12.21.2011 10:39 AM

Chretien et al. said they’d go after abortion…

…and they will.  Headline on Akin’s story this morning:

“Tory MP wants to ignite Parliamentary debate on abortion”

UPDATE: Stinson at Post is among the first to go after it, here.


  1. fern hill says:

    At DAMMIT JANET! we are on it and plan to stay on it.

  2. MCBellecourt says:

    The nutcases in Harper’s voting base have proven themselves to be useful idiots, stirring up controversies in order to distract the sheeple from the garbage they’ve been shoving down our throats, like the warrantless searches of ISP clients’ internet activities and the disporportionate MMS’s of pot smokers in their omnibus crime bill.

    Flapfarty’s surprise health plan put forth in Victoria is another doozy. From what I’ve been able to glean out of it, the struggling provinces will be the hardest hit by his smelliest of brainfarts.

    Divert the heat until the heat is off of what they are *really* up to. It ain’t the first time, and it ain’t gonna be the last.

    Governance by stealth. God, I hate these bastards.

  3. William says:

    Harper said he wouldn’t touch it but clearly the rabid base wants more red meat.

    It’s a political loser, Harper won’t bite. It would be the end of him if he did.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

      Do you really think his base will be denied?……I think not……by hook or by crook these guys will try and get their way…..How can Harper deny them?…..theyre responsible for putting him in power in the first place…..besides, hes a fundy himself…..

      • The Doctor says:

        He’s a fundie, but he’s (usually) not politically stupid. This will be an interesting one to watch, difficult to predict how this is going to play out.

        I suppose one cynical take on it is that private members’ bills and the like are the equivalent of the sorts of distractions that parents use to keep their kids out of their hair (e.g., go watch TV, here’s a nice ice cream cone). You let your nutbar backbenchers toil away on their little private members’ bills, knowing that will use up lots of their time and energy, yet knowing these bills will never really make their way into law.

      • Ken says:

        Nope. He’s responsible for them being in power. Most of them, except in Alberta’s dead-dog Tory ridings, rode his coat-tails.

    • Harper won`t, but maybe the “rabid base” of the Libs might????

  4. John says:

    William is correct. As much as I would dearly LOVE to see the Harperites put this on the table, they just won’t do it. Harper is a lot of things (arrogant, micro-managing, narrow-minded, autocratic… I could go on…) but he IS politically astute and NOT stupid.
    But hey! I also said that there was no way in Hell that they’d win a majority in May…

    • Pat says:

      This is exactly why it is coming out in a members bill rather than being introduced by the government – the backdoor method. This way, Harper can say that he didn’t orchestrate it, and that he isn’t whipping his caucus, and if the bill passes we can say bye-bye abortion. The political backlash won’t fall on him, it will fall on the private member (if anyone even remembers when the next election rolls around)…

      • The Doctor says:

        I’m not convinced that average voters would see it that way though. Especially given the fact that the opposition parties and their supporters will surely paint this as a Conservative bill, regardless of whether it’s a government bill or not. The average voter isn’t a parliamentary procedure wonk. It seems to me if this bill has any legs at all, the Conservatives will wear it, politically speaking.

        • Pat says:

          Yes.. but that relies on the opposition and media getting the story out and making it stick in the minds of Canadians, which they have utterly failed to do thus far. I guarantee most Canadians don’t know much about the contempt stuff from before the election, and even fewer know anything at all about the crime legislation (and most would probably be against it, if they knew what it was)… I agree with WK that Harper is no strategic genius, but one thing that these Tories do very well is give themselves a back door to slip through when the going gets tough – the proposed legislation being a private members bill is that back door.

  5. Kathy Briggs says:

    They did an about face on Section 13 without batting an eyelash, you can be sure abortion which speaks to their over-all base (as does the repeal of Section 13) is next.

    • The Other Jim says:

      Abortion does not speak to their over-all base. I have many relatives and friends who are hard-core Conservative supporters. They have little interest revisiting in the abortion issue. The anti-choice forces, from my observations, are just a rump (albeit a rabid one) in both the Conservative and Liberal parties. That rump is bigger amongst the Cons, but not “their overall base”.

