Morgentaler to the Order of Canada

Media outlets, both mainstream and idiots like me, are abuzz with the news that Henry Morgentaler may be named to the Order of Canada.
Love him or hate him, like the news or not, it seems pretty clear that the various commenters on the issue are dead wrong. The G&M story quotes the executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League as saying, “[w]ith this choice, the one thing that everybody really agrees on about Morgentaler is that he is a very divisive figure.” A Liberal MP is noted as saying “if he is admitted to the order, it will polarize Canadians.” (That’s the Globe and Mail’s wording, it’s not a direct quotation.)
Canadians are already divided and polarized around the issue of abortion. Morgentaler’s appointment would merely bring that polarization back out into the light; that division is there whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. Poll 100, 1000, a million, or thirty million Canadians; I’m sure you’d see that most Canadians already have an opinion on abortion and would argue their point of view quite vociferously. Morgentaler’s appointment can’t cause what’s already done, so in that respect the anti-abortionists are either deluding themselves, or trying to delude those few still on the fence.
Edit an hour later: he’s admitted. Bring on the polarization.

2 Replies to “Morgentaler to the Order of Canada”

  1. One of the arguments against Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada was that he is too controversial, too divisive. But does that mean we should only appoint “safe” Canadians who worship the status quo and don’t rock the boat. That would make for a pretty anemic honours list.

  2. I’m sure somebody could make an argument for the divisiveness of pretty much any appointee, although I’ll grant Morgentaler highlights divisions more than most do. I agree – appointing only “safe” Canadians would be pretty boring – and pretty Canadian.

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