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March 3rd, 2008

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02:19 pm - Parliament, boring? Never :D
Holy jesus christ <____<  Sorry for the double post in such a short period of time, but I just had to write this down.

I'm working in the MP's office that I volunteer for right now, and it's either question period or there's a debate of some sort over in the House of Commons right now.  A bunch of MP's (Members of Parliament), or their assistants I guess since the MP's themselves are in the House of Commons, have their tv's turned on to watch the session live (yes they get tv's in their offices) and I swear it sounds more like a hockey game being broadcasted then a Parliamentary debate.  I'm hearing cheering from down the hall from other MP offices, and there's explosive applause and cheering coming from the tv in our office.  Geez.... 

[EDIT]:  Since we're on the topic of politics, might as well get this out there.  Having been in this MP's office for a few weeks now, I kept coming across letters and emails from people asking this MP to support a Bill C-484.  Curious, I looked it up.  Basically, what the bill claims is that if a pregnant woman is assulted/attacked and both her and the fetus are killed/harmed, the perpetrator should be charged with crimes against 2 people instead of 1.  Sounds good right?  Nice and logical sure.  That's what I thought...for the first 5 seconds before I realized that recoginising the fetus as a "person" with legal "rights" would deal a massive blow to pro-choice arguments.  

If 2 "people" share 1 body, then the rights of both would have to compromise...in this case the rights of the woman carrying the fetus.  This probably isn't an issue for most women since pregnancy is a joyous event and to ask a mother-to-be to give up some rights for her child-to-be, she would most likely be willing to do so (within reason).  What if, however, the mother has a miscarriage due to, say, stress?  Or another of her "indirect" actions harms the fetus?  How easy would it be for a lousy government to pull up that bill and charge the mother with a crime?  Pretty darn easy I'd say, given how stupid and notoriously governments (especially the current Conservative one) is for muddling up waters and making life as hard as possible for common citizens of Canada.  Sure Mr. Ebb (the brilliant MP that came up with this bill) can say the bill will only apply to assults by a third party, but heck, do I really trust the words of a Conservative MP?  Nope, not as far as I can throw him <___<  Once you've recognized that fetus as a person with legal rights before he/she exists the birth canal alive (as is the current definition of a "person"), I can just hear the war-cries of the pro-life camp, shrieking for abortion to be abolished and brandishing Bill C-484 as their weapon.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 3rd, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Ugh. D: Damn, that is a double-edged sword...! Maybe it is better if the killer is charged with only 1 murder. >_>

I don't think there'd be any reason to worry about the miscarriage thing though. A miscarriage is a miscarriage. =\
[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
It is quite the double-edged sword isn't it? Quite a dilemma...
Date:March 4th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Personally, I think the bill is a good idea-but it needs to be carefully framed (typologically & otherwise) to avoid confusion or to avoid the dilemma you mentioned in your post. Since I am anti-abortion (but I condone its use in very special circumstance (ie. rape of a child, etc.)), I think that a fetus does constitute a person-how can it not? It is the initial materialization of a child within the womb with increasingly functional & developing parts. Without getting into a debate about abortion (that will be for another day Mengya :])I think this bill could be workable with the following provisions: since it is already Canadian law that abortions are legal, the bill cannot be challenged to Supreme Court interpretation as a "weapon of pro-lifers" as you put it; secondly, the parameters for the application of this law must be clearly defined (ie. the charge of double homicide only applies to the killing of the mother & expectant child in a deliberate & harmful manner/situation); also, the bill must take into account the 'murder' of the fetus only if that were to occur (ie. someone harms the mother in such a way that results in the death of the fetus un/intentionally). There are obviously more provisions than I can mention here that must be implicated in this bill if it were to become law, but my main point is that it would be necessary to define the boundaries & limits to the application of this law. It is very deterministic to view this bill as a potentially contradictory mechanism against abortion laws in Canada-that's the position most "por-choicers" use to defend their positions & attacks on pro-lifers. Just a side note Mengya, your political fears (ie. not trusting a Conservative) are unfounded-politicians in Canada are not ideologically linked to their parties as they are in other countries (think USA)-political affiliations are for categorization & political benefit purposes only (think MP for Vancouver David Emerson who went Conservative after the being elected as a Liberal).
BTW-how did you snag a job in Parliament-it sounds like an interesting opportunity (you know how I am)...pass along info if you can lol!
[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
James just look at the majority of the peoples' opinions who supports the bill and their opinions on abortion and you'll know how this bill's going to be used if it's passed. I'm not saying this bill per-say will change abortion laws, but it'll definitely be used/seen as a stepping-stone for the pro-life camp. I mean, hey the logic fits right? If the fetus if given status as a legal person in the circumstance of a third-party attack, then reason follows that the killing of that "person" willingly by choice of the mother and the doctor who performs the act is also criminal. It'd be hypocritical to have one law and not the other as they go hand-in-hand.

