With just a week to go in Canada's Federal elections, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been roundly accused of racism and dog-whistle politics in order to draw attention away from the failings of his administration. Next Monday he will know if his tactics have worked.

Call it dog-whistle or wedge politics, it is ugly, racist and alive and kicking in the Canadian election campaign.

During the last weeks Conservative leader Stephen Harper has seen his majority threatened by the Liberals and he’s opted for the dog whistle.

I stand alongside anyone arguing for freedom of speech. But sometimes also against them. And alongside the other side too, sometimes. Such is walking the moral tightrope

Tightropes are by definition dangerous things; the challenge and appeal is that you could fall off either side and requires incredible balance. Grant Robertson has discovered the danger of not just the act, but the metaphor as well when he tweeted about the Charlie Hedbo killings.

There is no transferring blame away from the perpetrators of this crime. 

Moderate muslims are not to blame.

It is not the disastrous invasion of Iraq, even if this gave jihadists a foothold. France, like New Zealand, didn’t support that war.


It was not France’s intervention in Mali in 2012. That was a legal intervention, sanctioned by the United Nations Security council. It was an African-led military force against al Qaeda in northern Mali, after an illegal coup toppled a democratically elected president.

Obama critics are disingenuous when they imply the Taliban would not have been fussy about which Guantanamo prisoners released in exchange for a US soldier they have held for five years. Their real issue is Obama succeeded - albeit with some questions stil to answer.

All week North American news, ‘news’ and satire has been drenched in vacillating glorification and demonization of the now released US soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

Is he hero or deserter?

It may take ages to clarify that, but one thing is for sure - he is fresh political fodder.

US to send food and medical supplies to Syria; Thailand signs deal with militant Muslim group; China signals new foreign policy focus; Tony Blair defends Rwanda's role in Congo; Bulgaria announces election; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S. Non-Lethal Aid to Syria Marks Major Policy Shift