Wednesday, December 02, 2009

L'Ecole Polytechnique: Martyrs To An Embedded Ideology?

Opposition MPs boycott remembrance ceremony

One would expect that any of Canada's MPs would be eager to take any opportunity to respect the memory of the 14 women killed by Marc Lepine during the 1989 L'Ecole Polytechnique shootings.

But apparently, not so much. Numerous female MPs from the NDP, Liberal Party and Bloc Quebecois opted to skip a recent non-partisan memorial for the victims of the shooting over their outrage at the Conservative Party eliminating various ideological elements of Canadian policy.

The Conservative Party eliminated the Court Challenges Program, shifted the mandate of the Status Of Women away from research and advocacy (and toward providing actual services for women), and recently passed legislation -- with the help of numerous Liberal and NDP MPs -- to abolish the long gun registry.

The missing MPs excused their absence by citing their outrage at these moves.

"We consider this a hypocritical gesture because her government has shown itself from the beginning to be hostile to all women's demands," complained Bloc MP Nicole Demers.

"I find it difficult to stand beside a minister who chooses not to advocate for women, who chooses to follow the party line, who chooses to endorse the elimination of the long-gun registry." added Liberal MP Anita Neville.

Of course, what Demers declines to consider is that the demands of the groups funded by the Status of Women hardly represent the desires of all women, and what Neville declines to consider is that the long-gun registry has failed to keep guns out of the hands of unstable individuals like Kimveer Gill, who perpetrated the Dawson College shooting.

It couldn't have kept the hunting rifle out of the hands of Marc Lepine. Because it isn't gun control.

The Harper government's moves outrage individuals like Demers and Neville because it was a refutation of the ideology that lies at the core of what Barry Cooper describes as the embedded state, and with the character of the politics of public virtue that it entails.

Individuals like Demers and Neville seem to feel entitled to government organs designed to advance their particular ideology. But the role of government is not to advance any particular ideology.

In refusing to attend a remembrance ceremony based on these things, Demers, Neville and their fellow absentee MPs have expressed their intent to use the victims of the L'Ecole Polytechnique shootings as martyrs for what they believe should be the embedded ideology of the Canadian state.

That's an excessively poor use for the memory of a national tragedy.


  1. I am not shocked these opposition MP's chose to attack the government.

    The lost the LGR 'free vote' and the current government won 50% of the ridings in the recent by elections taking a Bloc seat.

    Everyone is running scared and the if the Polls continue to give the current gov't a 10 pt lead they are helpless to stop the legislation.

  2. What the government ought to do is introduce legislation empowering the provincial governments to run their own gun control programs.

    Quebec could start its own long gun registry -- seeing as how it's the only province wherein a majority supports the registry -- and the rest of the country can customize gun control according to each province's own needs.


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