Pubdate: Thu, 25 Apr 2002
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Gregg Perry
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Re: Mace-grabbing MP calls Liberals 'fascist,' April 23.

It is with the gravest concern that I must protest the travesty that 
occurred in the House of Commons last week.

I am not referring to Canadian Alliance MP Keith Martin's touching the 
mace, but the greater affront to democracy that occurred when Liberal 
backbencher John Maloney proposed an amendment that effectively killed Mr. 
Martin's private member's bill on the decriminalization of marijuana.

Mr. Martin's motion read: "That Bill C-344, An Act to amend the 
Contraventions and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (marihuana), be now 
read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and 
Human Rights."

The amended motion read: "That Bill C-344, an Act to amend the 
Contraventions Act and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (marihuana), be 
not now read a second time, that the order for second reading be 
discharged, the bill withdrawn from the order paper and the subject matter 
be referred to the special committee on non-medical use of drugs."

This amendment reveals a callous disregard for the principles of democracy 
and enlightened debate. The fact that party members are forced to vote 
along party lines or face disciplinary measures means that we have a 
benevolent dictatorship in the Liberal party.

The subject matter of Bill C-344 has no impact on me or my family, except 
to the extent that its passage would have benefited all Canadians by saving 
taxpayers a significant amount of money, and allowing Canadian 
law-enforcement agencies to cope with other more significant issues.

It is claimed that the majority of the House favoured Mr. Martin's bill, 
and that it was also supported by 70 per cent of the Canadian public.

The machinations of the clever Mr. Maloney amount to nothing but sophistry 
and a cynical disregard for democracy, and show contempt for the Canadian 

Gregg Perry, Duncan, B.C. 
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