      • The Doctor says:

        I have to agree with you on that. I know lots of pro-choice Conservatives, and lots of anti-abortion Liberals (don’t forget that until recently, the rule of thumb, at least in Central Canada, was that if you were Roman Catholic, the LPC was your party).

        The twist is that Harper’s caucus is not exactly representative of the Conservative voter base at large. There are significantly more evangelicals, especially from the rural ridings, in his caucus, than you would find if you polled everyone who votes CPC. That’s what could make the going weird, to paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson.

  6. Mark says:

    Warren: I don’t expect you to post this because you don’t agree with it, but at least you’ll read it. Why is it you progressive Liberals only support free speech when it’s something you agree with? Some of these responders who call some Conservative MP’s nutbars because they decry the fact there is no protection for even late-term fetuses shows what kind of society we have become. Sad. Your type of Liberals only support free speech for your “motherhood” issues. Oh, and incidentally, in case you think I’m a “fundy”, I’ve voted Liberal since 1984.

    • Warren says:

      It has nothing to do with free speech. We had Liberal MPs who were pro-lifers, and they were allowed to say so.

      Canadians, however, deserve a say in this important issue, and they deserve to know when it looks like Harper is (again) breaking his word.

      • Torgo says:

        The language about ‘rights of the fetus’ is simply code for abortion. What’s next, ‘personhood amendments’ that not only threaten abortion but even birth control, like in a number of US states? (Colorado and Mississippi for examples)

        Oh, and I’m also curious about something – if there were a Liberal or NDP government and one of their backbencher MPs put forth a bill that inflamed the right/Conservatives, could that government get away with the same excuse of “Well, it’s not an initiative we support, it’s just a PMB”? I sincerely doubt it.

      • Joey Rapaport says:

        Who cares? Why can’t the CPC just shut up, appreciate their majority and focus on stuff we care about… economy, balance the budget, health care, education, etc…

      • Mark says:

        So you want Harper to muzzle his MP’s even more, Warren? The only way we will hear nothing of abortion in the next four years is if Conservative MP’s are ordered not to bring it up. And how would you propose that Canadians deserve a say? Would you advocate a plebiscite, or referendum? The only way Canadians can have a say is to see a parliamentary debate or somehow vote on the issue. I don’t know how many Canadians want that, and Harper has said he doesn’t want it. There is no evidence Harper will break his word on this issue.

      • Mark says:

        How do you propose that Canadians will have a say on this issue, Warren, aside from either a vigorous parliamentary debate or a plebiscite or referendum? I don’t think most Canadians want this, and I don’t think you can offer any evidence that Harper is going to break his word on this just because he has some vocal MP’s on this matter. I guess Harper could muzzle his MP’s even more than he does now, and that might ensure he doesn’t break his word.

      • smelter rat says:

        Gord, that is such a load of bullshit. It doesn’t matter how you slice a pig’s ass, it still pork, as my Uncle Joe used to say.

    • Ted says:

      Mark: I don’t expect you to reply to this because you don’t agree with it, but at least you’ll read it. Why is it you anti-progressive types think that criticism is censorship and that conservative viewpoints should not be criticized? Your type only support free speech for your “motherhood” issues. Some would call that facsism. Others would call it the modus operendi of our federal government.

      • Mark says:

        Hi Ted: I’ll gladly support free speech, even hate speech, though I detest hatemongers. I have been attacking many Conservative viewpoints since I worked on Chretien’s original leadership campaign in Montreal in 1984. However, this Conservative MP has every right to introduce a private member”s bill or issue a press release. Just like former Liberal MP Tom Wappell had every right to do the same – though he was summarily ignored by his party, as were other conservative Liberals, like Galloway and Mcteague. What is unacceptable in my mind is the mud-slinging and hateful comments I hear about some Tory MP’s who happen to be pro-life. There is no evidence, and you know it, that Harper is going to jump on the anti-abortion wagon because he happens to have some pro-life MP’s. Similarly, there was no evidence Chretien was going to do the same, even though he had a number of pro-life MP’s as well. People who venomously attack pro-life parliamentarians are summarily attacking a sizeable minority of Canadians.

