Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What are Stevie and Stockie up to?

They've been so quiet for the last year or so, with little evidence of Harper's suspected Hidden Agenda showing itself. Until last week, when without the benefit of parliamentary debate, Harpie and Stockie unilaterally decided that Canada was cool with allowing people to get the death penalty in other countries. The move put capital punishment, an issue that's been dead for years, front and center again. Suspicion. But...

"Naaahhhh, nothing to see here... move along..."

However, it's hard not to think of hidden agendas when the move follows a comprehensive opinion poll of 4,000 Canadians last summer, a poll in which, among questions about media usage and global warming, were hidden questions about capital punishment. To our credit, the poll showed we're opposed to it by a massive margin -- the Conservatives couldn't be seriously considering bringing back something that unpopular. And the principle of opposition to capital punishment is part of our international identity. Isn't it?
"The Conservative government will not co-sponsor a United Nations resolution calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty, breaking with a nearly decade-old tradition.

An official with the Foreign Affairs Department says Canada will vote in favour of the resolution when it comes to the floor of the UN General Assembly in December, but will not sponsor it."

Why not?

Something's going on here, something bad and wrong in every possible way. I haven't decided if this is some cynical attempt to secure those ultra-conservative votes that Harper's lost by not being more extreme or if it's leading to some way of forcing an election. Or if it's a policy the Conservatives really intend to pursue. The fact that we're even thinking about this at all means we're already on the slippery slope, just a little closer to being in the proud company of capital punishment shitholes like Saudi Arabia and Iran. Hang on tight.