By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario, December 14, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Last week, National Post editor-at-large Diane Francis sparked an international controversy when she wrote a column calling for world depopulation based on China's one-child policy. Her remarks were made in the context of discussions surrounding the climate change summit in Copenhagen.
But Canadian Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott (CPC - Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) has now responded to Francis her in a column for the same paper, expressing shock at Francis' support for China's coercive population control regime and criticizing her claim that the world faces overpopulation.
"A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently of one million births every four days," Francis wrote in the Post last week.
According to Vellacott, however, the journalist's "rhetoric about overpopulation flies in the face of the depopulation dynamics that are striking fear into many politicians and economists around the world."
"But just as disturbing is Ms. Francis' sanitized view of China's one-child policy," he continues. He points out that the Chinese have been found to employ "forced abortion," among other abuses, and that their policy has led to a "serious gender imbalance, because of its massive slaughter of unborn girls, due to parents' preference for boys."
"Ms. Francis should do more research before she conjures the image of China's one-child policy as a worthwhile depopulation strategy," he says.
On Friday, Francis appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss her views on this issue, and faced a firm rebuff from fill-in host Laura Ingraham. China is "a totalitarian state that enforces its will on its people through brutal oppressive means," Ingraham told Francis, "where human rights mean little to nothing and where women are treated like property and inconvenient breeders."
After Francis stated that she is a feminist, Ingraham asked, "How do you call your self a feminist if you say that it's not necessarily a bad thing for a totalitarian state to tell women how many children they can have. That is the ultimate anti-choice attitude, is it not?" Francis responded, that no, she "likens it to a form of survival and economic policy" for China.
"What happens with the Catholic Church under this utopian vision of either people having no children or just one child?" asked Ingraham.
"Well the Catholic Church I think has a lot ... to answer for in terms of encouraging people to have children they can't afford," Francis responded.
In his column, Vellacott went on to extrapolate on the fact that "depopulation - not overpopulation - has already been thoroughly exposed as today's problem, not a solution." He highlights the two documentaries, Demographic Winter and Demographic Bomb, both of which present evidence of a serious trend of under-population, rather than over-population.
"Canada and most, if not all, European countries now have birth rates below the replacement rate of 2.1," he notes. He then quotes the producers of Demographic Winter, who state that across the world birthrates have dropped 50% since 1979, and that the world's population is expected to begin dropping sometime this century. "At a certain point, the decline will become rapid," they say. "We may even reach what demographers call population free fall in our lifetimes."
While Francis "pretends" that depopulation would be good for the economy, economists disagree, explains Vellacott. "Economists have been lamenting for years a looming crisis with social welfare programs as the proportion of elderly people to workers in many Western countries declines," he says. "Nations with social welfare systems also need children to survive. A burgeoning elderly population combined with a shrinking work force will lead to a train wreck for state pension systems."
"In summary, I was shocked to read Ms. Francis' advocacy for depopulation, especially drawing on the imagery of China's ruthless one-child forced abortion policy," Vellacott concludes. "Hopefully Ms. Francis will have further opportunity to examine this significant topic and explore the current relevant studies."
See Vellacott's column in the Financial Post here.
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