For 40 years the West's major threats and crises have come from oil states.
ISIS. Al Qaeda. Putin. Assad. The Syrian refugee crisis. Gaddafi. Saddam. 9/11. Darfur. The Saudis’ spread of an extreme anti-Western ideology. The Soviets’ surge ahead in the nuclear arms race. Iran’s incessant support for terrorism.
With Clean Trade, Canada will counter the ‘Western imperialist’ narrative that recruits so many extremists.
Canada will peacefully affirm the rights of the peoples of resource-rich countries—as it gets out of business with those who oppress and attack the people.
Clean Trade can also further other priorities, like increasing the value of Canadian oil on world markets, developing Canada’s own energy resources, and furthering an ‘Authoritarians to Alternatives’ plan to replace today’s imports of blood oil with greener energy sources.
Parliament should pass a Clean Trade Act now.
Why is this happening?
An archaic law turns oil into unaccountable power: ‘Might Makes Right’.
All countries today still make it legal to buy oil from whoever can control the wells by force. ‘Might Makes Right’ forces consumers to do business with the world’s most repressive and violent actors. Because Canada's law says that coercive control over oil will win large revenues, Canadian law incentivizes armed conflict over the wells and empower petrocrats to stay in power.
Last year Canada imported over 400 liters of authoritarian and conflict oil for each Canadian citizen.
The better, modern rule for resource trade: A country's resources belong first to its people.
All governments must be accountable to their citizens when they privatize resources (as in Canada) and when they sell resources to foreigners.
Popular Resource Sovereignty
Leaders worldwide already publicly affirm popular resource sovereignty. Its language is already enshrined in major treaties ratified by nearly every country (Canada, the US, China, India, etc.) covering 98% of the world’s population. The principle is entirely compatible with resource privatization.
Test for Popular Resource Sovereignty: Can citizens hold officials accountable for resource decisions without fearing for their liberty or their lives (e.g., Freedom House ‘Free’ or ‘Partly Free’).
Historic Global Leadership
300 years ago, ‘Might Makes Right’ was the rule for all of international law.
300 years ago, 'Might Makes Right' was the international rule even for human beings: ‘whoever can control them by force can sell them to us.’ This was the rule made the Atlantic slave trade legal.
In that violent era, ‘Might Makes Right’ also made colonial rule and apartheid legal.
‘Might Makes Right’ for natural resources is one of the few remnants of the old, violence-based international system.