Kevin Rudd and his Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Robert McClelland have decided to take a stand opposing capital punishment in Asia. While Australia has officially opposed the death penalty for quite some time, there have been times in recent years when our government has quietly chosen not to voice that opposition. In particular, Australian authorities have given the silent nod of approval for the execution of the Bali bombers, and also of Saddam Hussein. As a matter of principle the opposition is right. If you don’t oppose the death penalty with 100% consistency, then you cannot claim to truly oppose it. For many people, the fate of the Bali bombers is nothing less than they deserve, and some Australians will probably be offended by the suggestion that they be spared. What might also be unsettling for some is the fact that this Friday is the 5th anniversary of the first Bali bombing. So, is Kevin Rudd risking a voter backlash over his Foreign Affairs spokesman's stand opposing the execution of the Bali bombers? Not on your life! Mr. Rudd has quickly moved to distance himself from Mr. McClelland's remarks. But ultimately, if you truly oppose capital punishment, there is no other position available.
What do you think?