, 08.03.2022 03:26 PM

My latest: we’re all in Kansas evermore

We’re not in Kansas anymore.

But actually, we kind of are. Let us explain.

The famous line above, of course, was uttered by Judy Garland’s Dorothy character in the seminal motion picture, the Wizard of Oz. (With the full quotation being: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.“)

Whether you’re there or not, however, quite a few of us are thinking about Kansas this week. Because, on Tuesday night, the good people of reliably-conservative Kansas shocked all of the United States, and quite a bit of the world, too.

On Tuesday, Kansas voted in a referendum on removing a state constitutional protection for abortion, which would have had the effect of outlawing it. And the anti-abortion side lost. Dramatically. Decisively.

The side favored by abortion-hating Republicans was crushed, right across the landlocked Midwestern state.

In Kansas – whose anthem is Home on the Range, and where Republicans have dominated since Jesus was a little fella – 60 per cent of the state’s voters said they wanted to keep abortion rights.

That 60 per cent figure is notable, and not just because it represents a humiliating loss for the well-funded pro-life side. Sixty per cent is the share of the popular vote won by Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

The Kansas result can’t be just dismissed as an aberration or an outlier. The voter turnout was massive, and the pro-abortion side won convincingly in areas which Republicans once considered their personal playgrounds.

No more. For the GOP, the Kansas result suggests that this Fall’s midterm votes are no longer a foregone conclusion. If abortion is on the ballot – and after the Republican-dominated US Supreme Court gutted Roe v. Wade, it assuredly is – Tuesday night’s Kansas earthquake means that Democrats will benefit.

In the US, successive national polls have been showing a policy gulf between public opinion and Republican lawmakers. The US high court’s decision to expropriate women’s wombs has widened that gulf.

Canada‘s Conservative Party needs to pay attention to the progressive popular uprising in Kansas, but they probably won’t. Pierre Poilievre is far and away the frontrunner in the party’s leadership race. He has raised more money than all the others combined.

None of his fanatical followers seriously expects him to lose in in September, and some are already picking out drape swatches for their offices in the Langevin block. They will tell you they don’t care about little Kansas.

But Pierre Poilievre has a past, and a voting record. It’s easy to find, because he has never worked in the real world. And his voting record on social issues like abortion is problematic.

For years, the Ottawa-area MP could count on the unwavering support of the Campaign Life Coalition, the powerful lobby group that wants to outlaw abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia.

On its web site, the Campaign Life Coalition has for years given approving green check marks to Poilievre for voting for bills that would make it an offence to “kill or injure a pre-born child” — and to “protect women from coercion to abort.” For 99 per cent of his political career, Poilievre has opposed abortion. Period. 

When the Conservative leadership race commenced, Poilievre speedily attempted to execute a whiplash-inducing about-face. In one of the debates that he deigned to attend, Poilievre stammered that he was now pro-choice.

But he isn’t. Because he has admitted that, as Tory leader, he would let his social conservative caucus bring forward motions to outlaw abortion. 

That’s not pro-choice.

If that day were ever to come to pass, the result would be the same as we have seen in Kansas this week: it would fail. Canadians generally, and Canadian women in particular, are overwhelmingly pro-choice.

But the issue of abortion, and Pierre Poilievre’s ever-changing view on it, is a problem. For his party, and for him. In Canada, as in Kansas, the people know where they are. They know where they stand. 

And they will know, soon enough, that Pierre Poilievre doesn’t stand with them.


  1. Sean says:

    I think PP will do the same thing as EO and SH. He’ll play footsie with the naïve kooks and extremists just to win the leadership… Then he’ll tack back to the center. I’m not sold that he actually believes any of the trucker BS or the abortion BS.

    The man served in a cabinet that did absolutely nothing for 9 years on any so-con issues. That says more than any hokum shot from the hip during a wild west show / leadership circus.

    Elections aren’t about serious issues or getting anything done anymore. It’s all about expressing faux tribal sentiment. If Campaign Life endorses him its not because there is any possibility he will change anything. It’s because the same rubes who send them money also send him money and on and on it goes.

    • Douglas W says:

      Bravo Sean: you nailed it.

      Double P has shown he has the political chops; surrounded by crafty handlers; and smart enough to know he needs to pivot to win the vote-rich ridings.

      He’s no Scheer or EOT.
      Libs can’t take this dude lightly.
      Demonizing him won’t work.

