To borrow a line from HB in another thread, although I rarely wade into political threads, this is germane and I'm surprised it hasn't been posted because from my point of view, it perfectly frames the "problem" we have with the ongoing friction within the political threads.
Prior to the news article, a few questions to pose in advance:
If it is amateurish of the current liberal government to conduct diplomacy via twitter, that would stand to reason that would apply to all Canadian governments, correct?
If the liberal government has no business in raising the issue of the Badawi's, that would apply to all Canadian governments, correct?
If the liberal government is "virtue signaling" via tweeting about human rights abuses, that would apply to all Canadian governments, correct?
If the liberals are showing moral weakness by not immediately cancelling the LAV contract while criticizing the KSA for their human rights record, that would apply to all Canadian governments, correct?
In the world of diplomacy, where precedents have meaning, would it be incorrect of the liberal government to expect the same reaction to one of its diplomatic initiatives (all things being equal) from the KSA as the KSA gave the former government to the exact same act?
And finally, what are we to make of a former Cabinet minister who was a staunch defender of human rights while in office, including directing tweets towards the KSA for their human rights, yet who now is attacking the liberal government for carrying on the tradition he set, considering he is now a member of an advisory board of a company that has a major stake in a project in the KSA?
Like it or not, for reasons that I'm going to try to figure out, the Badawi's are a bi-partisan issue for Canada; that certainly explains the deafening silence emanating from the conservatives on this issue.
Full article at link at the National Post. Shared in accordance with the fair dealings provisions of the Copyright Act:
This has not been a good hour for Canada’: John Baird slams Trudeau government on Saudi state TV
When Baird was foreign affairs minister under then prime minister Stephen Harper, he was known as a frequent and sometimes aggressive supporter of human rights abroad.
“It’s completely hypocritical; this was a guy who was extremely vocal on human rights,” said Thomas Juneau, a Middle East analyst at the University of Ottawa.
It was Baird who suspended diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, calling it “among the world’s worst violators of human rights.” He also helped orchestrate a 2010 meeting in which Harper directly confronted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni over a bill that would have mandated lifelong prison sentences for homosexuals.
Baird had even issued tweets calling for the release of Badawi. “Deeply concerned that Raif Badawi will be publicly flogged again this week. Canada continues to urge authorities for clemency in this case,” he tweeted in January 2015.
Canada is deeply concerned by flogging of @raif_badawi – it is a violation of human dignity and freedom of expression http://t.co/jrjTc3qYMc
— John Baird (@Baird) January 15, 2015
Soon after that tweet, Baird personally raised Badawi’s case with Prince Turki Al Faisal, a member of the House of Saud.