Saturday, June 11, 2016

Change the Canadian anthem. Get over it.

It's kind of ridiculous that parliament is finding it so difficult to pass a very simple bill to change two little words in Canada's national anthem.
All that is being proposed is that the line "True patriot love in all thy sons command" be changed to "True patriot love in all of us command", not a major or particularly contentious concession to 21st century gender neutrality and inclusiveness, one wouldn't have thought.
Much has been made of the fact that the bill is being brought to parliament by Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger, who is suffering through the final stages of ALS. Bélanger was forced to turn out for his bill's official presentation yesterday, thanks to the Conservatives' rather hard-hearted insistence that another Liberal MP could not possibly be substituted for the purpose. Bélanger made an emotional and rather pitiful appearance yesterday to fulfill this unnecessarily legalistic requirement.
It's difficult to understand exactly what the Tories have against the change. Some of them are complaining that there has not been enough public discussion, and that the bill is being rushed. But how much discussion can such a small and simple change require? Okay, it is not the most poetic of lines -  some have argued that perhaps "in all our hearts command" might sound better - but it really doesn't matter that much. One Saskatchewan Conservative MP complained that changing the anthem would be tantamount to admitting that it has been discriminatory for 100 years. Well, duh!
Parliament has much more important things to discuss. Stop the prevarication and obstructionism. Pass the bill. Get over it.

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