      • PJH says:

        Piffle….Demonizing always works in campaigns, and PP is an easy target…..Does he pivot and lose all those supporters he’s lured in with empty catchphrases and buzzwords?….Is he suddenly going to appeal to the overwhelming number of Canadian electorate who have no political affiliation whatsoever, and only think of politics around election time?…..Hardly.

        You overestimate his popularity amongst the Canadian electorate. “The Base” is not urban Montreal, Urban Toronto, and Urban Vancouver…..all three areas where we need to win seats if we are ever to have a hope of forming gov’t.

        PP will be ballot box poison for the Conservative Party of Canada where we need to win the most.

        • Douglas W says:

          PJH, if Double P wins the leadership, what are you going to do?

          Vote for the Dauphin?

          • Douglas,

            I’ll vote for my Conservative MP as he’s a good person and parliamentarian and then watch the national campaign and the Jenni Byrnes’ of this world kill any CPC momentum just like Scheer and O’Toole did. The third time on election night will be eerily familiar as we blow three campaigns in a row. I’ve already got my champagne ready to watch yet another clueless leader blow us right out of the fucking ballpark.

            As much as it royally pisses me off, I get incredible satisfaction in not being part of a losing campaign: you know, Harper from the minute he finally got that majority, then Scheer, O’Toole and almost guaranteed, Poilièvre.

            I hope Charest’s bottle will be even bigger than mine. He’ll have the quiet satisfaction of being 1000% right. I’m more often than not generally way up there as well but I digress.

          • PJH says:

            It wont be for the Dauphin…..and I may still vote for my Con MP, as he does an excellent job, but I will hold my nose while doing so…..

      • Douglas,

        With respect, you’re dreaming. FCS, this guy pals around with Jordan Peterson. That pretty much says it all. Just what we need, a groupie leader.

        And the last thing I call him and Byrne is crafty. It’s swan dive time and it’s coming in an election near you.

  2. Warren,

    Meanwhile, the POS hopefully is about to get it good before he ultimately and inevitably burns in hell, if he’s lucky:

    “Former attorney to Donald Trump’s White House Ty Cobb says that Congress has already been handed the evidence they need to disqualify the twice-impeached former president from ever running for any office again.

    Appearing on CNN Wednesday, Cobb noted that testimonies presented during the Jan. 6 hearings – which painted a picture of Trump sitting in the White House watching TV while insurrectionists were storming the Capitol – combined with him tweeting that former vice president Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what was necessary” after refusing to overturn the 2020 election results create a pretty clear path to criminal charges.”


    • Obvious Sock Puppet #12 says:

      RJO, unlike in a real criminal trial, in the Jan. 6 C’tee hearings, only one side got to call witnesses, and there was no actual, real cross-examination. Real Courts of Law do not work that way.

      That is, the Jan. 6 C’tee hearings [were held / will continue to be held], not in any genuine criminal court, but in the Court of Public Opinion, in which headlines and soundbites matter, and there is no jurisprudence any deeper than spin. More importantly, in the Court of Public Opinion, what may be thought of as the burden of proof (who), and the standard of proof (what) are rather lax: “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which is how you secure a real conviction in real criminal trials, is a rather more difficult & exacting standard. And, if this were done as a judge-alone trial, good luck finding a judge that both “sides” (of the American political divide) will find to be “unbiased” — or, if a jury trial, 12 people plus alternates whose cold objectivity would be acknowledged by all Americans watching. So, regardless of pretrial manoeuvres or any ruling about any anything before, during or after: material for either side requesting a mistrial is practically built in already.

      What I’m getting at is a realistic assessment of the required the time-frame: Mr. Cobb is blathering about the end result of a legal process that would (the way Americans do this sort of thing) be kicked off with a Grand Jury, and months for that, followed only maybe, by what Canadians would consider a criminal trial — months more — followed by appeals, blah, blah — so, months more. There is no realistic timeline that gets Mr. Trump disqualified in a final disposition (i.e., no further possible appeals), in time for the 2024 US Presidential election. And Mr. Cobb knows all this.

      Mr. Cobb, in other words, is not genuinely offering a legal opinion, he is making a statement for a political effect. That said, it will definitely, to some degree, have and effect: a little sand in the gears of the Trump 2024 machine. So, as a *political* (i.e., rhetorical and marketing) tactic, it’s arguably a solid anti-Trump tactic. But *legally*? Cobb is just spouting absolute, total nonsense.

