Friday, April 11, 2014

Fish and the CRPD

No, I haven't lost it. I'm just stupefied by recent Senate action. Last week the Senate ratified more than one treaty. It ratified four. They dealt with international cooperation on rules related to catching fish. That's right, fish. I guess when it comes to fish the Constitution, sovereignty, and the UN telling us what to do are not problems. These treaties passed on a voice vote. That means there was no roll call votes. If you want to read all about the details try a blog post by Hayes Brown. It is excellent and I will not duplicate it here.

Now we could look at this development in one of two ways. We could conclude that the Senate recognizes that we are part of the world community; it makes enormous sense to work together to make this planet a better place; and the UN is not the bogeyman. Or, we could conclude that money talks and unlike the U.S. fishing industry we don't have enough.

I prefer to endorse the first conclusion. That is, at least for a moment many senators are now rethinking their general opposition to UN treaties. They're willing to take a second look at the CRPD. They are willing to recognize that doing things as part of the world community is a good thing to do. They're willing to recognize that international cooperation extends to things like disability rights. They are willing to understand that much good and no harm will come from U.S. ratification of the CRPD.

Senators' recent actions related to fish give us an opportunity to say, "We are aware of your recent voice votes on the FOUR fish treaties. Are you ready to give us a voice vote on the CRPD?  We hope so." You know, there is only two things elected officials dislike as much as bad press -- being seen as inconsistent and unresponsive to constituents.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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