National Post Barbara Kay: Ottawa panders to ethnicity over gendercide

National Post - Saturday March 30th, 2013

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.

Add to that the fact that, morality aside, sex selection on a mass scale in regions where cultural tradition assigns greater value to males over females is skewing global demographics to an extent that will produce negative effects for everyone, and it is clear that we have a problem, Houston.

The Conservatives admit they have “rogues” within their party as one MP said his colleagues “must suffer the consequences” for their anti-abortion stance amid the most open show of rebellion under Prime Minister Stephen Harper to date.

Ontario Tory MP Jay Aspin told reporters on his way to a highly anticipated caucus meeting Wednesday that it is fellow Conservative MP Mark Warawa’s own problem that he thinks he is being muzzled because he wants to speak contrary to party policy.

“If these rogue members want to do what they want to do, they have to suffer the consequences and that’s all I have to say,” Aspin said.

“[Warawa] is a rogue member for this particular issue.”

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.

Now the procedure and House Affairs committee has rejected Warawa’s motion on the grounds that it is unvotable and can’t advance. This decision clearly came from the top echelons of this government.

The government has not learned anything about the foolishness of pandering to interest-group sensitivities when there is a moral elephant in the room that needs to be at least identified.

In the matter of opinions expressed through government motions, this is the second most embarrassing moment for the Harper government. For the first, we go back to 2010, when Maclean’s magazine published a cover story under the banner “The most corrupt province in Canada.” The article was based in evidence, but Quebec political feathers were ruffled. The Bloc Québécois put forward a motion in which “this House…expresses its profound sadness at the prejudice displayed” against Quebec. It was unheard of for a government to condemn the work of a news publication. But, as House Leader John Baird said, “it goes without saying that matters of national unity are sensitive.”

That was a breathlessly cynical justification for pandering to Quebec nationalists. One would have hoped that a lesson had been learnt when subsequent investigation brought to light such a sewerful of corruption in Quebec that the Maclean’s article seems a complete understatement in retrospect.

But no. The government has not learned anything about the foolishness of pandering to interest-group sensitivities when there is a moral elephant in the room that needs to be at least identified. The government is apparently so terrified of angering the 15 people in Canada who would rather the vile practice of gendercide continue without a word of censure than speak up for the vast majority of Canadians who are sickened by this practice.

There is more than a whiff of soft racism in this refusal of Mr. Warawa’s motion. Gendercide, it seems, is perceived not as really a Canadian problem, but a problem confined to certain cultural ghettos. Therefore there are votes to be lost by angering those communities with a vote of censure against same-sex selection, just as there were votes to be lost in Quebec by failing to pass a motion of censure against Maclean’s.

Talk about strange bedfellows. Radical feminists have chosen a pathologically pure right to abortion and a refusal to judge the culture of others over their solidarity with the principle of gender equality. They are as irrational as those who would refuse to condemn murder on the grounds that it might lead to a reinstatement of the death penalty.

That the PMO has chosen to align itself with these misguided fanatics rather than the overwhelming number of Canadians – including, I might add, many enlightened members of the very cultural communities where this practice is carried on, who would welcome a government statement of disapproval – would be laughable if it were not such a blatant exhibition of moral cowardice and political cynicism.

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