Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Today's News: About the Foreign Interference Scandal, from May, Wark, Smith, and Scrimshaw

So I've been sort of following the NSICORP (National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians) report revelations about foreign interference in Canadian politics, except there really hadn't been any, nothing concrete at any rate, about exactly who did what and to whom.
Until this happened:
Here are some recent interesting and useful opinions: 

From twitter user Angela, who is from Nova Scotia and usually tweets about Ukraine:
Her lengthy tweet says this:
What is or isn’t foreign interference In Canada?
Foreign interference is NOT
- Aggressive lobbying, lawful advocacy, or dissent
- Overt engagement with entities in Canada
- Canadian entities openly advocating support for a foreign state
- Use of foreign state media outlets in Canada to spread propaganda
Grey Zone + Deception
- Paying Canadian media outlets to produce foreign propaganda (without attribution)
- Providing support (financial or other-wise) to friendly community organizations in Canada (without attribution)
- Corruptive practices (e.g., exchange of small favours, payments, inducements to further a relationship
- Foreign state coordination with private or non-state entities (e.g., companies to pressure policymakers
- Engaging with third party groups/persons in Canada to 'monitor' entities of concern (e.g., dissidents)
Foreign Interference IS…
- Obfuscation of state involvement in influence efforts, use of third parties to further hostile state interests
- Deceptive activities meant to manipulate individuals
- Clandestinely or deceptively using entities (e.g., person, group, company) in Canada to perform duties normally assigned to officials of a foreign state
- Stifling open discussion of contentious issues via threats and/or coercion
- Funding and/or supporting electoral candidates or political parties via proxies
- Seeking to control or unduly influence diaspora communities and groups
- Disinformation campaigns - both online and offline.
Wesley Wark, Agents of influence in our political class Or, what is to be done?
...In a democracy like that of Canada, there is nothing inherently wrong with divided loyalties, so long as they are kept in balance. They have to be considered part of the fabric of a country like Canada, multi-cultural and built on immigration. You could even say that divided loyalties should be protected, that they enrich, that they are a birthright.
Nothing wrong with divided loyalties until they are weaponized, until they cease to be divided and tilt, for whatever reason, in favour of the homeland state. This crossing of a red line might be forced, through compromise. It might be a product of corruption, and self-inflicted. It might involve ideological conviction. It might even involve the chasing of risks, thrill-seeking. This mix of potential motives has long been a formula of counter-espionage profiling, familiar from the Cold War....

Dale Smith Roundup: Temporarily abdicating responsibility to Justice Hogue
...more people are latching onto the mention in the NSICOP report about compromised media outlets—those on the left are convinced this is talking about Postmedia being on the take, and now Conservative MPs are putting out shitpost videos trying to claim that mainstream media writ-large is on the take so they aren’t to be trusted. The report didn’t actually say anything about mainstream media, and if you have a grasp of the media landscape, the report is likely referring to ethno-cultural media outlets serving diaspora communities, as there is plenty of documented evidence of particularly Chinese interference in some of these outlets in Canada. But the Conservatives don’t care about the truth, or context—they want to flood the zone with bullshit in order to create this dystopian alternate reality for their followers with the explicit aim of reducing their trust in reality, and that’s exactly what they have weaponised the report to do....

Finally, Evan Scrimshaw gives us his thoughts about May's presser and sums up with these words of wisdom: Interference's Internal Contradictions
...It’s probably comforting to think that we’ve been betrayed, because it gives all of us some enemy to blame for our current malaise. It is easier to blame China/India/Iran/whoever else for politicians we dislike and don’t respect, and the conspiracist nonsense is a distraction. The Conservatives are not going to the right on trans rights because of foreign interference and the Liberals aren’t pro climate action because of the globalist WEF, they hold the positions they do because that’s where their voters are.
Foreign interference is a real problem. There are probably lots of people who have lived in between the lines to win their nominations. And those lines should be clarified and those gaps closed. But the panic over foreign interference seems to be a limp vessel, for a simple reason; it’s a hell of a lot easier to say that Senior Politicians are compromised by foreign governments than to accept our current discontent is our own fault.
And us stepping up and acknowledging that is the best way to move forward.  

1 comment:

e.a.f. said...

Its hard to say who to believe but certainly of the party leaders, I'd vote May. She does not have a lot to gain by being untruthful. The other parties, well they have vested interests and could make inroads on the number of seats.
Whipping up the general population with "foreign interference" is a great way to attract attention, take people's eyes off of the real issues facing Canadians, and for some its a method to increase racism.

Is there foreign interference? Lobbyists engage in interference. We accept that at some level. Have foreign officials tried to influence Canadian politicians? Of course but does it go as far as being illegal? Not sure haven't read the report.

We do know China has "police stations" in Canada and spies on those who oppose them, who were formally citizens of China. We fairly regularly hear from Pres. Xi and the Chinese Ambassador about what they want Canada to do or stop doing. Its actually getting boring and who listens to them? Is it interference.? Not so much

India, four men have been arrested for murdering Hardeep Singh Nijjar at his Surrey Gurdwara. Canada ought not to stand for that kind of action by a foreign government. This is the type of thing Ambassadors are called in for and read the riot act and some of their embassy staff expelled from Canada. Is it political interferance in Canadian politics. Not in my opinion. Mr. Nijjar was voicing his opinions on the actions of the Indian government regarding an independent state.

Over the years we have heard Iran has spied on and threatened former citizens of that country, but its about what they say about Iran. Its not meddling in Canadian politics. Canada needs to ensure no foreign country sends people here to harass people living in this country. That interfers with our rights to freedom of speech.

The bus loads of people arriving at a nomination meeting. Been there, saw it. Those who arrived on the bus were living in Canada. It isn't how we had traditionally played the game, but others see no problem with it. It actually is the easiest way to influence Canadian politics. Nominate some one to run for a party who is going to work on behalf of a foreign government. It might be an idea for elections Canada to draw up some new game rules for that. We have had allegations of some signing up new members beyond deadlines, etc. That all needs to stop. Elections Canada does a good job of ensuring our elections are run fairly, but those nomination meetings, OMG.

As it now stands we, as citizens, don't know a whole lot. Should the names of the alleged culprits be kept secret? You bet because to name names and then find out it isn't true destroys careers and people. That would be too much like the McCarthy era in the U.S.A. Should there be a committe to investigate the matter, not so much. Too many mouths with flapping gums. If some one broke the law, then it needs to go to crown counsel. They might need a little assistance from a couple of government lawyers and an intelligence officer. Then Crown can decide whether they ought to charge any M.P. In the meantime its time all M.P.s be given a course on how to conduct themselves while being M.P.s and remind them their first piority is serving Canadians not some foreign government. If some one has actually stepped over the line, charge them.

When people move to Canada as immigrants they might want to leave their old "issues" in the 'old country". Indian politics have so far resulted in a jet being bombed and all on board killed, some people have been murdered, some have been attacked. Enough.

the parental units moved to Canada following WW II. They put all of that behind them. This was now their country and it was this country's politics which was of interest to them.