Friday, June 20, 2008

Say a little Prayer

In February, Dalton McGuinty made it a priority for his government to fix the injustice of prayers in the legislature. The Lord's Prayer did not reflect the cultural diversity of the province. He was going to be a leader in fixing this injustice even if it was unpopular. Objections from his mother would not phase him from doing the right thing. He completely ignored the fact that this was an issue very few people cared about. The Hansard doesn't even record which prayers are being recited. More than 20,000 people responded to requests public consultation. 87% requested the Government keep the Lord's Prayer.

Last week the government unanimously adopted a compromised solution. The Lord's Prayer would be recited followed by a second prayer or moment of silence at the discretion of the Speaker. To start with there will be eight prayers. Any future additions would be decided by the Speaker. The current Speaker has already said that he will refer such decisions to an all party committee. This is not a surprise considering he referred the question of coffee in parliament to be decided by committee.

The solution strikes an excellent balance. It upholds keeping traditions that built this country while recognizing the diversity of the Province. Hopefully, when Parliament returns in September they can apply this principle to other government issues. Hopefully, they will also choose to focus on matters of importance to the average citizen.

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