Canada’s 2008 Elections: The Parties’ Stances on Tibet

Here is some information provided below, by the Canada Tibet Committee (http://www.tibet.ca/en/elections2008), of each Canadian Party’s stance on Tibet and its issues. I found the Green Parties response to be the best out of the five. Particularly because they spoke about changing government strategy to accepting more Tibetans refugees, speaking out against China’s human rights violations in the UN, and also passing legislation to make Canadian corporations overseas responsible for the same human rights standards and environmental strategy as they are in Canada. However, according to the polls, the Green party is the least popular out of the five parties.
_____________________________________________________

Election 2008 – October 14th

The Canada Tibet Committee posed five questions to each of Canada’s five major political parties regarding their Tibet and China policies. Unedited, in alphabetical order and as they were provided to the CTC by the parties themselves, you’ll find their responses below.

We’ve also added to this page a series of resources that may be helpful to you as you consider your choice on October 14th, including a list of all members of Parliamentary Friends of Tibet who are seeking re-election.

Conservative Party of Canada

1. What is your party’s official position on Tibet?

The Conservative Party is committed to upholding core Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world. We support the Dalai Lama’s position to seek genuine regional autonomy for the Tibetan people within China, and that this be achieved through substantive negotiations between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama.

2. If elected, how will your party support human rights (freedom of speech, religious freedom) for the people of Tibet?

Our government has consistently urged China to respect the unique religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage of the Tibetan people and to respect fully their human rights and civil liberties. We have also called upon China to respect the right of Tibetans to protest peacefully and to take steps to improve the human rights situation in Tibet.

We have advocated for substantive dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama, or his designated representatives.

Given the recent developments in Tibet, Canada considers this dialogue to be an important element in working toward a resolution of outstanding issues and establishing a true and lasting peace in Tibet.

3. Under what conditions, if any, would your party support or facilitate investment by Canadian companies in Tibet?

All Canadian companies doing business abroad, including those in Tibet, are encouraged to meet international standards such as the UN Global Compact and OECD Guidelines for MNC. We also support the principles of the Guidelines for International Development and Sustainable Development in Tibet developed by the Central Tibetan Administration.

4. If elected government, how would your party support the current dialogue between representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Government of China?

We will encourage continued dialogue, and if called upon by both sides, we would be happy to facilitate the current dialogue process toward a peaceful resolution.

5. If elected government, what would be your party’s foreign policy in relation to China-Canada relations and how would human rights form an integral part of that policy?

Our relations with China are conducted in a respectful manner and are guided by the pursuit of Canadian values and interests. Human rights have always been an integral part of our discussions with Chinese leaders and that will continue.

Platform www.conservative.ca

Green Party of Canada

1. What is your party’s official position on Tibet?

The Green Party of Canada supports the position taken by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which implies a distinct Tibet within and as part of China. This must be done through an agreement with the Tibetan government-in-exile that satisfies concerns around cultural survival, human dignity and religious freedom. This would also recognize the role of the Dalai Lama as spiritual leader.

It is also important that: political detainees are released from prison, that education for Tibetans is managed by Tibetans, and that the existing Tibetan population be protected from excessive external influence.

2. If elected, how will your party support human rights (freedom of speech, religious freedom) for the people of Tibet?

We declare our commitment to non-violence and strive for a culture of peace and cooperation between states, inside societies and between individuals, as the basis of global security. We would continue to support the Tibetan cause at the United Nations. This should be recognized as a Canadian position reflecting our values of respect for diversity and social justice for all peoples and adherence to UN Charters.

We would work towards a formulating a Canadian government strategy with the goal of accepting more Tibetan refugees from Nepal and India.

3. Under what conditions, if any, would your party support or facilitate investment by Canadian companies in Tibet?

The growth of multinational enterprises and global supply chains has been accompanied by growing concerns regarding labour standards, environmental protection, and respect for human rights in developing nations. The public is increasingly aware of the social and environmental impacts of business practices and more and more people are beginning to demand that Canadian corporations come to terms with a much broader set of interests and expectations.

As such, we would support investment by Canadian companies only if Tibetan leaders were able to participate in negotiations and that our concerns with respect to environmental standards and human rights were guaranteed. We believe that this investment principle must be universally applied, and thus would introduce legislation to begin holding Canadian corporations that are working overseas to the same environmental and human rights standards as they are in Canada.

4. If elected government, how would your party support the current dialogue between representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Government of China?

In keeping with our commitment to renew Canadian excellence in international diplomacy and development, we would offer to act as an honest broker between the two groups in order to find compromise solutions that both parties can agree to and support.

