Dear Mr. Rae,
Thank you for starting a petition on your party’s website against today’s motion to re-open the debate on a woman’s right to have an abortion. However, the fact that you’re not whipping your party for this vote is very disconcerting. Unfortunately the House of Commons is not an accurate reflection of the people of Canada, and even in an ideal world it never could be. Even if it was, the Commons is a representation of the people of Canada, and the majority cannot in Canada dictate the rights of the minority. This is why your party created the Charter of Rights and Freedoms thirty years ago. It was a document that you were celebrating only weeks ago. Today when I found out that you will not be whipping your party for this private member’s bill shows me a lack of spine and a lack of respect for our Charter.
One of the architects of the Charter, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien once said:
To have a referendum to decide on the fate of the minority, it’s a problem. It’s why we have constitutions – to protect the rights of the minority. It’s why we have the Charter of Rights. So if it is always the majority vote by referendum, who will defend the minorities?
Yes, he was talking about gay marriage, and yes he was talking about a referendum, but that’s not the point. The majority cannot dictate the rights of the minorities. It is the duty of those in public service to protect the rights of the minorities, and this is why we have the Charter. Mr. Rae, it is your duty to whip your party, it is your duty to uphold those things that Canadians believe it, creating equality and creating a community. We cannot do those things while the Conservatives attempt to undermine rights, nor when the Liberal Party supports their goals through inaction.
Take a stand Mr. Rae. Don’t make me regret being a member of the Liberal Party.
Women are not a minority, by the strictest terms. Only in the treatment of our bodies, our paycheques, our voice, our…
Carry on then.
I actually was having trouble with that as I was writing, as women are technically the majority. The word I wanted was probably oppressed, but I don’t think it got what I was looking for. A tad too dramatic. As rights don’t hinge on whether or not a group is oppressed.
I think the word your looking for is disenfranchised, which is a stupid word, but it may be the best we can get. Otherwise I’d vote for arbitrarily fucked.