Friday, March 11, 2005

God knows the politicians aren't...

Since you all read Andrew Coyne, you're all familiar with his Wednesday column concluding "the debate has to start" on abortion.

Chris Selley disputes Coyne's conclusion without disputing his preamble. This tends to make for an uncompelling argument, but in this instance, I'm paying attention. Decide for yourself:
Consider for a moment the nonsensical lather into which people work themselves over the prospect of gay marriage, a social arrangement in which no one dies, and imagine what we'd be up against if the same people were faced with yea or nay on abortion. A moment's consideration is about all I can stand.

Read the whole thing, but here's Selley's conclusion:
Coyne is right to lament the state of Canadian national debates, but in the case of abortion, I think the state of Canadian national debates is a perfectly good reason not to have one at all.

My own thoughts are that while I am attracted to this argument, I can't agree. I'm personally about as non-confrontational as they come, but I've also had enough of political topics being off-limits because they're "divisive". I really don't know how we can get to a stage where we're debating public policy more maturely, but I'm also sure that avoiding contentious topics is not the answer, or the list will continue to get longer.

And of course, this is not even to mention the millions of "hardwireds" who would scoff that the issue of (A) a woman's ownership of her body, or (B) thousands of dead babies, is something to be set aside in the service of playing nicely with others. That Canada's political class has done so en masse is probably a good argument for a debate, not against.

All that said, the abortion debate suddenly jumping to the forefront of Canadian politics would be directly responsible for the complete abandonment of TV news at Chateau Fenwick, which probably derails my entire argument above. ("Yes, I think there should be a debate, but No, I don't want to participate in it, and I absolutely will not pay any attention to it." Yep, back to Argument Construction school for me.)


At 10:42 a.m., Blogger Shannon said...

"Yes, I think there should be a debate, but No, I don't want to participate in it..."

Funny, I was going to post something to that effect on my own blog.

That's not such a ridiculous position, though. I don't think the topic should be considered off-limits, but I'm kind of sick and tired of it myself.


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