Saturday, January 07, 2006

Christian rightist wants Harper to re-open abortion debate

Could it be that as the Conservatives move up in the polls some of their more extreme supporters, able to almost taste power, are starting to shake-off the muzzle?

I was reading a column in the Toronto Sun today with moderate interest; it was the usual call for Harper to quit his (obviously false) move to the centre and re-embrace family values. But as I got to the end my eyes bulged...the columnist wants Harper to re-open the abortion debate!

This isn't some nobody writing this. The writer is Michael Coren, a regular Sun columnist and host of a daily, national prime time TV show on CTS (a Christian television network) that, as he says, "features some of the most exciting and important national and international voices discussing politics, entertainment, sports, and social and moral issues." So all in all, a fellow of some influence and national standing on The Right.

His argument starts off normally enough (for The Right). Harper is obsessed with appeasing the "social engineers" that cannot be appeased, his muzzling and move to the centre to win votes "is startlingly odd and irrational", the leftie "zealots" that want to allow same sex marriage should be stopped, yada yada. Nothing we haven't heard before.

But then, towards the end, Coren drops the bomb and tells Harper how he can wrap-up the election now; especially, for some reason, the ethnic vote. How you ask? Attack the Liberals on abortion! An excerpt:

If it is seen to be merely about medical choice, then it is of limited importance and should be of little concern to most voters. But if it is, as I believe, about life and death, it is of central significance to the 50% of Canadians who are opposed to abortion.

Many of them, by the way, are ethnic voters in urban ridings who routinely vote Liberal but might vote Conservative if the party made more noise about moral issues and exposed the opposition for what it is and says.

I say again, the HALF of Canadians who object to abortion. I also guarantee that many people reading this column question my numbers or simply refuse to believe them. The reason is that most of Canada's media are vehemently socially liberal.

Now he should move on to solidify this base with a pronounced defence of marriage, family, children, life and community. Not only because it is good politics but because it is plain good.

So there you have it: abortions for none, miniature Canadian flags for everyone! I have to wonder how many Conservatives share Coren's views, and how many of them will be in the next Conservative caucus, and potentially cabinet.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


AT said...

I am not surprised really. Conservative Party is basically Canadian branch of Republican Party. It is sad that we would be seeing another Bush rising!

CathiefromCanada said...

I saw your post on Progressive Bloggers -- very good job and good pickup.
I think the media must be just besotted with Stevie, because they are not covering this stuff and they should be.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, you are so right (er, I mean correct, sorry). Whenever anyone gives unsolicited advice to Stephen Harper it is like a glimpse into the heart of Harper's hidden agenda. As we know, all Liberals are pro-choice and support SSM. Only those bigots in the CPC would even consider taking unsolicited advice from a newspaper columnist, and the fact that other newspapers aren't covering this newspaper's advice columnist's advice is most scary. We all know the Cons will follow this advice. At least, that's what my Liberal-brand crystal ball tells me when I'm not wearing my tinfoil hat.

Gazetteer said...


Awww, Cathie how could you possibly suggest that after the Allan Gregg-assisted Big Mo story on the front page of the Globe today?

All joking aside, great stuff Jeff.


Mohamed said...

How will an a change to Abortion get through the Senate?

A BCer in Toronto said...

Thanks Cathie and Gazetteer.

And thanks for your comments anonymous. Usually the Conservative comments I get don't make any counterpoints at all, and just say coruption, entitelement and Liberanos a bunch of times. You make an argument, although I have to deduct a point for the tin foil hat crack.

Back to the issue, I do think this is valid for a few reasons. First of all, Coren was involved in the process that led to the creation of the Canadian Alliance. But him aside, the Christian Right is a signifigant part of the Conservative base of support (Hi Elsie!). They got their man Stockwell Day into the leadership, and he's going to be in any Harper cabinet. You can't become Conservative leader without them. So I ask, will Harper re-open this divisive debate once in office?

With Harper musing majority this becomes even more relevant. I'd like to know, just what has Harper promised the social conservative flank of his party in exchange for keeping its mouth shut this campaign?

Anonymous said...

I am typically still an undecided voter at this point, but this time it is a no-brainer for me. I am voting Conservative, but I am not 'a Conservative'.

I vote for the party I feel will do the best for Canada. Belonging to the party "Canada" I am usually fairly objective about these things.

First, please don't say that Martin is "for SSM", as he is not. He actually voted against it at one point in the house. If you watch CPAC, you will see Liberals in support of the traditional definition and Conservatives in support of SSM. Martin's claim is about the Charter, not about SSM. Layton supports SSM, Martin the Charter but not SSM, and Harper for the traditional definition of marriage.

Harper has promised a free vote (which Martin promised but didn't deliver). To be honest, I don't think it would be even close. Count the Conservatives who support SSM, the Liberals who would vote for it, all of the NDP would support it and the Bloc has said all of their MPs would vote for SSM. I have friends that are gay, but I don't think they have anything to fear.

And yes, there is a Christian right, although the extremists have left the CPC and formed their own party called the Christian Heritage Movement. It is too bad that religion is still such a big part of our politicals, but that's the reality I guess. Social issues are obviously very important and highly contentious.

In all honesty, how can you say anything other than Martin is a small 'c' conservative. Other than this campaign, look at what he has done.

He and the l'ill guy always campaigned left and then acted right.

We have two moderate parties in this country, neither far from each other. Both to the side of the Democrats in the states, and both pretty far from the Republicans.

Lat's be honest here.

Martin wants to bring this election down to values, and you might jest about people talking about corruption but how could it be ignored? That is my reason for staying away from them this time.

The best thing for this country right now would be a Conservative minority with the NDP holding the balance of power.

Clean the Liberals of their cancer and bring in some fresh leadership that might steer the ship right (as in correct, not right of centre). ;)