09.28.2012 09:47 AM

Great Powers piece on Ambrose

I agree with most of what my brother Powers says: she’s entitled to have a dissenting view, but – given the position she holds, and the position she took – she bloody well be ready to explain herself.  She didn’t.

It’s obviously a mistake to think that a certain demographic (in this case, women) are wholly of one view on a contentious subject (in this case, when life begins).  Not all Conservatives are pro-life, not all Liberals are pro-choice, for example; the vote reflected that.

As Tim notes, having a view not shared by most women is not Ambrose’s sin.  Her sin is being unwilling (or unable) to explain why she voted the way she did.  I doubt that it’s fatal to her career, but I am reasonably confident that she did herself no favours, at all, in the eyes of one Stephen Harper, MP.

Who, by the by, voted with most Liberals and New Democrats.


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    Glen says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t she be voting the way her constituents tell her to vote on issues like this?

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      Warren says:

      You’re wrong.

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        Michael Bussiere says:

        The majority does not rule with respect to individual or group minority rights. Some guy’s father said that a few years ago. That’s what the Charter is all about. If MPs voted with the way their constituents tell them, Ambrose never would have been recognized as a person under the law in the first place.

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          Reality.Bites says:

          True, but that’s more because she’s in the Harper cabinet than because she’s a woman.

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      smelter rat says:

      How would she know what all of her constituents think, and why do you assume they all think the same way?

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        Glen says:

        Referendum perhaps, smelter rat? And what in my question leads you to think I assume her consituents all think the same way?

        Anyways, this to me is one of the many problems with our system. Why is a politician, who is there to represent the people who voted for her, voting with her own feelings on this?

        Politicians should always be representing the common interests (that means the majority, not all) of the people who vote for them.

        At the end of the day, I don’t care what my MP’s opinion is on abortion. He’s a puppet, put there to represent the interests of his riding. I only care that he’s representing the majority.

        It’s the democratic way.

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          smelter rat says:

          Point taken, but it’s silly to suggest a Minister take a referendum every time there is a vote to be cast. Apparently some sort of majority of her constituents voted CPC, so one might assume that the party leader’s position would have some influence.

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          pomojen says:

          So I take it you don’t think the minority protections, human rights part means anything… Just rule of the majority. Are you opposed to liberal democracy?

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          bluegreenblogger says:

          Rubbish. The whole point of a representative system is to ‘fix’ the problems of direct democracy as practiced in, say, the Athenian Agora. Representatives theoretically can dedicate the time to understand the issues at stake, rather than un-educated knee jerk reactions. The task of the representative is to represent the INTERESTS of their electorate, not their flighty opinions. Not that I am interested in why Ambrose voted the way she did. I AM interested in muddy thinking about the nature of our polity though.

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      Danny says:

      No, that is not what representative government is all about. We elect an MP to be informed on issues and make decisions on tough calls as they think is best. If we expected our MPs to just vote as the majority want, we could eliminate the house of commons, and give every voter a button to vote on any & every issue in the house of commons. Can you say Bedlam.

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    lance M says:

    I don’t know if there is a right or wrong way to go on this. I am pro choice but also I know that my twin girls born at 23 weeks gestation were beautiful little humans when they came to us. So to abort something at that gestation to me is not right. Yes they did need help to make it to where they are today but all children born need help.

    When the Doctor told us that he had to ask if we wanted to resuscitate them because before 24 weeks the hospital won’t try unless the parents say yes, we said yes and I am sure glad we did as we have healthy happy seven year olds now.

    So is there a right answer, who knows? I think every time a woman is pregnant it is a different situation so to make one rule on abortions likely won’t work. But to determine a point when the fetus is a “human” yes I think that is necessary. From what I can gather through our experience our hospital and doctor asked us those hard questions on whether or not to try and help our kids because they have determined, at least at that time, that fetuses before 24 weeks gestation are likely not going to survive if born and it was our choice if we wanted to try and save them. So maybe we need to ask the medical field for help here? To me they seemed to think, in our case, that 24 weeks was that point. Just my opinion.

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      bluegreenblogger says:

      And that my friend is exactly what real politics is about. nuanced thinking, weighing and balancing evidence. Reconciling opposed positions. This issue is one of the most difficult to cope with, because it strikes to the root of opposed yet fundamental societal values. Sanctity of life, protection of the vulnerable, and the sovereignty of the individual. (Note: liberal values all, despite the conflict) The anecdote has a place as well as broader evidence. It’s the anecodtal discussion that illustrates the extreme cases that the law has to, or should take into account. How many times have you (or I ) spouted a broad principle, only to be stopped in your tracks by the anecdote that runs counter to your intent? Like ‘Murderers should be hung’, followed by the riposte that Latimer was actually a murderer….

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    wsam says:

    1) There is no contradiction between empowering women and wanting to control their bodies.

    2) Wasn’t it Burke who reminded his constituents he was elected to blindly adhere to their local concerns, but to be their representative in London and pursue policies he, as their representative, felt were best for England.

    Obviously Rona Ambrose feels it is best for Canada if she remains sweet with the social conservative wing of the Conservative Party. How else will she beat J-Baird Kenney in a leadership race?

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    Jon Evan says:

    Look. This is a woman’s issue for women to sort out.
    Men: talk about your prostates! Leave the MP for the women to deal with!
    Men you know nothing about being pregnant or living with the consequence of a choice!

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      Kelly says:

      Or not a choice as is frequently the case. Conservatives have tendency to want to push people around. That’s the basic problem the party and many of its supporters, in my experience.

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        Steve T says:

        “Pushing people around” is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Each of the political parties has its own areas in which they want to control the population. What about my freedom of “choice” to use a private clinic, like in most other developed countries (just personally experienced this in Australia, for example), rather than wait in a huge queue for medical care under the existing monolithic Canadian system? What about my freedom of “choice” to speak my mind and not risk incurring the wrath of a kangaroo-court Human Rights Tribunal? And the list goes on.

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    Woody says:

    Let’s face it, she wasn’t whipped, so she had a 50/50 chance to get it right, and #failed.
    Inevitable when conbots are dulled into a stupor for so long with PMO daily marching orders and talking points.

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    Danny says:

    Abortion is not the clear cut issue so many pro-choice advocates suggest. I always liked Bill Clinton’s position that ‘Abortion should safe, legal and rare’.
    When I was a young man, I supported a girl friends decision to have an abortion. I am pretty sure that woman hates me. It was not my finest hour. In fact, something I am still ashamed of.
    I would not want to see that choice made illegal, and it would seem, neither does Harper. But that does not mean we support abortion.

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    Laughing at You says:

    What, you Liberals don’t support a scientific study of something? You’re the ones always yelling that conservatives want to ignore science in policy making. Here’s an opportunity to suppport scientific study of something towards better policy and all of a sudden you’re railing against it. Fucking hypocrites.

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    Bil H says:

    i lean towards pro life on this issue, but there’s something evil about forcing women to do something they don’t want to do with their bodies. i’m reluctantly pro choice.

    i’m both fascinated and pleasantly surprised to see so many like minded posts (pro life but really disliking abortion).

    So often the extremes on this issue get so much more attention.

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    Paul says:

    The article stated that she voted the way she did because she is opposed to sex-selection abortions. Correct??

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      Danny says:

      So that begs the question of the pro-choice position: Are you in favour of women having a choice, only until they make a choice you find wrong? ie. sex selection.
      It is like being in favour of free speech, until someone says something repulsive, like denying the holocaust.
      Me, I support free speech & choice. No body said freedom wasn’t messy.

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