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Whaling: Floundering around

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COMMENTS

28 May 2010 13:00

Two wrongs don't make a right. They just make a bigger wrong!

The Rudd Government's cavalier anti-whaling policy and its decision today to try to take Japan to the International Court of Justice is proof positive of this maxim.

The first wrong committed was in the heated days of the 2007 campaign when the promise was made to take this action against a long-standing diplomatic and strategic partner. So far no other country has been willing to join the Rudd Government in this unilateral escalation; not even, it appears, New Zealand.

The second wrong is to now follow through with this bad promise at the same time as the International Whaling Commission is seeking a compromise to the whaling stand-off. Australia, like Japan, is now willfully isolating itself when it comes to international efforts to manage whaling.

It boggles the mind why the Rudd Government has chosen to live up to this bad promise when it has ditched other, sounder, policy promises. Ah, that is except if one remembers another maxim – expedient politics will trump sound policy, especially in election campaigns and especially when the government is doing badly in the polls. And all this promise requires is to be rude to a long-standing friend and to complicate diplomatic processes already in train to address the problem.

Photo by Flickr user Minette Layne, used under a Creative Commons license.

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