Friday, May 22, 2009

Bill 44

I am reluctant to say anything on the subject of the proposed provincial legislation that would allow parents to pull their kids out of school on days when religion and sexuality, including homosexuality, are to be discussed/taught. Why? Because an enormous mêlée, ideally between "ordinary" Albertans and eastern, big city elites is exactly what the governing Tories want. Govern from the left the vast majority of the time, but keep the right onside by occasionally throwing out red meat on some hot button social issue that the left attacks, which in turn provokes every conservative foot soldier to step up and defend the Stelmach government. The band of brothers is cemented in the trenches opposite those dastardly lefties, you see. These tactics are of course well honed by the equally cynical Harper Tories in Ottawa. Never mind the fact that if this is a kulturkampf, the Stelmach government is working for the enemy in terms of the broader war by securing the real prize, the curriculum, for the social liberals.

But I will step into this donnybrook to note that the controversy makes little sense to me. If social liberals are concerned that kids who miss a class or two on gay rights or what have you will grow up to be problem citizens in a pluralistic society, shouldn't they be horrified at the fact parents can pull their kids out of not just a class or two, but the entire school system? If parents can opt out of 100% the public school system and that is acceptable, how is it unacceptable to opt out of 2% of the public school system?

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