26 Sep 2017 MP Walkout on Rachael Harder an Affront to Democracy
When MP Rachael Harder was nominated today as Chair of the House Status of Women Committee, Liberal MPs walked out in protest, ending the meeting and putting any potential committee work on hold. Citing her pro-life voting record and lack of support for extreme transgender rights policies, the Liberals and NDP have come together to declare they do not support Ms. Harder’s nomination as Chair. Rather than letting her nomination come to a vote, or opening a discussion, they took their views to the media.
NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson stated, “The chair is the spokesperson for our work and it’s impossible for a spokesperson of an all parliamentary committee where reproductive choice is at the foundation of women’s equality, for her to be able to communicate and articulate our work.”
“Trudeau’s policy of feminism as founded on abortion rights has led to a breakdown in democracy where dissenting voices are feared and silenced,” said We Need a Law’s Anna Nienhuis after hearing of the debacle.
“If the Liberals and NDP were so certain of the rightness of their position, they would not fear a different opinion,” Nienhuis continued. “It also seems that they’ve forgotten that Ms. Harder is a woman herself, a woman who does not believe her equality rests in her access to abortion, a belief many of us Canadian women hold very strongly.”
For Ms. Malcolmson to state that reproductive choice is at the foundation of women’s equality is to say that women need to be like men in order to be equal. All those who walked out of a meeting in protest of someone who has voted her conscience, and was elected by her riding for her positions, should consider the value they give to democracy and freedom of speech.