By stifling free speech, Canadian Prime Minister creates firestorm of opposition

By Dave Andrusko

Conservative MP Mark Warawa speaks about Motion 408, the anti-discrimination motion against sex-selection, on Parliament Hill .
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

When I talk with my pro-life Canadian friends, I remind myself constantly that as bumpy as the legislative, judicial, and cultural landscape is for us at home, our situation is positive idyllic compared to what they are up against.

Pro-abortionists reign supreme, but not unchallenged—an incredible tribute to the dogged determination of our colleagues North of the Border. But Lord Acton’s admonition is particularly apropos here: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In a word the Canadian Abortion Establishment may have gone too far. What am I referring to?

We’ve written many stories about Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Warawa. He is one of those fearless “backbenchers” (as they are called in a parliamentary system) who understands just where the abortion absolutists (and they grow like topsy in Canada) are weakest.

Powerless, Warawa merely asks for an acknowledgment (a) of the lowest common denominator (who wouldn’t be against sex discrimination?), and (b) the least aggressive response to it (a verbal condemnation). Here’s how National Post columnist Barbara Kay put it.

“So Conservative MP Mark Warawa thought he was on firm moral and political terrain a few months ago when he asked the Commons to approve his motion M408, which wouldn’t change anything in practice or introduce a single regulation around obtaining an abortion, but would merely ‘condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selection pregnancy termination.’

“(Note how careful Mr. Warawa was to avoid even using the ‘A’ word, knowing that the very sight of the word in print aligned with disapproval of any facet thereof might provoke certain pro-choice absolutists to setting themselves on fire in the streets in protest).

“But the obvious merit of M408 – no different than cautioning smokers that tobacco is unhealthy, which may have nudged some smokers to quit, and others not to take up smoking in the first place, both salutary outcomes – were lost on pro-choice activists and their political minions, who flew into a moral panic at the very idea of criticizing women who choose abortion for any reason whatsoever.”

That already places “progressive” pro-abortionists on the defensive. By condemning sex-discrimination, they hoisted them on their own petard.

As Kay notes, pro-abortionists are on the wrong side of this one:

“A 2011 Environics poll found that 92% of respondents opposed sex-selective abortion on moral grounds, and a January 2012 Angus Reid poll found about two-thirds of respondents (about half of them women) favoured laws prohibiting sex-selective abortion.”

What to do? Well, duke it out and—since pro-abortionists have the votes—make sure M408 is defeated. Nothing as democratic as that.

Instead, the “muzzler in chief” (Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin’s description of Prime Minister Stephen Harper) has denied Warawa “the simple right of making a member’s statement during the inconsequential run-up to Question Period.” The cover story—and it was so flimsy it didn’t even cover the front cover—was that Warawa’s motion was “unvotable and can’t advance,” as Kay explained. “This decision clearly came from the top echelons of this government”—the Prime Minister.

According to Martin, this “mini-rebellion of Tory MPs”  against “Stephen Harper’s dictate presents the Prime Minister with the type of challenge he hasn’t faced in his seven years in power.” Why? It’s an issue of freedom of speech—or, more specifically, the abridgement of free speech.

Harper “need only have let Mr. Warawa say his little piece and few would have noticed,” Martin writes. “Instead, by bringing down the hammer, he has created a firestorm, with virtually every editorialist and talking head backing the dissenters.”

And the numbers of MPs in rebellion against Harper’s heavy-handed treatment of Warawa are growing, to the delight not only of pro-lifers but of anyone who takes freedom of speech seriously.

And that ought to include everyone.