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SPP: Attack of the left-out elites

August 19, 2007

SPP: Attack of the left-out elites

The Liberal party, currently the confused chameleon of the Canadian political scene, is attempting to brand itself as an ardent critic of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership. The initiative, which effectively began under the direction of Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, with a hefty helping of "consultation" from Canada's premier lobby group of corporate leaders, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, would effectively harmonize the immigration, trade, and security (as well as social and environmental policies) of the three NAFTA countries. Dubbed "Nafta 2.0" by media pundits and "NAFTA+Homeland Security" by its left-leaning critics in Canada, the SPP's implications are certainly far-reaching.

Yet despite the role of the Martin government in birthing the SPP, Stephane Dion is now claiming that "the original spirit of the SPP was one all Canadians could embrace... but Mr. Harper is taking the SPP in a very different direction. Under the veil of secrecy, he is blurring the line between partnership and imitation."

Dion's comments are chalk full of hypocracy - under Martin's stewardship, the SPP was no less secretive nor any less lacking in accountability - but his comments appear to mirror criticism that has been emerging from right-wing critics of the SPP in the United States. Lou Dobbs, an anti-immigrant crusader and host of CNN's Lou Dobbs tonight, appears to be the only mainstream journalist south of the border to have focused upon the SPP. His frequent news reports on the subject, in which the claim is made that the SPP is unaccountable and will ultimately result in relaxed immigration standards for Mexican guest workers, often ends with Dobbs urging viewers to pressure their congress-members to stop the SPP.

Similarly, Jerome Corsi, a founder of the Swift Boat Veterans for truth, which dogged John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004, and a public admirer of the vigilante, gun-toting Minutemen, has just finished a book on the SPP, "The Late Great USA" which makes the claim that the SPP will bring about an EU-style merger of the North American continent.

The opposition to the Liberals may simply be a case of political opportunism, capitalizing on the obvious critical sentiment in Canada against the Bush administration, but the opposition South of the border represents a truly remarkable development: a split amongst US Conservative elites from the neo-con Conservatives within the Bush administration. It appears that this may represent the greatest threat to the SPP at the moment. On July 24th, the US House of Representatives voted 262-63 to cut funding to all transportation initiatives connected to the SPP. In addition, 13 US states have voted to withdraw from the SPP, due largely to the controversy extending from the so-called "NAFTA Superhighway" project which would link Mexico city to Winnipeg through a corridor that would, in parts encompass a 12-lane mega-highway.

(I may be jumping the gun here, as a recent interview of mine with Texas-based writer and SPP-critic Richard Vogel indicates that grassroots organizing may have already played a significant part in the resistance to the secrecy of the SPP on the part of US state governments.)

Still, the trend of angry, left-out elites disenfranchised with the secrecy of continental integration undertaken by the Bush/Cheney neo-cons is something few seem to have commented upon to date.

More on this later...


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We get enough liberal vomit

We get enough liberal vomit spewed at us through the main stream media. It would be so refreshing to read an original article or opinion which doesn't simply regurgitate the same, cooperate puppet nonsense. No, Lou Dobbs is not Anti-Immigrant in any sense. The issue has nothing to do with immigrants. The Minutemen are Not vigilantes, and your use of the term "gun-toting" sounds like you think our Right To Keep And Bare Arms is a bad thing. I would not be suprised if you agreed with George W. Bush that the Constitution is "Just a God Damned piece of paper".

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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