        • Ted says:

          Mark: In what way has anyone’s right to free speech been infringed?

          Criticism, even hateful attacks and mud-slinging, is not an infringement of free speech.

          It was your accusation. Just defend it or retreat from it. Don’t try to change the subject.

          • Mark says:

            No, Ted, technically nobody’s right to free speech is being infringed. I should have used another term. Thanks for pointing it out. However, people who want to espouse a pro-life view are often attacked by regular readers of Warren’s blog. My point was simply that we should encourage debate and, yes, PMB’s and press releases, as a way to get Canadians who want to be involved in this issue involved in this issue. The idea to have these opinions expressed, even if they are anathema to some on this board, should be encouraged.

      • Jason King says:

        Sort of like goalpost changing is a rightist trait by your logic eh Gord?

      • Ted says:

        So if I said I don’t want any PMB calling for the nationalization of the oil industry or banking industry as Chavez did in Venezuela, I would be infringing on free speech and showing intolerance for dissenting opinion? Or if I said I don’t want any PMB or educational program requiring the teaching of creation or intelligent design in schools, I would be infringing on free speech and showing intolerance for dissenting opinion?

        Free speech is not about being free of criticism and even strong criticism or even ridicule.

        Somewhere somehow conservatives got it in their head that any criticism of them is censorship and intolerance. But deliberately spreading falsehoods (Cotler, the London calls) is free speech. It’s bizarre.

        • JenS says:

          Yes. What Ted said. Free speech does allow people to say what they wish but it’s beyond ludicrous to insinuate response infringes on said free speech. That’s a little pot-kettle-y, non?

  7. Patrick Deberg says:

    Hey Gord,

    I asked once before and never received an answer.
    Do you get paid to post here??

  8. Supporters of women’s rights need to let Canadians know that parliamentary support for a Conservative private members bill on fetus rights will reflect poorly on the whole Conservative caucus.

  9. Kendall says:

    There’s zero chance of the Harper government touching abortion. Zero, zip, zilch, no matter how many Woodworths or Vellacotts or Trosts pop up. Harper will simply shut it down. Period.

    • James Bow says:

      The intriguing question to ask, of course, is what then? If Harper is blatant in shutting down attempts by his backbench MPs to reopen the abortion debate, do those MPs bolt the party and join Christian Heritage? Or if Harper coddles those MPs who are speaking out, what to the more socially libertarian in his caucus do? If they stand up to speak out for a woman’s right to choose, do things get very interesting at Conservative caucus meetings?

      • Kendall says:

        Nothing happens. Because the socons would rather suck eggs and deal with a relatively friendly party (in areas other than abortion), whereas all the real alternatives are openly hostile towards them.

  10. Lord Kitchener says:

    It still burns me that this idiot, Woodworth, beat Karen Redman. SW barely gets any cred from the tory folk around these parts.

  11. Obama Republican says:

    Liberals want an abortion debate to drive a wedge between the outspoken pro-life members of the caucus and those MPs who’d rather not talk about it at all.

  12. ASME says:

    Here we go again…a bunch of MEN telling we women what to do. Just leave us alone.

    • The Doctor says:

      I’m vehemently pro-choice, but come on, that’s just a crock. I used to live right by the Morgentaler Clinic in Toronto, and at least half the protestors and picketers out there on any given day were women. There’s zero evidence that I’m aware of that the majority of people who oppose abortion are male.

  13. gec says:

    The Catholics in the Tory caucus seem to be leading the anti-abortion crusade. I think all these god fearing men should be more concerned about a Pope who was a member of the Nazi youth and who had done absolutely nothing to clean up the disgusting actions of certain members of the priesthood. As a non-practicing Catholic myself I cannot believe the hypocrisy of certain members of the church who think they can shove their beliefs down our throats. To quote a famous American …. “have you no shame sir?”

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