      • OSP,

        You may very well be right but one rolls with laughter in amusement at those Republicans who object to a supposed one-sided political process that is both judge and jury and steers the ship of state to a foregone political conclusion. All of the above is true but Repubs can’t have it both ways — they refused to allow a Joint Special Committee of Congress and then refused to participate in the House Select Committee. No one wonders why as it’s self-evident. And now, they’re screaming bloody murder. Too funny.

        But in the end we’re all dead and Trump is unlikely to ever be convicted in a bona fide criminal proceeding – the serious risk of eventual civil war negates that possibility, so spins our wheels we go but nothing ultimately changes legally for the POS.

    • Sean says:

      Never mess with Ty Cobb. He had 4,189 base hits… a .366 batting average… lifetime OPS .944…. during the dead ball era. Those numbers will never be approached, let alone defeated.

  3. This is an effective tool so long as it’s not limited or curtailed by legislatures in states where Republicans control either one or both houses.

    But since we all know MAGA Republicans so well, their next move is to remove the possibility of holding a referendum in as many states and as quickly enough as is humanly possible. IMHO, that’s the plan…

    • Don Ireland says:

      Re: kansas

      I am not sure that some writers are actually reading their articles after they write them. This article criticizes Poilievre for voting for bills that would make it an offence to “kill or injure a pre-born child” — and to “protect women from coercion to abort.” Is Mr. Kinsella actually saying that he thinks it is ok to kill or injure an unborn child and he doesn’t think women should be protected from coercion to abort. That doesn’t sound civilized .

      Secondly, it sounds like he has fallen into the Liberal trap of undemocracy where all MP’s cannot have an opinion on abortion, dont want any type of law on abortion and cannot even consider representing their constituents on an issue even if the majority of his or her constituents want them to speak on their behalf . I think we need more leaders that give party members freedom to discuss and debate all issues regardless of the Party or Party leader’s personal opinion.

      • Paige says:

        Finally a bit of sanity. Thanks Don

      • Robert White says:

        Even Harper realized that there was no more debate to be had regarding a woman’s right to abortion on demand. Warren is an educator not a moral relativist. He knows the debate inside and out from prior debate about it.

        The Conservative Constitution clearly spells out the Conservative Party mandate/mission statement.

        Canadian women have decided that abortion services will be available on demand and that is the end of the debate. Male opinions on abortion are not needed or required anymore.

        All women throughout the world should have similar charter rights as Canadian women have currently. Women will decide how to handle their own health & welfare without input from men. This is the way in Canada like it or not.

        Please take some time to write to Steven Harper & Preston Manning regarding your thoughts on abortion just to see if they’d reply.


        • Robert,

          I like to keep it simple: the more that the male suffers from masculine and penis inadequacy, the stronger the urge to control and dictate to women on abortion and everything else. You know, the poor pathetic three-inch or less crowd.

          • Robert White says:

            All of us here have Social Science degrees and we’ve all dated women. We get that women have rights, but the guys that don’t didn’t get Social Science degrees and they didn’t date very many women IMHO.

            I always assume that those guys don’t have a clue how women think let alone how our Charter of Rights & Freedoms work either.

            That’s why I hang out with you guys.


  4. Douglas W says:

    I know quite a few Poilievre supporters; none of them are fanatical.

    They want responsible government; a solid front bench; no mandates without transparent, scientific support. And a plan on how to move this country’s economy, forward.

    • PJH says:

      Guess you have never worked CallHub this campaign…..not only are many PP supporters fanatics….they are rude and surly, to the extreme.

      Jenni Byrne has a tendency to bring that out in people.

      I keep looking on PP’s website for a detailed plan on moving this country’s economy forward…..but he doesnt have a section on policy…. what he does have in “news” is long on rhetoric and short on specifics….

      PP is, simply, an empty barrel…..and he will lead the party to its worst showing since it was formed in 2003.

      • PJH,

        What else can I say: stupid is as stupid does.

        They did it first with Scheer, then O’Toole and of course, they’ll DEFINITELY do it again with Poilièvre. And after he inevitably crashes and burns, they’ll incredibly do it again with the next guy or gal…

        • Douglas W says:


          Scheer’s and EOT’s leadership wins were anything but decisive.
          Actually, their respective wins were embarrassing.

          Poilièvre looks like he might win in a romp.

          If Poilièvre truly has people who know how to go for the jugular, then I think Justin the Younger is going to be in for one heck of a street fight.

          Isn’t that what you want to see?

