Newman: Should Canada boycott the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

By: /
8 August, 2013
By: Don Newman
Chairman of Canada 2020, Senior Columnist with

This is a tricky question. It really depends on what other democracies, friends, and allies decide to do.

As a country we should determine and follow foreign policy decisions that are in our national interest.

There is no direct reason in our direct relations with Russia why we should boycott the Sochi Olympics, although support for the Assad regime in Syria, rigged elections, human rights and free expression crackdowns, and providing safe havens for people who have broken the law in their home country are not qualities about the current Russian government we can admire or support.

However, if some or all of the above issues lead the democratic community of nations to decide an Olympic boycott is necessary to underline the disapproval of a growing list of Russian attitudes and behaviour, then as a member of the democratic community we should be a part of that boycott.

To not be part of the boycott would isolate us from the community of nations to which we belong. That would go against what then would be in our national interest.

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