We would also offer to bring dialogue to the UN when and where the situation merits this measure.

5. If elected government, what would be your party’s foreign policy in relation to China-Canada relations and how would human rights form an integral part of that policy?

We would continue to speak out against human rights violations and press China at the UN to improve it record on human rights not only in China but globally. It is important to develop a solid relationship based on mutual trust with this growing power. We must work to ensure that China is not unduly threatened by our determination to see standards of human rights universally applied.

Platform http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy/visiongreen/partfive

Liberal Party of Canada

A Liberal Response to the Canada Tibet Committee / Réponse du Parti libéral au Comité Canada Tibet

1. What is your party’s official position on Tibet?

The Liberal Party has always advocated and will continue to advocate for the respect of human and civil rights in Tibet. We strongly encourage the government of China to work with the Tibetan people in a constructive way to resolve the situation in Tibet in a manner that fully respects human rights, international law and Tibet’s unique cultural identity.

2. If elected, how will your party support human rights (freedom of speech, religious freedom) for the people of Tibet?

Liberal policy towards China is one of constructive engagement. We will be candid with the Chinese government in raising concerns about human rights, but the goal must be to get results. Public lectures of the Chinese may play well politically in Canada, but they tend to be counter productive in our bilateral relations. We need to convey expectations to China, but we must understand that China views the Tibetan situation as a domestic issue.

3. Under what conditions, if any, would your party support or facilitate investment by Canadian companies in Tibet?

Liberals believe strongly in corporate social responsibility. This means Canadian investment must be socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. A Liberal government will establish and promote a Canadian Corporate Social Responsibility Framework for all Canadian extractive-sector companies operating in developing countries.

4. If elected government, how would your party support the current dialogue between representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Government of China?

Liberals strongly encourage this dialogue as a means to resolving the Tibetan situation peacefully, and in a manner that respects human rights and Tibet’s unique cultural identity.

5. If elected government, what would be your party’s foreign policy in relation to China-Canada relations and how would human rights form an integral part of that policy?

As noted in Question 2, Liberal policy towards China is one of constructive engagement.

We believe that human rights can best be addressed by engaging China in a multi-faceted constructive relationship. The Conservative government’s confrontational approach toward China has not helped to improve human rights. On the contrary, it has made China less receptive to Canadian concerns. China must be encouraged to be a more active participant in the international community – not a more isolated one.

Platform http://www.liberal.ca/platform_e.aspx

New Democratic Party

The NDP reaffirms its commitment to support human rights in China, including the collective self-determination rights of the people of Tibet. The government of China must respect the freedoms of religion, speech and assembly for Tibetans.

New Democrats have called on the government of Canada to use all diplomatic means to urge the government of China to respect human rights and refrain from violence. Our MPs have also called on the government of China to engage in good faith negotiations to establish greater autonomy for Tibet within the greater Chinese family. We have also called on the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights to send an investigation team to monitor and report on any grievous human rights violations committed by the government of China in Lhasa.

On February 15, 2007, the House of Commons gave unanimous consent to a motion by New Democrat MP Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) stating: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: urge the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the representatives of Tibet’s government in exile, notwithstanding their differences on Tibet’s historical relationship with China, to continue their dialogue in a forward-looking manner that will lead to pragmatic solutions that respect the Chinese constitutional framework, the territorial integrity of China and fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people for a unified and genuinely autonomous Tibet.”

While Canada-China trade is an important component of bilateral discussions, Canada must adopt a more transparent, comprehensive, and publicly accountable bilateral process with China, one in which human rights concerns and the environment are central. With these as guiding principles, a New Democrat government would support and facilitate fair trade investment in China, including Tibet.

Platform www.ndp.ca

Bloc Québécois

1. Quelle est la position officielle de votre parti concernant le Tibet ?

Les récentes violences qui ont eu lieu en sol tibétain en mars dernier et dans les provinces chinoises voisines du Sichuan et de Gansu ont mis en lumière l’urgence de régler le litige qui perdure depuis trop longtemps entre le gouvernement chinois et le peuple tibétain.

Nous croyons que la meilleure façon de régler ce différend réside dans une démarche non violente, afin que des négociations entre le gouvernement chinois et le peuple tibétain débouchent sur une réelle autonomie du Tibet qui satisfasse les deux parties.

Nous sommes en outre résolus à appuyer toute initiative qui pourrait conduire à un dénouement pacifique entre le peuple tibétain et le gouvernement chinois, car nous estimons que toute résolution du litige sera impossible dans un contexte où la Chine persiste à recourir à la force envers les Tibétains.

