Thursday, March 28, 2013

M-408: a symptom of a much bigger problem

This is what happened yesterday with Mark Warawa's motion 408:
"After forcing B.C. Conservative MP Mark Warawa to rush through a prepared statement and then announcing they had no questions for him, the MPs on the all-party committee threw him and others out of the packed room on Parliament Hill to hold their discussions in secret.

They made their decision within 15 minutes and refused to reveal it until it is reported to the Speaker of the House of Commons — potentially as early as Thursday."

This democracy debacle, that has unfolded this past week, was summed up nicely by Andrew Coyne:
"This did not begin with Warawa, in short, and it will not end here. The question is whether opposition MPs will join the fray. The shuttering of Warawa’s motion, after all, was an all-party affair: it was his motion this time, but it could be theirs next. There’s a fight worth having, here, but it isn’t Conservatives vs. Opposition, or pro-life vs. pro-choice. It’s for the freedom of all MPs against the dictates of a system that, as in no other democracy, has vested all power in the party leader."

So how did we get here anyway? I'm glad you asked that question.

First, we allowed unlimited rights to choose to kill pre-born children. Next, we allowed the prime minister to not allow us to discuss abortion. Then, we allowed NDP and Liberal MPs to complain loudly and continually, that the prime minister won't muzzle his MPs who dare bring forward pro-life bills or motions. After that, we allowed the Conservative whip to yield a big stick and enforce the prime minister's bidding.

Finally, we allowed the abortion issue to be solved once and for all, by dispensing with parliamentary procedure and MP's rights to speak for their constituents, or with their conscience, about anything remotely concerning abortion or fetal rights.

That is how we got to where we are today. This is the footprint of a supposedly democratic nation, one of the wealthiest, most educated, most tolerant nations on Earth. We have allowed ourselves to reach this point, where we are tolerant of freedom of expression in all cases, on all subjects, except when it concerns abortion or fetal rights.

We have allowed backbench MPs--who don't fall into step with their leader and his will regarding what they can, or can't do; what they can, or can't say--to be ignored, marginalized, and muzzled.

That is how we got here.

We now need to ask ourselves a question. What are we going to do about it? Do we allow this to continue, or do we take a stand? Because in the end, it's all up to us.

Update: Mr. Warawa's press release this afternoon

"Warawa disappointed with Committee’s decision
M-408 — Mr. Warawa (Langley) — That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.

Ottawa, ON (March 28th, 2013) — Today, following the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs’ decision to reject Langley MP Mark Warawa’s appeal on the votability of Motion 408, Warawa stated that he is very disappointed with their decision. Warawa will announce his next step when the House returns.

“I have three options. I can accept the decision of PROC, appeal to the House, or introduce another motion or bill,” stated Warawa. “I want to make sure that I take time to consider what is best for the issue of discrimination against women and girls.”

The United Nations estimates that 200 million women and girls are missing due to gendercide, and stated: “Renewed and concerted efforts are needed by governments and civil society to address the deeply rooted gender discrimination which lies at the heart of sex selection.”

“92% of Canadians want the practice of sex selection condemned,” said Warawa. “I need time to consider how best to move this issue forward.”

Mr. Warawa must make his decision by April 19th."

I have a pretty good feeling this isn't the end of this.

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