Toronto Debates Polygamy

For those of us with pretty girlfriends, monogamy is like a warm blanket. I pulled the blanky tight around my ears this past Tuesday as The Toronto Debating Society tackled the issue of polygamy. In a mock-governmental proceeding at the Swansea Town Hall Community Center, society members debated whether or not the practice of having multiple spouses should be legalized in Canada.

Heather H., acting as Prime Minister, introduced the motion to legalize polygamy, arguing that bringing marginalized polygamists into mainstream society would lead to a decrease in spousal abuse and a more just and peaceful society in general.

Michael C. - leader of the opposition, countered that legalizing polygamy would increase incidences of spousal jealousy when husbands inevitably favored one wife over the other. Michael also asserted that if the hotshots that can afford to keep multiple wives soak up all the available women and leave a glut of lonely single guys, an increase in violent crime would result. He cited information regarding the gender imbalance in China as proof of this fact. Figures released as part of China's 2001 census report, show 117 boys born for every 100 girls. In the past, the Washington Post has reported that "Chinese police researchers say crime has grown among the millions of men of marrying age who cannot find a bride. A trade in kidnapped women is booming".

Jim C. - seconder for the government, backed up the Prime Minister by saying that Canada would grant the right of multiple spouses to both sexes and so not lead to any such gender imbalance in this country. The government side also berated the opposition for discussing women as a commodity and touted a woman's inalienable right to decide for herself.

Despite a vague argument and the opposition's more than apt response, the desire for multiple partners won out and society members voted to adopt the fake government's fake proposal. Later that night I curled up under the covers, safe in the certainty that legalizing polygamy would paralyze the legal system with divorce cases and lead to a huge increase in the amount of marital benefits that any real government would have to pay out.

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