How does change happen in a democratic society? Polling has shown that equal shared parenting is supported by 78% of the people who make up our democracy. Why then is there so little support for Bill C-560 by elected officials in Canada? Are they not listening to their constituents? What could be their agenda in going against the very same people who have entrusted them with the power and duty of representation?

I have written a number of letters to our elected officials in support of Bill C-560 and the responses have been an eye-opener for me. Excuses range from “you are not in my riding” and “thank you for your input” to outright doublespeak that is consistent with verbiage of a lawyer. But wait a minute… The majority of elected officials are in fact lawyers, are they not? Would it be a stretch for me to make a connection between the tone of their reply and an allegiance to the Canadian Bar Association? Of course we expect that in our democracy, the people are represented. Yet divorce is a billion dollar industry that thrives on conflict. Any change to our outdated Family Law Act will take a lot of money out of the pockets of lawyers. I think it may take a lot of backbone for some of our officials to stand up for their constituents.

People, we each need to speak up. Send the message loud and clear, regardless of what kind of response you get! Do you believe that children need both parents? Bill C-560 supports this, and it includes the checks and balances needed to ensure that our children are put first. Contact your elected officials and let them know your opinion on equal shared parenting. Sooner or later they will listen and support change in a democratic society.

Brian Bedard