Trudeauís pro-choice decree is democratic, not dictatorial


mentalfloss
#1
Shiny Pony 1, Catholic Church 0

Trudeau’s pro-choice decree is democratic, not dictatorial

Call it Justin Trudeau’s butterfly effect. His lips flutter, and a tidal wave of faux outrage follows.

To demonstrate, here’s Christian Riesbeck, the Roman Catholic bishop of Ottawa: “That is scandalous,” he said of Justin Trudeau’s decision to require Liberal candidates to back the party’s pro-choice position on reproductive rights. To make things right, the Bishop declared, Trudeau “would have to make a public retraction of his views.”


How horrifying it would be if he did. It’s one thing for clergy to express their views on a policy issue, but it’s quite another for them to assert that their parishioners have no choice but to listen to them. Want to live in a country where legislators answer to clergy? Try Iran.

Riesbeck isn’t alone. In a statement earlier this month, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast wrote that, “one may not dissent from [Catholicism’s] core teachings on life issues and be considered a Catholic in good standing.”

Trudeau was the target of the Archbishop’s ire, but not its intended audience; Prendergast’s political epistle was to be published in every church bulletin in his archdiocese. Its message is simple: according to the Church hierarchy, individual Catholics are required not just to accept, but also to vote for the Vatican’s position on abortion. According to the Church’s leaders, it’s not enough to believe that abortion is wrong as a matter of religious morality – Catholics must also demand legislation to limit a woman’s right to choose. On reproductive rights, according to Riesbeck, Prendergast, and other wannabe ayatollahs, there can be no separation between church and state.

What nonsense, and what gall. “What they’re saying is, ‘there’s no choice but pro-choice,’” declared Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton. “That’s a contradiction in itself.” That’s not true, unless you think that a politician’s choice to dissent from party policy is as grave as a woman’s choice to terminate a pregnancy. (It isn’t.) Still, the fallacy is less absurd than the hypocrisy; Archbishop Smith and his clerical bedfellows are shocked – shocked! – that Trudeau would force his candidates to support his party’s policy on abortion, but they apparently have no problem telling Catholics that they have no choice but to parrot the Church’s pro-life position, not just in the pews, but also at the ballot box.

Trudeau’s edict allows Catholic Liberal candidates to believe what they like about abortion as a spiritual matter, provided that they promise to vote the party line on abortion, as on every other core policy issue. Catholic leaders, by contrast, would require their flock to vote a different party line: Rome’s. They expect Catholic politicians to inscribe the Church’s doctrine into law – not just for themselves, but for everyone else. One of these two approaches is a threat to Canadians’ freedom of conscience. It isn’t Trudeau’s.

If, in the words of Edmonton’s archbishop, Trudeau’s pro-choice policy is “dictatorial,” then the Church’s anti-choice rule is plainly theocratic.

Catholic leaders aren’t alone in seeking to legislate dogma. Canadians of other faiths are treated to similar pronouncements from their own clergy – from the pulpit, they’re told that it’s not enough for them to believe that abortion is wrong; they must also seek to make it illegal. Such clerical commandments are problematic in a country governed by the rule of law, not the rule of God.

Canadians are free to make up their own minds about access to abortion on whatever terms they choose. If, for some, religious dogma is reason enough to oppose it, then so be it – but that’s a decision for individuals to make themselves, not for their priests or pastors to make for them. As policy rationales go, “God told me so” may be unsatisfying, but “the Archbishop told me so” is unnerving.

Trudeau’s pro-choice rule may make life difficult for candidates who disagree; they’ll now have to decide between voting the party line and running for a different party. Yet, Catholic leaders are forcing their flock to make a much starker decision – between voting the Church’s party line and no longer being, in Archishop Prendergast’s words, “a Catholic in good standing.” If you think those alternatives are equally severe, then you’re either putting too much stock in politics or not enough in religion.

Catholics are still free to believe what they want about abortion – or divorce, or contraception, or same-sex marriage. They’re also free to oppose any party’s policies on any of those issues. But, in politics, that’s where the freedom of religion ends; no one has a right to remain a party’s candidate while refusing to support its positions. Religious freedom doesn’t come with a veto.

Faith leaders are welcome to their own views on access to abortion, as they are on any other policy issue. When the previous Liberal government – led by Paul Martin, who, like Trudeau, is Catholic – moved to legalize same-sex marriage a decade ago, his Church was incensed. Its views were respectfully acknowledged, then effectively ignored, and rightly so. Earlier this month, when Pope Francis called for “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state” and “an unfailing commitment to solidarity” with the poor, Catholic Conservatives like Employment Minister Jason Kenney didn’t rush to rewrite the federal budget – nor should they have. Trudeau’s response to his critics of the cloth has been similarly nonchalant. Good.

