BY REV. GEORGE PALAMATTAM
I am not sure if I will be evicted from the country for using the words farce and mockery. Recently, an MLA was evicted from the P.E.I. legislature for using the word farce. Opinions already reflected in the Guardian prove that Peter Bevan-Baker is not the only Islander or Canadian who thinks there is lack of content and informed debate in our law-making bodies.
We seem to live in a country where governance is now exercised through executive orders. Proper parliamentary debate on issues and legislation is becoming conspicuous by its absence. Kevin Arsenault recently highlighted the latest example of such a style of governance in his Guardian article titled "Imposing the PM’s Ideology" (December 20, 2017).
I wish to join Liz MacDonald (Guardian, Dec. 22) and others in supporting Mr. Arsenault’s opinion. I cannot imagine a country like Canada claiming to be a democracy while demanding that citizens’ organizations abdicate their Canadian Charter and Constitutional rights of freedom of conscience and religion in order to qualify for funding from the upcoming 2018 Canada Summer Jobs program. This violation of freedom is for the whole of Canada, and instead of simply calling upon the four P.E.I. MPs, Kevin and others should appeal to all the MPs and Senators of Canada.
From the very moment of his election as the Liberal leader of Canada, Justin Trudeau started issuing orders curtailing the freedom of conscience of those aspiring to become Liberal members of parliament by prohibiting them from speaking in favor of the rights of the unborn child, along with similar controversial issues and beliefs of the Liberal leader. At the time of the election, it did surprise me that many believers, including practicing Catholics, decided to blindly ‘obey’ Mr. Trudeau, and to jump on the Liberal bandwagon.
Even since the big victory of the party, Prime Minister Trudeau seems to be acting against the Christian faith and particularly against the Catholic Church’s tenets. Euthanasia became free for the asking in Canada. Abortion was proclaimed a "right" for women, and a condition for countries to receive Canadian International Assistance. With the definition of sex, additional "genders" were incorporated even against science. The definition of marriage as between a man and woman was legally redefined, and many other similar core values of believers in One God were overturned.
Now the right to work is also being made subject to the denial of one’s freedom of conscious and religious beliefs. Who knows that the very freedom to worship will not be taken away tomorrow? All these big revolutions took place in Canada in the short period of two years’ Liberal governance. There were not any or enough open and serious debates on these issues in Parliament.
Conscience issues and rights seem to be totally absent from Liberal thinking. Believers in Canada cannot be faulted if they think that the Liberal members of Parliament have given up their faith in the one God and his Commandments. Surprisingly, they seem to be issuing commandments overriding God’s commandments. Or perhaps they have redefined for themselves the commandments and articles of faith and practice, or they keep silence in order to cling to power and its benefits, and subscribe to executive orders and one-man policy statements.
There is little future for a democracy when rulers set themselves above the people; when the party is above the electorate; when brute majority totally stifles the minority and the people’s voice; and when leaders discard every dissenting voice.
- Rev. George Palamattam, CMI, Associate Pastor, Good Shepherd Pastoral Unit, Cornwall