Andrew Coyne on yesterday’s M-408 appeal and democracy in Canada:
Warawa’s appeal to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs was heard without a single question, and decided in camera. But meantime, it is important to understand what is really at stake here. Members’ statements are hardly the most important thing that goes on in Parliament. But Warawa’s muzzling comes at the end of a long train of other abuses, not just to his own rights as an MP, but to those of MPs generally.
This is not about abortion, in other words. It is not even about the right to discuss abortion, though it is absurd and insulting that members of Parliament should be forbidden from debating the issue, if they so wish. Neither is it about divisions within the Conservative party, nor the leadership of Stephen Harper. This is about the rights and responsibilities of MPs of all parties, and whether they have any role but to say and do exactly what their leaders tell them to.