MP Laurence MacAulay, right, with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and a constituent.

Shameful capitulation

  • June 26, 2014

Meetings for the federal Liberal nomination in Cardigan, P.E.I., are not usually newsworthy. For more than 25 years, the candidate has been Laurence MacAulay, who has won the riding every election since 1988. Now the longest-serving MP in the history of Prince Edward Island, and the second-longest serving MP in Ottawa, MacAulay’s nominations are rather pro forma affairs. 

There was a touch of drama this past week though. MacAulay told his local paper that while Liberal leader Justin Trudeau had announced in May that pro-life Canadians would be barred from seeking Liberal Party nominations for the 2015 election, he would continue to vote pro-life. Likely MacAulay thought it absurd to change his position after 25 years in the House of Commons and, in any case, Trudeau had said that existing MPs would be “grandfathered” and allowed to vote their conscience. 

A functionary in Trudeau’s office then humiliatingly slapped MacAulay down, saying that he would have to tow the line like everybody else, a quarter-century in Parliament notwithstanding. So of course MacAulay slapped back, insisting on his rights as a member of the Liberal Party and as a Parliamentarian, to say nothing of his basic dignity as a man and freeborn citizen. Not quite. 

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