One fundamental concept of this great nation known as Canada is the freedom to hold and express whatever beliefs you want. Sometimes, this includes some rather unusual and fringe opinions, and other times, it includes some very polarizing beliefs as well.
Opinion on abortion ranges widely across this country. We don’t need to go into the details, because this article isn’t about abortion legislation and the issues surrounding abortion in and of itself.
This is about Trudeau’s draconian declaration that future Liberal candidates must declare themselves to be “Pro-Choice.”
And herein is the problem.
Opinion on abortion is split across party lines, across ideology, and across the country. There are Pro-Life MPs in all caucuses in the house. Candidates across all parties are Pro-Life. Other candidates across all parties are Pro-Choice. Political affiliation in the two parties which have governed Canada had nothing to do with one’s opinion on abortion.
Until May 7th of 2014, that is.
Speaking outside the House of Commons, Justin Trudeau told reporters that Liberal nomination candidates would be screened on issues of moral conscience, such as same sex marriage and abortion.
That’s pretty clear: Pro-life candidates need not apply.
Trudeau went on to make this point even clearer on the Liberal Party website:
“Under my leadership, incoming Liberal MPs will always vote in favour of a woman’s fundamental rights.”
Later, Trudeau seemed to backpeddle somewhat, saying that Liberal candidates were welcome to hold Pro-Life views, but must vote Pro-Choice.
That’s even worse, and is also a non-starter.
Back in the day, I had a chat with a nomination candidate, who made it abundantly clear to me that, as a practising Roman Catholic, he would resign his seat before voting along Pro-Choice lines.
That’s his right, of course; and I expect many Pro-Life MPs hold the same opinion.
Trudeau was forced to clarify his clarification, saying existing MPs were “grandfathered to a certain extent,” but the party’s official position is Pro-Choice, and sitting MPs would have to vote Pro-Choice.
Sitting MPs have to vote pro-choice, despite their personal beliefs, meaning Justin Trudeau is forcing people with deeply held personal beliefs into a position of don’t run for election, resign your seat, or be a hypocrite.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. What this policy means is Trudeau rules by decree. He can declare what the caucus will vote, and members of the party will vote the way he determines.
When it’s a government that does that, it’s called a dictatorship.
This is not what Canada is all about. We don’t need a Prime Minister who openly discriminates based on a person’s deeply held moral beliefs. We don’t need a Prime Minister who forces his own MPs into hypocrisy with veiled threats of Parliamentary punishment. We don’t need a Prime Minister who determines Official State Morality based on his own opinion.