Despite their geographic estrangement, Australia and Canada enjoy a common bond and similar outlook on the world.Both are rated as middle powers. Both have conservative prime ministers who say they are good mates from way back. Their troops have fought alongside each other as long ago as the Western Front and Gallipoli and today, in Afghanistan. They also represent two of the three pillars, along with the UK, supporting the old-world idea of the Commonwealth and its head, Queen Elizabeth.
So why, when the Canadian PM has refused to attend a Commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka in a protest about human rights abuses, will Tony Abbott not do the same?