To the Editor:
This fall Canada will witness if Stephen Harperís Conservatives keep their promises when Motion 312 comes to vote. Conservative Party Policy mandates free votes on issues of moral conscience, or, put simply, allows each Member of Parliament to vote free of party pressure on issues relating to religion, morals or ethics.
Motion 312 is the perfect litmus test for the free vote policy; itís a Private Memberís Motion (MP Stephen Woodworth put it forward, it is not a party bill) and for many Canadians it is a question deeply rooted in morals and ethics. Motion 312 calls on Parliament to form a Committee to study Canadaís Criminal Code definition of when a person becomes a human being.
Currently the law states that a child in the womb becomes a human being when they have fully exited from the body of their mother in a living state. It is a lively Motion that will not change the law but encourages healthy debate, a pillar of every free society, and is a great opportunity to prove that we value democratic accountability and freedom of conscience and speech. Whipping the vote will prove the opposite.
Bob Rae and Thomas Mulcair have both announced a free vote for their parties on the Motion. I hope that the Prime Minister follows his policy and allows all Conservative MPs, regardless of their position in the House, to chose how to vote free of pressure or discipline.
If we cannot hold to our principles when they are put to the test, what good are they?
Sarah Johnson, Canwood, SK.