Not all Conservative MP's agreed with Stephen Harper on the Nexan Energy deal. James Bazan wrote to one of his constituents in Manitoba:
“I would like to note that I am strongly opposed to this deal, and I have raised my concerns directly with cabinet as well as with the prime minister. As I have stated to my colleagues in cabinet, due to China’s dismal record on human rights and freedoms, I take particular exception to allowing a state-owned company from China to purchase a Canadian company. The Communist Chinese government continues to fail to grant even the most basic of human freedoms to its citizens, as they strip away their national wealth to invest around the world. CNOOC’s past possible human rights abuses and failure to report oil spills is something I am also very concerned about …
“As a Conservative, I am in favour of keeping markets open in Canada, however I do not support allowing state-owned and state-controlled enterprises to take over publicly traded Canadian companies, as these state-owned and controlled business (sic) are not on the same level playing field as other free-enterprising corporate entities. Markets should operate in a manner that allow (sic) for fair and proper investment. State control, through financial manipulation and investment, do (sic) not allow for openness or fairness to the average investor. Large amounts of state investment distort markets for all other participants, while limiting other opportunities.”
Obviously, Mr. Bazan's objections didn't carry much weight with Stephen Harper -- but, then, neither did Bill Casey's, Garth Turner's or Chuck Cadman's. Michael Harris writes that Mr. Harper -- an apostle of free markets and a soldier in the war against tyranny -- is willing to overlook a lot about China:
Isn’t China the country where there is no independent judiciary, where religious repression is routine, where arbitrary detention and extra-judicial killings are commonplace, where torture is a normal state tool, where Liu Xiaobo is looking at 15 years in prison for circulating a pro-democracy pamphlet, where websites are censored and blocked, and where they slaughtered their own students in Tiananmen Square?
Harris observes that things are beginning to fall apart for the Harper government. Eventually voters tire of the hypocrisy.
This emperor has no clothes.