Boycotts have questionable value as a diplomatic tool. The limited boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in the Soviet Union had little impact on the Communist government, other than to inspire a revenge boycott of the Los Angeles Games four years later. The only real damage was to the athletes who missed a chance to compete, stated National Post in an article published yesterday (7).
“But while there is real cause for alarm, Mr. Harper’s absence from the summit will do little to remedy the situation. It also suggests a lack of uniformity in how Ottawa applies its views on rights. China, which Mr. Harper gave the cold shoulder early in his mandate, has done little to improve its record, yet has been embraced as a major trade partner and investor in Canada. Mr. Harper showed no reluctance to attend a G-20 gathering in St. Petersburg last month, despite Moscow’s well-documented abuses, and its ongoing support for the murderous regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad,” the writer Kelly McParland said.
The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand, both conservative leaders, say they have every intention of attending the Colombo summit, the writer further said.
Mr. Harper is sacrificing a forum in which Canada’s voice had real force, in the apparent belief that silence will work better instead. It rarely does, the writer adds.
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