In a pluralist society, we should always accept disagreements over policy, and we must always respect others’ beliefs. But that doesn’t mean we have to allow others to impose their religious views on the rest of us; respect for religion doesn’t mean that we can’t keep it in its place.

A healthy democracy can accommodate both religious objections to abortion and a woman’s right to choose. It’s the Vatican’s wannabe theocrats, not Justin Trudeau, who would force Canadians to decide between them.

Trudeau‚€™s pro-choice decree is democratic, not dictatorial - The Globe and Mail
 
Corduroy
+2
#2
I don't think the author really explains how Trudeau's decision was democratic.
 
BornRuff
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by CorduroyView Post

I don't think the author really explains how Trudeau's decision was democratic.

It sounds like they focus more on calling the church undemocratic.

Either way, I think it can be helpful to the democratic process because it makes the issue much more clear for voters.

The vast majority of voters know nothing about the specific views of their local candidate. They vote based on the national campaign platform. This will give people more clarity on what they are voting for when they cast their ballot.
 
Corduroy
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

It sounds like they focus more on calling the church undemocratic.

Either way, I think it can be helpful to the democratic process because it makes the issue much more clear for voters.

The vast majority of voters know nothing about the specific views of their local candidate. They vote based on the national campaign platform. This will give people more clarity on what they are voting for when they cast their ballot.

True. It's good that the Liberal party is standing for something, rather than their usual everything.
 
BornRuff
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by CorduroyView Post

True. It's good that the Liberal party is standing for something, rather than their usual everything.

Hopefully they stick by it.

So far the cons have been pretty quiet because there were more than enough Liberals getting mad about it. If they stick it out, they should be able to smoke out the crazies in the Conservative Party by election time.
 
Colpy
Conservative
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

It sounds like they focus more on calling the church undemocratic.

Either way, I think it can be helpful to the democratic process because it makes the issue much more clear for voters.

The vast majority of voters know nothing about the specific views of their local candidate. They vote based on the national campaign platform. This will give people more clarity on what they are voting for when they cast their ballot.

Considering that a 2012 poll showed 62% of women and 57% of men would approve a law limiting late term abortion, this appears to be Justin shooting himself in the foot.
 
BornRuff
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

Considering that a 2012 poll showed 62% of women and 57% of men would approve a law limiting late term abortion, this appears to be Justin shooting himself in the foot.

What kind of poll was it and what exactly did it ask? Can you link to it?

This is one of those issue that some people love to use as a pretense to limit abortion more generally. Would most people actually want to change the law if they know that medical standards already limit that and there is no evidence that people are circumventing that?
 
Corduroy
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Hopefully they stick by it.

So far the cons have been pretty quiet because there were more than enough Liberals getting mad about it. If they stick it out, they should be able to smoke out the crazies in the Conservative Party by election time.

Who'd be left?
 
Colpy
Conservative
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Hopefully they stick by it.

So far the cons have been pretty quiet because there were more than enough Liberals getting mad about it. If they stick it out, they should be able to smoke out the crazies in the Conservative Party by election time.

Yeah, you know, the crazies that make up the majority of Canada's population....................
 
DaSleeper
+4
#10
BTW When did the Church claim to be a democratic institution..............................
 
BornRuff
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

Yeah, you know, the crazies that make up the majority of Canada's population....................

There is a reason that Harper has actively tried to keep abortion off the table. He knows that opening up that debate will give a lot of fuel to his opponents.

Right now it just looks like Justin is causing problems for no reason. As soon as anyone in the conservative party does anything that will allow the Liberals to claim that the party has plans to limit choice, the Liberals are going to lean into that very very hard.
 
Corduroy
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

BTW When did the Church claim to be a democratic institution..............................

No Catholic Church decisions can be made without a 2/3 majority vote from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
DaSleeper
#13
Last edited by DaSleeper; May 29th, 2014 at 03:57 PM..
 
Colpy
Conservative
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

There is a reason that Harper has actively tried to keep abortion off the table. He knows that opening up that debate will give a lot of fuel to his opponents.

Right now it just looks like Justin is causing problems for no reason. As soon as anyone in the conservative party does anything that will allow the Liberals to claim that the party has plans to limit choice, the Liberals are going to lean into that very very hard.

The first thing I learned in poly sci 1000 is he with the fewest principles wins.

You might not like it, but standing on either side of a principle, especially one so emotional, so divisive, and that so evenly splits the people is counter-productive if you wish to win.

The Conservatives under Harper will never introduce ANY abortion law. Harper has said so over and over.....so while anti-abortion activists are welcome in the party, and as MPs, they will get exactly no where as long as Harper rules.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Hopefully they stick by it.

