I am both surprised and unsurprised by the vote on M-312 in the House of Commons last night. M-312 is of course the private member’s motion to strike a committee that would discuss the Criminal Code definition of when one becomes a human being. MPs voted against it, 203-91.
Among those who voted in favour, we find:
House leader Peter Van Loan, International Trade Minister Ed Fast, National Revenue Minister Gail Shea, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue and Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose…
That’s pretty cool. And so is the fact that by far the most strident and intolerant folks on this particular issue were those – like NDP MPs Francoise Boivin and Nikki Ashton – who seemed to believe there should be no place in Parliament for such discussions. Where else should people discuss important issues of life and death if not in the House of Commons? As interim Liberal leader Bob Rae explained, “The notion that you can somehow stifle, stifle even the possibility of somebody raising a question or raising a different point of view, I find it unacceptable”. Wow. I agree with Bob Rae.
Anyhow. I was not surprised to see the motion defeated. But I have been very pleasantly surprised in the last couple of days by the civility with which most people conducted themselves in this debate, outside the House and inside it. There is hope yet.
Categories: Social issues