Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MPs need to be accountable to the people

Maybe it's just me, but why aren't MPs more accountable to their constituents? The fact that they seem to be accountable to anyone but their constituents, came through loud and clear for me during the recent Private Member's Bill Roxanne's Law, Bill C-510. This bill would have offered women additional protection from abortion coercion. How could any reasonable human being be against such a bill?

Let me tell you, and I'll start with my own MP, Mauril Belanger.

I sent Mr. Belanger two emails asking him to vote for the Bill because, well, he is my MP. Both emails were ignored until the day after the vote when I finally received a reply. It said in part:
"My colleague Hon. Marlene Jennings...was against this proposed legislation. Being of the same opinion I voted accordingly…Incidentally, the Prime Minister's Office has also indicated that it does not support this legislation."

Does this mean that Mr. Belanger answers to Ms. Jennings? Or does it mean he answers to Mr. Harper? Or does he answer to himself? Because I'm pretty confused. I thought MPs answered to their constituents. Ms. Belanger doesn't say anything about his constituents wanting him to vote for, or against the bill.

Then there was the new rookie MP, Bob Sopuck from Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette Manitoba, who was brought into the House of Commons for the very first time on the day of the vote. Mr. Sopuck is a Conservative MP who, from what I understand, represents a strongly pro-life riding. He also voted against the bill. Has Mr. Sopuck been assimilated into the Harper-never-discuss-abortion bunch that quickly? Uh oh, that was fast.

Then we have four stalwart so called "pro-choice" MPs, Jean Crowder, Nicole Demers, Marlene Jennings and Irene Mathyson, who were absolutely indignant during the first debate that Mr. Bruinooge dared discuss abortion in the House of Commons. What was he thinking? Oh, democracy, right.

Ms. Demers was "ashamed" to be involved in a Parliament where pro-life MPs "lie to women who need help". Lie? Strong unsubstantiated claim there, Ms. Demers. She also didn't like it that men were deciding what was good for women. If I had to choose between pro-life men and pro-abortion women, I'll go with the men, thanks.

Then Ms. Crowder referred four times during the same debate, to a radical pro-abortion group, the Abortions Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). ARCC's pro-abortion coordinator Joyce Arthur, is the same person who praised a, need-to-have-their-mouth-washed-out-with-soap blogger who called Mr. Bruinooge names unfit to print, or repeat. Does Ms. Crowder get her marching orders from these pro-abortions? I hope not.

Let us remind ourselves what we were talking about here. This was a bill to protect women from being coerced into having an abortion she did not want or choose to have. All of these MPs voted against this bill. And by no means am I pointing fingers at just these six MPs. There were another 172 MPs who also voted against the bill.

A common criticism of Roxanne's Law was that abortion coercion is already illegal. But legal counsel for the EFC Faye Sonier dismissed that argument--and many other arguments against the bill, here and here.

The "pro-choice" people used to always say "every child a wanted child". Conversely, and I don't mean to be flippant here, but shouldn't every abortion be a wanted abortion? So why would 2/3 of our MPs vote against a bill that bans no abortions, except coerced ones? That--is not “pro-choice”.

Are MPs afraid to go against Mr. Harper's repeated mantra of not reopening the abortion debate? If so, why? Because if this is the case, democracy is very ill and hopes for its recovery are not good.

It's time to make MPs accountable to us, and not every Nicole, Marlene and Stephen.

1 comment:

  1. I think we have a real problem with our Canadian style of Parliament, based on the British one. The population is unable to raise issues that they would like to see debated, legislated, etc. In the US, the general public does have this ability through their style of government and their politicians certainly are much more accountable to their constituents.