By John-Henry Westen
MONTREAL, December 1, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The front runners in the race to lead the Liberal Party of Canada, former Ontario NDP Premier Bob Rae and former Harvard Professor Michael Ignatieff are both vowing to force all Liberal MPs to reject a Conservative Party motion to reconsider the law which redefined marriage’.
The Canadian Press reports today that Ignatieff has previously vowed to whip the caucus to force the vote against the Conservative Party’s attempt to restore the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Yesterday, at the Liberal convention in Montreal, leadership contender Bob Rae told reporters, he too would force all Liberals to vote against traditional marriage. “It’s a matter of human rights, it’s a clear indication of our commitment to human rights because there’s absolutely no need to resurrect this question,” he said. “It’s been debated thoroughly, it’s been discussed and it’s been ruled on in the Supreme Court of Canada and I think we should move on as Canadians on this issue.”
Former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin was severely criticized by advocates for traditional marriage and those favouring democracy for refusing a free vote on the issue for his cabinet. However, the proposal by the two leading Leadership contenders would go much further, forcing the vote of all members of the Liberal caucus.
Already one Liberal, Ontario MP John McKay, said he would leave the Party should the vote be forced. “Kick me out of caucus, go ahead…If the Liberal leader decides that’s a good idea,’’ McKay told the Canadian Press.
Today, the Bishops of Canada requested a free vote in the House of Commons. Sherbrooke Archbishop Andre Gaumond, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a public comment, “As the House of Commons prepares for its debate, the Bishops of Canada again urge that all members of Parliament be able to vote freely on this question of such ethical and social import, in accordance with their conscience.”