Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SPP Conspiracies

I'm not a conspiracy theorist and neither is Stephen Colbert. Which makes me think the protesters at the Montebello summit could be on to something.

Still, I don't quite get what they are going on about. Wudrick is puzzled too and has a great post on the incoherence of their rage. Not to belittle their cause, for many it was a good opportunity to get some fresh air, show off one's piercings and, to keep things lively, throw things at the police to see if they would strike back (which they did). In the end, however, it leaves me doubting whether the protesters have thought these issues through.

Despite what some claim, there is really nothing that secret about the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Both the U.S. and Canadian governments have had informative websites on the initiative for some time. Mexico probably does too (although I'm not inclined to search for it). There is more than enough to debate and discuss without making stuff up.

For the most part, it is hard to argue against a cooperative approach to trade and security issues. In the end, if Canadians don't like what the Harper government agrees to, they will eventually have recourse at the polls. There is nothing anti-democratic about that.

Of course, Harper will have to be on guard against U.S. efforts to load the SPP with extraneous commitments. Michael Geist points out how the U.S. managed to slip in its intellectual property priorities in the final agreement. I'm not too keen on Harper giving in on that. Still, the SPP provides an indispensable forum to address common issues and, ultimately, to protect our economic interests. It would be foolish not to participate.

Update: New source of video provided as previous source expired.