Kennedy allows his anti-Americanism to shine through
As Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy's bill to grant war resisters safe haven in Canada progresses closer to its second reading, Kennedy is suddenly speaking the language of compromise.
He says he's willing to compromise on the bill, which currently calls for Canada to become a safe haven for conscientious objectors anywhere in the world.
"It's not a requirement for me that that very broad principle now be ensconced in the Immigration and Refugee Act," Kennedy said.
No. Instead, he's more than willing to see his act reduced to making Canada a haven for American war resisters... and American war resisters alone.
Which should really remind Canadians of what this bill is really about: trying to solidify the Liberal Party's stance with voters of the far-left, for whom anything opposing US interests is a good thing -- even when shielding individuals who volunteered for military service, often after the contentious war in Iraq began.
Even Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff -- who is quickly embracing the role of say-anything Grit leader -- is getting in on the act.
"You don't let just anybody in," Ignatieff said. "They have to prove that they have a substantial objection of conscience to forced military service."
"The issue here -- and that's why we want to get it into committee -- is the issue of stop-loss, the issue of where you enlist and whether you're compelled to re-enlist," he explained.
If stop-loss has really been the issue, that would be news. After all, Kennedy's bill doesn't specifically state that it applies solely to stop-lossed servicepersons.
Nor is there any reason to think that Kennedy will consent to have his bill re-written to reflect that. It isn't a compromise that Kennedy has publicly offered. Moreover, the prospect of so-called "conscientious objectors" who haven't been stop-lossed being deported back to the US as they should be would undermine the bill's promise of cheap partisan gain.
But this is all really a moot point.
Perhaps Gerard Kennedy should be reaching out to the Barack Obama administration that the Liberal Party allegedly favours to find out what kind of a compromise he can work out with them.
There's little chance of that. But if Kennedy's bill were about anything other than cheap partisan gain, it's one of the first things he would be doing.