Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his retreat from anti-Communism official with the permanent appointment of pro-"engagement" David Emerson as Foreign Minister (CTV and National Post). As someone who supported Harper in the 2006 election for the anti-Communist policies he had espoused as Opposition Leader, I have no choice but to withdraw that support now and call for the Conservative Party of Canada to change leaders.
Placing Emerson permanently in Foreign Affairs is a terrible mistake; wrong on principle, wrong on national interest, and wrong on politics. That Harper did it anyway reveals a PM who has lost his way, and unless he is removed, will also lead the Tories into the wilderness.
On principle: Under Harper's leadership, the Conservative Party became arguably the most anti-Communist party in the democratic world. Its election in 2006 gave Canada an opportunity to be the world's genuine conscience (as opposed to the phony conscience the Liberals and used as a model, which the rest of the world ignored, BTW). That potential is now in ashes.
On what is best for Canada: After the scare on exports from Communist China, the numerous attempts by the cadres to grab Canadian resources, and the espionage-intimidation network exposed three years ago, one would think most politicians would be aware of the danger the Beijing regime poses to the free world. Sadly, the elite in Ottawa (much like Washington, I should add) do not see clearly enough - and one of the worst was Liberal Industry Minister David Emerson. To put him in charge of Foreign Affairs is to ignores these and many other ways where Beijing's action damage both Canadian economic interests and the health and welfare of the Canadian people.
On the politics: It is all but certain that in the next election, the Liberals will try what they always try - scare left-wing and center-left voters who have tired of them to "Stop the Conservatives." Yet, on this issue (before today), NDP and Bloc voters were closer to the Conservative view than the Liberal one. Anti-Communism was one issue where these voters would see why it would not make sense to vote Liberal just to prevent the Tories from winning a majority. That rationale is now gone.
I want to make clear that this change, in my view, must be within the CPC. This is no way is meant to imply any support for the Liberals. In fact, replacing one ex-Liberal Foreign Minister who spouts the "engagement" line on Communist China with an actual Liberal who will spout the "engagement" line on Communist China would accomplish nothing. It must be another Conservative, an anti-Communist Conservative, who replaces Harper; the sooner, the better.
Cross-posted to the Shotgun