The Liberals are asking for bold ideas, in the lead up to the Montreal Thinkers Conference. A few months ago, I submitted a rethink on our euthanasia laws, within the context of "bold". I argued that the public mood was such, that the Liberals could address this potential landmine issue, without the amount of risk one would first assume.
Today, Angus Reid has released a new finding on the euthanasia question, and the results are nothing short of compelling:
An overwhelming 67% of Canadians support the general idea of legalizing euthanasia. What these numbers demonstrate, addressing this issue isn't the political powder keg many queasy politicos fear. In fact, if one looks electorally, the numbers are even more soothing, downright advantageous, if the Liberals were to adopt a reasonable reform. 75% of British Columbians, 77% of Quebecers, 67% of Ontarios, even two to one support in Alberta, numbers which show that Canadians are receptive to a "bold" rethink.
When the question turns to assisted suicide, not surprisingly the numbers change somewhat. Only 25% favor prosecution, 41% do not, but a large 33% remain unsure, which denotes some referral to situation. It is within this part of the debate that arguments become more problematic, and I would submit any reform should avoid this aspect.
However, on the broader question of whether an individual should have the right to determine his/her own fate, there is a receptive audience, waiting for a progressive idea. Just as the "state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation", as Trudeau eloquently argued, it also has no say in how free individuals determine their own destiny. Strict rules, which address terminal illness and the mental capacity to make an informed choice, are entirely doable, both morally and politically. While the issue is "heated", the above finding demonstrates fertile ground for a party "bold" enough to ponder. In reality, this policy isn't really bold at all, one could say its promotion could be an electoral asset. A targeted, succinct, narrow definition can and could fly. On this issue, the public is light years ahead of the current policy, one can be daring, without really being bold at all.
On second thought, NEVER MIND :)