  5. Pro Life Person says:

    While the vote result is not the result that I would have liked to see, the people have had their voices heard.

    Which is a lot better than having appointed judges who legislate from the bench.

    I am certain that the Democrat big wigs secretly like the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade as they see it as a lifeline that will motivate their voters to turn out for the midterms.

    • PLP,

      Some Democrats see abortion as a universal panacea that will reverse the projected Democratic rout up and down the 2022 ticket and they are either delusional or sadly mistaken. Sure Dems will do a lot better than disaster but they’ll still end up losing both the Senate and the House. It’s all about inflation and the economy and that definitely does not help in any way Democrats.

  6. EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    I have said this before and will say it again (ad naseum)…Joe and Jane Front Porch (as our gracious host likes to call them) are in the middle of summer vacation. They are worried about inflation and all of the nasty things that has brought forward, they are worried about housing, and school and our current health care system (which in case anybody hasn’t noticed, is not going in the right direction). All of the political stuff the chattering classes love to gab about isn’t worth a pinch of racoon shit. It will (probably) be years before a federal election. At that time, the various leaders will check for the direction of the prevailing winds, and design their campaigns accordingly. I doubt any of the stuff we are talking about now will matter.

  7. Gilbert says:

    For all of you who argue that a woman can do what she wants with her body, does that also include vaccines, public nudity, prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation and suicide? Ronald Reagan once said that those who support abortion have already been born.

    Now imagine that you’re an unborn child. Do you want your mother to end the life that God has given you? Does it upset you that your death might not come without pain?

    • Gilbert,

      A woman like a man can do what he or she wants with their body. However, I don’t advise doing illegal acts as the legal consequences may not be pleasant or inconsequential.

      I don’t have the expertise to comment on the pain argument in your comment. I’ll leave it to qualified medical practitioners to respond in an informed and unmistaken way.

  8. Phil in London says:

    I think there is a huge difference between living in “Kansas” USA and “Kansas” Canada. First thing that comes to mind; legal beagles please correct me if I am wrong – In Canada there is no legal precedent allowing for a Roe V Wade type of ruling to make it a constitutional issue?

    I realize Doctor Morgantaler spent some time in the courts defending his right to operate an abortion clinic but I am not so certain there is any landmark court ruling allowing abortion as much as there is legislative means and a health care system that regulates the procedure much like any other medical procedure.

    The minister of substance-free style and his cabinet have latched onto the Supreme Court of the USA decision as something that could happen here. I don’t think there is a similar situation or precedent.

    There are absolutely zealots on both sides of the abortion issue, but I don’t believe there is an abortion debate in this country. I think to use the John and Jane Frontporch lens, I think abortion is part of the healthcare issue in most of Canada.

    John and Jane may well care about the fact that little Susie Frontporch may struggle to find a doctor to abort her unwanted pregnancy.

    They likely don’t care anymore about this then the fact John’s mom Anne Frontporch is being denied access to a doctor since she moved to the west coast to live with them after her husband Pete Frontporch died in a covid infested nursing home in Quebec.

    They also worry about Jane herself being put on a 18 month waiting list for her mamogram, especially given Jane lost a sister and mother to breast cancer.

    They are a little bit desperate on the health care front after their son John Jr. broke a leg hiking a backwoods trail and had to wait 2 days in an emergency ward after having been transported 200 miles to a city hospital because the one near the occurrence of his accident had it’s emergency ward closed.

    Maybe one of the reasons abortion mattered so much to them in JT vs AScheer and JT vs EO’T is that they had it pretty good back then and none of the healthcare woes that have been around since before the true impact of the tornado known as Covid 19 came to light.

    I am neither praising nor abandoning PP at the present time. What I see as a reluctant Conservative is that PP has the chops to turn any debate about abortion into a discussion of what he perceives as Liberal failure in health care and finance etc etc.

    That does not mean that I feel he will win. It is that it feels a little different this time with the hidden agenda bogey man coming out of the red team’s war room.

    Harper met the criticism head on and was able to shift the debate. There is still a conservative element that is pro-life but that pro-life champion understood it and went on to eat the lunches prepared for saints Paul Martin (patron of entitled family), Michael (patron of temporary citizenry) Ignatieff, and the patron saint of the clueless st Dion.

    Federal elections result in change when the government of the day has made a case they do not deserve re-relection.

    This will be the one and only reason this government changes. Oh and by the way the NDP pushing for more handouts before the end of year is a bluff.

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