Thursday, December 6, 2007

Follow-up

To follow up on my last post:

It wasn't an easy one to write. I'm a social liberal on most issues as well as a fiscal conservative. But there some issues that I lean right. I'll state again my personal opposition to abortion but also my wish for social policies that would ensure abortion becomes totally unnecessary (the 95-10 initiative sponsored by some moderate Democrats in the US Congress, as well as supported by the far left James Carville and Paul Begala, is a good example of how one could strike a balance without having to overturn Roe v. Wade).

I also have respect for the law. I agree with Martin Luther King that an unjust law is no law at all; and in some cases civil disobedience is justified. Latimer's actions were anything but that.

My vision of social justice is that of Tony Blair before he got way off track with Iraq: "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime." Fix the broken windows; mend our health care system; make sure working families pay the minimum amount of tax possible and have access to affordable day care; ensure all minors (especially those under seven) and seniors can live with dignity and not in poverty. A good head start is a good preventative measure against crime in the future.

But we must remain a nation of laws. We can not be a nation of individuals who make it up as they go along. With rights come responsibilities. And chief among them is the right to disagree respectfully. I defend someone's right to disagree with me and hope they would return the favour.

I assert again that Parliament really does need to consider cases like Latimer's, and if a middle road is enacted, Latimer and others like him should have the right to redress retroactively on a case-by-case basis ; similar to the process Canada followed when battered spouse syndrome was added to the accepted grounds for self-defence. His criminal record should, however, remain on the books.

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1 comment:

SUZANNE said...

How does a social liberal justify that Tracy Latimer's Charter Rights were violated? She is the weak and defenseless, she is the one who should be championed.

Eliminate the problem, not the person. I do not believe that her pain could not have been alleviated in some way. Did you ever notice that in many of the pictures of Tracy Latimer, she's smiling? She never looks unhappy to me.