2. Si vous êtes élus, que fera votre parti pour appuyer les droits de la personne (liberté d’expression, liberté religieuse) du peuple tibétain ?

La Chine, comme tous les pays membres de l’ONU, doit respecter la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme ainsi que la Charte de l’ONU. Ces documents explicitent l’obligation de respecter les droits fondamentaux, tels la liberté de religion et d’expression. En ce sens, la Chine a l’obligation de permettre aux Tibétains d’exercer leurs droits tels que stipulés dans ces deux textes.

Plusieurs parlementaires du Bloc Québécois s’impliquent afin de faire connaître aux Québécois et aux Canadiens la problématique du peuple tibétain.

3. Sous quelle condition, s’il y a lieu, votre parti appuierait-il ou faciliterait-il l’investissement des entreprises canadiennes au Tibet ?

Dans tous les cas d’investissements canadiens, le Bloc Québécois a toujours défendu des investissements éthiques. Nous exigeons qu’il y ait des standards éthiques dans les investissements faits à l’étranger.

En ce sens, nous nous engageons à déposer un projet de loi qui viserait à encadrer les investissements canadiens à l’étranger. D’une part, pour empêcher une société canadienne d’opérer lorsqu’elle commet des crimes graves à l’étranger. D’autre part, pour retirer tout soutien fédéral à une société canadienne qui ne respecte pas les critères éthique (respect des droits de la personne, respect du développement durable, etc.).

4. Si votre parti est élu au pouvoir, comment appuierez-vous le dialogue actuel entre les représentants de Sa sainteté le dalaï-lama et le gouvernement de la Chine ?

Le Bloc Québécois a toujours soutenu le dialogue entre la Chine et les représentants de Sa sainteté le dalaï-lama. Nous croyons qu’une solution durable du litige et acceptable pour les deux partis doit être obtenue par voie de négociation.

Le Chef du Bloc Québécois, M. Gilles Duceppe, a rencontré à deux reprises Sa sainteté le dalaï-lama, soit le 22 avril 2004 et le 30 octobre 2007, avec lequel il a pu s’entretenir de cette importante question.

Nous donnons notre appui à votre démarche non violente afin que des négociations entre le gouvernement chinois et le peuple tibétain débouchent sur une réelle autonomie du Tibet qui puisse satisfaire les deux parties. Le 18 avril dernier, l’association des parlementaires amis du Tibet, dont nous sommes membres, s’est rendue au Michigan afin de demander une résolution pacifique du litige au Tibet ainsi que le respect des droits et libertés fondamentaux des Tibétains.

Vous pouvez compter sur le Bloc Québécois pour poursuivre ces pressions afin que les autorités chinoises et les représentants de Sa sainteté le dalaï-lama puissent négocier afin d’en arriver à une solution durable.

5. Si votre parti est élu au pouvoir, quelle sera votre politique étrangère concernant les relations sino-canadiennes et comment les droits de la personne y seront-ils intégrés ?

En matière d’affaires étrangères, le Bloc Québécois a toujours défendu et promu le droit international et le multilatéralisme. Le premier assure l’égalité entre les plus forts et les plus faibles. Il fixe aussi les mêmes normes pour tous. Le dernier s’assure que les nations s’en remettent à la diplomatie, plutôt qu’à la guerre, pour résoudre leur différend.

En ce sens, nous appliquons cette grille d’analyse à tous les pays. En vertu du droit international, la Chine a des obligations (comme tous les autre pays). Elle a l’obligation de faire respecter la Charte de l’ONU, la Déclaration universelle des Droits de l’homme, le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques, etc.

Le Canada doit collaborer avec la Chine pour promouvoir la paix, la stabilité et le développement durable. Cela étant dit, il nous apparaît clairement que la Chine doit aussi respecter ses obligations internationales en matière de droits de la personne. En intervenant auprès des dirigeants chinois, que ce soit bilatéralement ou dans les instances multilatérales, le Canada doit faire pression pour que la Chine respecte les libertés fondamentales des Tibétains.

Platforme http://www.presentpourlequebec.org/accueil.aspx

One thought on “Canada’s 2008 Elections: The Parties’ Stances on Tibet

  1. Otto Kerner

    Sadly, you can’t really belive anything politicians say about what they’re going to do. Seriously, I don’t mean that they are just plain lying and wouldn’t do these things in a perfect world where they could do anything. But we don’t live in that world. What really matters is what they will work for, what deals will they make, what will they expend political capital on. Although they won’t say it, I don’t think Tibet is on anybody’s agenda in that sense, which matters a lot more than the fact that they say, “Yeah, I’d like Tibet to be free”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s