Seriously James, how many times have you seen politicians twist words of otherwise perfectly good bills created to help citizens and use it against them instead? And not just politicians, but just people in general, taking the intentions of a law and using it in an entirely different way nit-picking at the wording and technicalities? Far too often for me to support such a shaky legislation.
Date:March 4th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Exactly-which is why the most important part of this process if this bil were to become law would be to clearly define the terms & context in which it would be applicable. The law [should be] clear-it is not open to interpretation when its parameters are solidly stated. To avoid a slippery slope dilemma, I would have to agree with you that it would better to simply kill this bill immediately. But since the implications of the bill entails the lawful punishment of a criminal for a criminal act resulting in the death of 2 individuals, I sincerely believe that there is a rational-legal cause to enact it into law. To avoid the second problem you mention concerning wording-well the solution is to obviously ensure that the wording of the law to be clear & practical-again clearly defining the use & application of the law to particular circumstances. I honestly believe that if it is clearly defined, it can serve a useful purpose; I don't think this issue should be described as a 'stepping-stone" or agenda-launching mechanism for the 'pro-life' camp: I don't see anything wrong with there being provisions to maintain the integrity of life of others (which is the purpose of this bill-to ensure punishment for murder of defenseless persons & ensure that an unborn child does not die in vain). I guess we see this issue from different eyes-& I respect your opinion. I just think that if we can do something to punish those who take the lives of others (in this case, a "fetus"), we are fulfilling a civil purpose of ensure the mutual safety & integrity of society & fulfilling a human purpose of respecting life & its integrity.

PS-some of that noise you heard yesterday was probably those MPs yakking about the whole "Obama-NAFTA memo" debacle. It was all over the news this morning!

[User Picture]
Date:March 4th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
Right, and we know how awesome politicians are at wording things concisely and to the point >___> We don't even have laws to ensure the survival of living, breathing, full-grown humans walking this planet, or I guess more precisely we don't have the capacity to care enough about the survival of living, breathing, full-grown humans. I think we should be ensuring the survival of people who, without question, are covered under the "human being" status before anything else. Hard to make a case that we really care about not-yet-born kids when we leave so many to starve, die of curable disease, suffer in poverty, etc. after they are born isn't it? Kind of cruel and ironic too if you ask me. Even the many kids in Canada that suffer because of insufficient social safety nets, and they end up slipping through the cracks to the bottom of society.

Mr. Ebb emphasized that his bill will only apply to "wanted" fetuses...which many of us (me and my circle of PoliSci friends) found quite amusing since, to quote a friend of mine, "apparently one's status as a human being now depends on whether one's wanted or not...I [she] don't want Stevie Harper, does he now cease to be human?". There are laws like this one in certain states in the USA, and I believe upon a quick search, the statistics showed that the majority of cases brought under this law was against the mother herself for harm brought to the fetus through the mother-to-be's actions, directly or indirectly, and not under the circumstances of a third-party attack.

If this bill is passed, it'd only follow reason to make abortion criminalized, or else it's hypocritical, which is something the government doesn't seem to have a problem getting labelled I must admit, so maybe it's not such a big deal to them anyway, a twist in the logic, pfft, happens all the time.
Date:March 5th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
It makes no much sense but waste taxpayers money to play words around by politicians.


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