Trudeau says that while the Liberal party has always tried to appeal across a broad range of the political spectrum when it comes to economics, he does not believe it’s too much to ask MPs to embrace the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is, in fact, part of the screening process for new candidates.
“We check on a number of issues: how do you feel about the Charter of Rights and freedoms, how do you feel about same-sex marriage, how do you feel about pro-choice, where are you on that?” Trudeau said.
“And we make sure that the people who are stepping forward are consistent with the Liberal Party as it is now, as it stands under my leadership and under the feedback we’re getting from Canadians across the country.”
This morning I had a twitter conversation with Gerard Butts, a close policy advisor of Trudeau's, who seemed to be unaware of this fact. He stated on Twitter that it is not what a person believes that matters, it's how they will vote on the issue in Parliament.
Although Butts has been active on Twitter since I posed the question to him (twice) about whether potential nominees could declare themselves pro-choice and still be allowed to run for nomination or serve as an MP in the Liberal Party, *crickets*.
Butts' original Tweet tagged the National Post:
@nationalpost has also been told, repeatedly, that the policy applies to votes in Parliament, not personal belief, but has ignored that.
So it seems clear in his opinion, that under this new Liberal edict, that a person may follow their conscience (in their private lives) so long as they are aware they must vote along party lines if it ever comes to a vote. When asked directly if that was the case, he simply ignored the question. I guess he isn't as sure as he seemed to be.
Perhaps Gerard Butts believed the question had been asked and answered, but when his position is at odds with that of the Liberal leader, the Liberal position is about as clear as mud.
Regardless, I believe abortion is a conscience, not a rights issue and that people should not have to check their brains at the door of the House of Commons. Some people do that anyway.