ever-lengthening determination times within a particular state.” This system, he argues, would avoid situations like the ones facing Italy now or Germany in the 1990s, where a constitutional guarantee causes an enormous flood of illegitimate claims. Such a flood would likely stop, he posits, if claimants understood they could be relocated. To safeguard claimants’ rights in the country where they first land, Lamey proposes three non-negotiable requirements: the timely right to a full hearing, right to legal counsel and a prohibition on arbitrary detention.
… Lest we forget how our ancestors got here, and what they were very often fleeing, we ought to step above the headlines and start talking to our neighbours about something like Lamey’s proposal. As Zaiotti’s study suggests, Lamey’s ideas may not be as politically plausible as they look on paper, but there are good reasons to try. It seems odd that we are able to build multinational coalitions of armies with record speed to strike blows against tyranny on the other side of the world, but we are unable to join forces with our neighbours, at far less cost, to do some- thing about the boatloads of people fleeing those very same tyrannies. It is time for a coalition of the welcoming.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 11, 2010 at 2:23 PM - 21 Comments
Via the Globe’s Doug Saunders and Broken Social Scene’s Julie Penner, news that the new Speaker in the British House of Commons is vowing to shorten that Parliament’s summer break. Seems British MPs sat for “just” (JUST!) 143 days last year. Seems Mr. Speaker believes a greater demonstration of accountability is necessary.
He confirmed plans for the Commons to cut short its three-month summer recess by sitting in September. He said it was “extraordinary” to suggest that the annual party conferences should take priority over Parliament. “The public want visible proof that we are doing our main job, which is to work in Parliament,” he said.