Tuesday, June 14, 2005

There is Always a Choice

Microsoft is joining Yahoo in helping the Chinese government oppress free speech:
[...]"If you want to deal with the Chinese, you have to deal with their rules," said William Makower, CEO of Panlogic a marketing consultancy with operations in China.
"If you want to deal with the Chinese". Of course, Microsoft does not have to do business in China. But it is also free to do so.
"Microsoft is a multi-national business and as such needs to manage the reality of operating in countries around the world," a Microsoft spokesperson told the BBC News website.
Surely, the reality of operating in certain countries must eventually encounter a line where Microsoft will uphold principles over money. Where is that line? Would Microsoft co-operate with a regime that introduces restrictions on content that can be read? Or forces it to convey state propaganda?

What is being demonstrated to the world in China is that in exchange for supporting the exploitation of a people by a gang, you can become rich. A political party that behaves the way the Chinese communists behave is simply a large gang.

Microsoft could stand up to this gang: if you want our products and services, there will be no strings attached.

I have to believe that the Liberal Party of Canada is monitoring this situation in China carefully, and taking notes on the degree to which dissenting opinion can be suppressed before citizens begin to act up. The day that the Liberals ignored their defeat in Parliament is the day that erased the last difference I perceive between them and the Communist Party of China.

Oh, and Mr. Martin: there will be private healthcare in Canada because the courts have demonstrated that they intend to uphold our constitution. Your assertions that there "will not be a two-tier system" loudly announce to me that next stop in your destruction of our democracy is your intent to ignore our supreme court. Your strident assertions are seasoned with too much confidence - which is a red flag.