Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Senator St. Germain's Senate statement on Rona Ambrose' Freedom of expression

Senator St. Germain just made the following statement in the Senate on October 2, 2012:
Honourable Senators,
Freedom of expression is a right often taken for granted.
As Parliamentarians, we enjoy the use of this right – free from hindrance – every day throughout the discourse of our debates and though other channels of communication.
as representatives of the public, We are responsible to uphold this right, and protect its value.
Last week in the other place this coveted right was under siege after being exercised by the Honourable Rona Ambrose during a free vote.
The issue of Ms. Ambrose’s vote in favour of Motion 312 goes beyond the subject matter of the Motion its self.
The outcry from the folks condemning her democratic action only highlights the ugly truth in this country that freedom of expression does not exist in the face of intolerance.
The opinions expressed by these special interest groups toward the actions of Ms. Ambrose are rather disingenuous.
They fail to realize that tolerance is a two way street.
During my nearly 30 years as a Parliamentarian, never once did I regret my decision to exercise my right to stand up for what I believed in.
And I defended my decisions against dissenting opinions, as was my right to do so - - - as much as it was their right to disagree with me.
But never once was I condemned or cast as morally void for having excised my right to vote freely.
Honourable Senators, whether we agree or disagree with the issue at hand, Ms. Ambrose should be congratulated - not condemned - for having the courage of her convictions to stand up and freely vote her conscience.
As a Member of Parliament, her actions rightly represent the essence of our democratic society.

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