There are times when I despair about Canadian politics, but at the moment I’m holding my head high.
Here is the passage from the article in the Metro that first brought this item to my attention:
“I had an extraordinary example in a father who had deeply, deeply held personal views that were informed by the fact that he went to church every Sunday, read the Bible regularly to us, and raised us very religiously, as Catholics,” Trudeau wrote.
“But at the same time my father had no problem legalizing divorce, decriminalizing homosexuality and moving in ways that recognized the basic rights of the people.
“He too held fast to his beliefs. But he also understood that as leaders, as political figures, and as representatives of a larger community, our utmost responsibility is to stand up for people’s rights.”
Trudeau says he shares his father’s view of leadership in that regard.
“Canadians of all views are welcome within the Liberal Party of Canada. But under my leadership, incoming Liberal MPs will always vote in favour of a woman’s fundamental rights,” he wrote.
What a sensible approach to deciding how to partition one’s personal beliefs and choices from one’s exercise of political power!
Justin Trudeau is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and son of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He recently revealed that future Liberal candidates will be vetted to ensure they are willing to support the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Specifically, they must support marriage equality and women’s bodily rights (for example, the right to have an abortion).
One might expect that this puts him ahead of the pack. There are a certainly people making noise about how this will help the Conservatives in the next election (for example, here and here). But the National Democratic Party (NDP) has had a similar policy for a while now, and even the ruling Conservative Party, while nominally open to members “voting their conscience”, has declined to reopen the abortion debate during its recent term in office.
I don’t think Trudeau’s position, on its own, would win the Liberals my vote. On the other hand, the euphemistic platform “Members can vote their conscience” will certainly lose the Conservatives my vote. It is an abdication from taking a stand. It amounts to saying “Members can try to take away people’s rights if they feel strongly about it.” Not okay, Conservatives. Not okay at all.
(I was pleased to note, in researching this post, that Trudeau’s Twitter feed includes items about transphobia and about scientific freedom. Those are issues that may draw me toward voting Liberal in the next election.)
(Also, the acoustics geek in me was delighted to notice that the hashtag for the Liberal Party of Canada is #LPC. Haha!)