This is a guest post by Gerry Caplan, a Canadian academic, public policy analyst, commentator and political activist.
Soon after the 2011 election, with his majority government at last in hand, Prime Minister Harper decided that nothing, but nothing, was more important to Canada's entire future than a pipeline to carry oil from Alberta to the Pacific. This came as a shock to many Canadians, first because it hadn't been raised in the election, second because many believe that to combat global warming we must reduce, not expand, our reliance on fossil fuels.
In some countries, those who disagree with their government's policies are vilified, demonized, accused of being unpatriotic and operating under the influence of malign foreign influences. In Turkey, for example, Prime Minister Erdogan blames anti-government protests on terrorists and extremists supported by “foreign conspirators.”
The same is true in Egypt, as Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, informed the House just this week. An Egyptian court had convict 43 non-profit workers of illegally using foreign funds to foment unrest in the country and sentencing them up to five years in jail. This was unacceptable, Mr. Obhrai said.