I’m sure this is posted in all the major Canadian dailies, but please take a gander if you will.
I rarely blog about the machinations of the various political parties here in Canada, usually because what they are up to bores me and usually they are all up to the same shennigans. But this struck me as important. A Conservative MP has come out and stated that there is a secret caucus of concerned MPs from from various political parties who are concerned about “bringing more value to unborn children”.
In one piece of proposed legislation, which never saw the light of day because a snap election was called in September’08 was rather vague but would make it possible to make abortions illegal in Canada:
At the party’s convention recently in Winnipeg, Conservative delegates voted to resurrect a proposal to create a specific criminal charge for instances in which a fetus is killed or injured during commission of a crime against a pregnant woman. Such a bill died when the federal election was called.
As one can see, it is fairly vague but leaves much “leg room” to re-open the abortion debate which our Supreme Court ruled upon 20 years ago – that a woman has the constitutional right to determine what is best for her body, including abortions.
I am concerned for various reasons. This is yet another example of the Conservatives trying to put forth their Christian Social Engineering Agenda, trying to dictate to others who do not share their “values” what is moral and right. Though not emphatically stated in the Canadian Constitution, there is by long practice a seperation of Church and State here. Our last several Prime Ministers have gotten tongue lashings from their parish priests and even the Pope (when Gay Marriage became legal here) but our PMs stuck to their guns and said that when they are in Parliament they are governing all of the country which comprises of individuals from various faiths and that they cannot enforce their private Catholic beliefs on the country.
Until Harper I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there were no discussions about religious values during election campaigns, family values, or that television cameras did not follow our PM while he went to church. Unlike the United States, where while watching the various election events I was very uncomfortable with how much emphasis was placed on how often the candidates went to church, which church they belonged to and how this impacts their “family values”. I knew less about my PM’s religious beliefs than that of the American President, and I was fine with that.
Canada is very much not American in that the discussion of religion in public is still considered taboo and socially inappropriate – that one’s religious beliefs are private and should stay private. Even in the workplace it is rare to see someone wearing large symbols of their faith (crucifixes etc) or even discussing their religion. If a fellow employee is a Muslim they tend to quietly go off and do their daily prayers, but its no big deal. If someone else is observing Ramadan, Yom Kippur, etc it is never discussed or brought up – again, it’s a private matter which does not require discussion amongst the cubicles.
So going back to Harper and his Conservative Party – they scare me. I do not want born-again radical Christians having the ability to legislate what is right and proper for me. Trudeau said it best when he uttered “the state has no business in the bedroom”.