Thursday, September 13, 2007

Look what happens when you let nations play together unsupervised

Apparently the Canadian government has "embarrass[ed] itself internationally" by opposing the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Peoples' Rights that passed by a vote of 143-4 at the United Nations today. Or, to be more precise, some political actors are very much hoping that it will appear to be an embarrassment for the Canadian government for their own purposes.

But is there any reason to care? Aside from the fact that the Declaration is not legally binding on Canada, unless a wayward illiterate judge were to get it into his head that it is, there surely is no political body on earth whose actions and resolutions have earned it less credibility to say nothing of credit, than the United Nations, at least outside of Toronto's city council. At its best, the U.N. is the high temple of useless, sentimental bafflegab when it is not perpetrating frauds or politically prejudiced deceits. The Canadian government might just as well have quietly signed on to the Declaration — it's a strategy that has accommodated the world's tyrannies very well over the past half century.