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Radical Ideas

Some radical ideas over at the Smug Canadian.  In principle, I agree that Canada could, and should, take on a role of trying to fix the UN.  We are widely seen as being an honest broker, and a peacemaker in international affairs.  This seems like a role we could play, and have historically played.

I also agree with the assertion that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the starting point, and that there be some test of democracy in the requirements for entry into, and continued membership in, the UN club.  Having said that, the practicality of excluding China from the UN seems like a bit of a stumbling block.

Our smug friend goes on to assert that there be a requirement for a capitalist economic philosophy, and a means test comparing the constitutional government of said members to the US constitution.  Both of these tests are excessive.  If capitalism is truly the superior system, then it will win.  So far, that seems to be the case.  But countries that want to experiment with other systems should be free to do so, and pay the economic price for failure, just as Canada pays when it introduces overly socialist programs that make us uncompetitive on world markets — anybody in Ontario remember Bob Rae?  We chose him, and I’d certainly not want to have an outside body exclude us from membership on the basis of our own stupidity. Similarly, having lived in the US, and lived by their Constitution, there are many pitfalls one might reasonably want to avoid. 

In principle though, membership in the UN body should be governed by something like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and countries that do not conform should have their membership revoked.  Part of conformance should be that citizens are governed by governments of their own choosing, under a constitution of their own choosing, with regular review (ie. elections) by the people.

The UN itself must become more democratic.  The security council is a farce while 5 countries hold veto power over the remaining 15 countries. 


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