Thursday, November 09, 2000

Is this a guy with something to hide?

Now Stockwell Day wants to consult Canadians on the matter [percent of population needed to hold referendum], which suggests the delicious possibility of a referendum on what the threshold should be for a referendum. It invites the question of whether he needs a few more years to figure this stuff out. Does he really think a yes or a no vote is the best way to resolve such complex ethical issues as euthaniasia or late-term abortion? Moreover, is he serious that "governments would be forced to act" through these votes? What happens, say, to minority rights?

Then there's the issue of who gets to frame the question. Environics Research has posed two different abortion questions in recent years, both fair and legitimate, but with a 12-point spread in the results. As any student of Quebec politics knows, there is great art to writing a referendum question... On abortion and a citizen-initiated referendum, Mr. Day, in trashing his own documents, again fails the sniff test. And then gets shirty with the media for probing his contradictions. Inexplicably, he's creating the impression of a guy with something to hide.
—Edward Greenspon, Globe and Mail, November 9, 2000

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