I've finally started a more thorough read of Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis, and I will undoubtedly be posting quotes frequently. It is impossible to read this book without adopting some of the rage that Mr. Lewis speaks of.
The subtitle of this post is Why I Can Not and Will Not Vote Liberal This Month.
"We promise and continue to promise to reach the 0.7 percent. We are the author of that promise. Everyone knows that. Everyone on the international scene thinks it's the height of hypocrisy to propound the policy and then fail to meet it. It's no accident that all of the major witnesses who have come before the Foreign Affairs committee of the Canadian House of Commons since April 2003, from Professor Jeffrey Sachs to James Wolfenson, just before he retired as president of the World Bank, to Richard Feacham, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), have all begged Canada to declare a timetable to reach 0.7 percent. Canada Steadfastly refuses to do so.
Yet we are the only G8 country with successive and continuing budgetary surpluses. And our minister of finance, as a member of Blair's Commission on Africa, endorsed the target of 0.7 percent by 2015. It was the central recommendation of the commission report. How do you sign the report and then repudiate it upon your return to Canada? It's perverse; it lacks integrity.
We want to have it all ways. We declare our support for the crusade to "Make Poverty History"; we say we want to get to the 0.7 percent, but we resolutely refuse to set a timetable.The prime minister says that there's nothing worse in internationalism than to make promises that are not kept: that's the real immorality, he argues. With respect, he's wrong. The real immorality is for one of the most wealthy and privileged countries in the world to fail to respond adequately to the life and death struggle of hundreds of millions of impoverished people." (p. 32,33)
History will judge us all. As far as I'm concerned it has already judged Paul Martin.