Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Babies in the House of Commons: Why Not?

There has been much chat this morning about a young MP from the South Shore of Montreal who brought her three month old baby into the House yesterday. She says she'd been recalled suddenly for a vote, and couldn't find her husband who ordinarily is there to take care of the little guy when she's in the house.

Now, this is not the first time a baby has been in the house: I think there was a photo op with Sheila Copps 30 years ago when she brought her daughter. But some of the reaction has been amazing today, with a message on the talk shows from some saying that she shouldn't be in the House if she has a new born.

A baby who isn't fussing causes nobody trouble, and bringing him in when there are no alternativies seems to me to be fine. And do the arithmetic: Sana Hassainia was elected on the Orange Wave last May 2. There's an excellent chance that she didn't even know she was pregnant then, and certainly didn't when she agreed to run!

And in the "Politics Make Strange Bedfellows" department: I always thought that one of the most charming things about Joe Clark was the way his one and only daughter (Nov. 6, 1976) was born about nine months after he was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservatives (February 22, 1976.) Can you imagine Stephen Harper celebrating in the same manner?

The picture, by the way, has nothing to do with Ms. Hassainia (who was not feeding her baby in the House) and everything to do with a campaign for breastfeeding. Very appropriate in this context though.

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