So far the cons have been pretty quiet because there were more than enough Liberals getting mad about it. If they stick it out, they should be able to smoke out the crazies in the Conservative Party by election time.

As opposed to crazy Lieberals who are front and centre all the time for all to see.
 
DaSleeper
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

As opposed to crazy Lieberals who are front and centre all the time for all to see.



Yup....In politics as in poker...don't show or advertise all your cards........
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+1
#17
A leader telling people how to vote is not democratic. Particularly not when the MPs constituents want them to vote a different way regardless of what issue it happens to be.
 
Corduroy
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

The Conservatives under Harper will never introduce ANY abortion law. Harper has said so over and over.....

Did they teach you anything about taking a politician at his word in Poli Sci 1000?
 
gerryh
+6
#19  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Shiny Pony 1, Catholic Church 0

Trudeauís pro-choice decree is democratic, not dictatorial

ROFLMFAO... really.... JT TELLING his MP's how to vote is democratic? Maybe in the Republic of China, but not in any democracy I know of.

Considering the Catholic Church isn't doing anything that isn't expected of them, then I would say it is actually :
Shiny Pony 0, Catholic Church 1.
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

Considering that a 2012 poll showed 62% of women and 57% of men would approve a law limiting late term abortion, this appears to be Justin shooting himself in the foot.

We must remember that Colpy is a paid up member of the Conservative party so we can't take his position on Trudeau too seriously...
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#21
Former Chretien minister drops Liberal bid over Trudeau’s abortion policy - The Globe and Mail
 
mentalfloss
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

ROFLMFAO... really.... JT TELLING his MP's how to vote is democratic? Maybe in the Republic of China, but not in any democracy I know of.

Considering the Catholic Church isn't doing anything that isn't expected of them, then I would say it is actually :
Shiny Pony 0, Catholic Church 1.

If anything, the contrast between the two makes perfect sense and there is nothing undemocratic about choosing a party principle well before an election.

Good news.

I wonder where he'll go.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
+1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

If anything, the contrast between the two makes perfect sense and there is nothing undemocratic about choosing a party principle well before an election.



Good news.

I wonder where he'll go.

You support hairdo as you are pro choice. What happens when there is another vote on an issue that is based upon ethics, and he runs the party opposite to your view.
All Trudeau did was cause confusion, You are aware that Trudeau will not answer, will he Whip the vote if it came to Parliament? Or are you.
 
mentalfloss
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by CorduroyView Post

I don't think the author really explains how Trudeau's decision was democratic.

I agree.

I found this one a bit better.

Regarding process, of course we should demand more accountability, transparency and internal democratic practice from political parties and leaders, especially given the centralization of power in the Prime Ministerís Office over the last decades. There is, however, a world of difference between a prime minister gaming the Supreme Court appointment process and a party leader declaring that what was previously considered a ďfree voteĒ issue would now be subject to party discipline. The former profoundly erodes the norms and traditions crucial to the functioning of our Westminster system. The latter is a reflection of them.

TheStar
 
gerryh
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

If anything, the contrast between the two makes perfect sense and there is nothing undemocratic about choosing a party principle well before an election.


Telling someone how to vote, in a democracy, is not democratic.


Please remember, if you can, that the Catholic Church is not a democracy and has never said that they operated as a democracy. The Liberal Party of Canada on the other hand............ or are you suggesting that democracy is not a good thing?
 
mentalfloss
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

You support hairdo as you are pro choice. What happens when there is another vote on an issue that is based upon ethics, and he runs the party opposite to your view.
All Trudeau did was cause confusion, You are aware that Trudeau will not answer, will he Whip the vote if it came to Parliament? Or are you.

I'm perfectly fine with him whipping the vote on prolifers.

Women's rights are that important.
 
DaSleeper
+1
#27
I could be wrong and have been before .....but it seems to me that at this time last year that Gerryh was defending Justin......seems to me that something made him do an about face.....
It's possible that there are many more rethinking their support for the shiny pony ........now.
 
gerryh
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

I could be wrong and have been before .....but it seems to me that at this time last year that Gerryh was defending Justin......seems to me that something made him do an about face.....
It's possible that there are many more rethinking their support for the shiny pony ........now.


Yup, you have been wrong before, this is not one of those times.
 
mentalfloss
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

Telling someone how to vote, in a democracy, is not democratic.


Please remember, if you can, that the Catholic Church is not a democracy and has never said that they operated as a democracy. The Liberal Party of Canada on the other hand............ or are you suggesting that democracy is not a good thing?

There's nothing wrong with whipping a vote on something people knew about well before an election.

If people don't like it, they can vote for someone else.

Democracy.
 
gerryh
+1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I'm perfectly fine with him whipping the vote on prolifers.

Women's rights are that important.


and the hell with the kids......kill em....kill em all.
 

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