Those readers who are familiar with logic and critical thinking will understand the argument of the ‘slippery slope’. It suggests that making a downward move in a particular direction starts something on a path that will continue to slide in that same downward direction. People like me usually use it in terms of moral decline. For example, if you legalize marijuana it may lead to the legalization or at least increased use of harder drugs, hence you have started down the slippery slope. Opponents of this kind of reasoning call it the slippery slope ‘fallacy’ claiming it is not valid and cite many examples where it is not the case. The problem with dismissing the argument completely is that it leads to a false sense of security that we are never in danger of falling off the edge of a cliff. Anyone who has ever climbed down a slippery river bank too far knows that if and when you end up in the river, there was nothing fallacious about it. I think for any of the unconvinced this video nicely demonstrates how it works.
As a nation we have started down many a slippery path. One such example has been the abortion issue. Many think the debate has been decided that it is over and down with. What they may not realize or will not admit is that it put us onto a dangerous and deadly path. Because Canada has no abortion laws whatsoever, fetuses can be aborted legally right up until moments before natural birth without impunity. Thankfully that does not happen often as most doctors are far more reasonable than to do such an obvious murderous act. However the slippery slope has led us down another treacherous path, that of sex selection abortion. In many cultures around the world, male children are preferred over female. So in places like China with a ‘one child’ policy the parents will abort a female fetus and try again in hopes of getting a male. With some couples this scenario may be repeated several times until a male is conceived. The map below shows that males under 5 years outnumber girls in every single province, some by as much as 30%. The result of this slippery slope will be catastrophic in 20 years when these young men will literally not be able to find a woman to marry. Will they have to institute a marriage lottery to determine who gets a wife?
The United Nations estimates that 200 million women and girls are missing due to gendercide, and stated: “Renewed and concerted efforts are needed by governments and civil society to address the deeply rooted gender discrimination which lies at the heart of sex selection.” Even the normally morally liberal UN feels governments need to act to reverse this trend. Canada is doing nothing… actually worse than nothing which we will get to in a moment.
In June 2012, the CBC aired an investigation on gender selection. With hidden cameras they visited 22 private ultrasound clinics in Canada. They found that most of these clinics were allowing ultrasounds to tell the sex of the baby so that the parents could choose to terminate the pregnancy if the unborn child is female.
All of this is bad enough in itself but this is where it gets worse, much worse. On March 28th Conservative MP Mark Warawa attempted to introduce a motion in the House of Commons. Motion 408 merely asked that the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination. The motion would have had no legal ramifications but it would have at least represented a sentiment of the Canadian values on this issue. Warawa claims that 92% of Canadians want the practice of sex selection condemned. The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs’ rejected his motion and he was not permitted to even introduce it in the House. Then when he later wanted to speak on the issue on what is a called a ‘point of privilege’ his own party would not let him speak.
As a Canadian that believes in democracy this really angers me. And it should anger every one of us. I understand Steven Harper’s reluctance to allow the abortion debate to be reopened, but his misguided sense of political survival is trumping his sense of democratic freedom. Once you begin to muzzle the free speech of your own MP’s you have started down the slippery slope to the totalitarianism that exists in places like North Korea, Cuba and Syria to name only a few. In a pathetic attempt to appear untainted by the abortion issue our government has resorted to suspending democracy. The British Westminster system of government that Canada employs has always afforded MP’s the right to represent their own views or those of their constituents. It is called the House of Commons for a reason. It was always meant to be the place where the ‘common’ man could be democratically represented. I am profoundly disappointed in Steven Harper’s heavy handed approach to handling his MP’s. He has nothing to lose by allowing Warawa to proceed. If the House of Commons accepts his motion, or rejects it, that is a reflection on the sentiment of the House not Harper’s government.
The snowball has picked up some new momentum on the way down this slippery slope. This is far more serious than most people realize. We are not only talking about human lives and social engineering but democracy itself. At some point you reach the breaking point where you begin an irreversible slide. Let me leave you with one more very short video. It is not as terrifying as the last but you will get the point. No skiers were harmed in the making of this film.