Friday, January 20, 2006

Today’s WØRD Is: Abortion

First, I’d like to send a shout-out to the boys in the Liberal war room. Wassup dudes?

I put a counter on my site last week to get an idea of just how many people are actually reading my semi-coherent ramblings and it has been interesting to see who is stopping-by and where they’re coming from (much thanks to Liblogs and Progressive Bloggers.)

For example, this morning someone from spent 63 minutes visiting this humble blog. The war roomers must have some time on their hands these days. They found me via a Google search. It seems I’m the number one hit when you search on ‘ “Roxanne James” abortion’. Wonder if they read the post(s) where I called them morons too?

Anyway, that brings me to today’s WØRD: abortion. Or, the Liberal word of the day anyway, as it was all abortion all the time from their campaign today. And (while I still think they’re still morons), I say why not?

1) Actually, Stephen started if off last night. After tucking his traveling press pack off to bed (that’s going to piss them off), he dashed out to the safe house where he’s been hiding Cheryl Gallant since summer 2004 for a grip and grin with the outspoken anti-abortion activist. Despite trying to ditch the press though, the local Eganville Leader did snap a pic for today’s paper. That gave the Liberals a chance to dust off some choice Gallant quotes, such as:

“We saw that young American have his head literally cut off in front of the cameras, but what's happening down there is absolutely no different!” (Cheryl Gallant, comparing the beheading of an American to an abortion clinic, CBC Television, May 13, 2004)

2) And while we’re talking about Cheryl Gallant’s greatest hits, why not Jason Kenny too? They’ve even got audio for some of these, fun!

"Mr. Harper says if a Private Members' Bill were to come forward and were to pass on a free-vote basis that of course he would accept the will of Parliament.”
"Paul Martin actually said, this was very little covered, that he, as Prime Minister in this Parliamentary democracy would disregard the will of Parliament as expressed in the adoption of a law through a Private Members' Bill on abortion," Mr. Kenney said.

"A democracy which allows, which alienates those inalienable rights, which violates the inviolable dignity of the human person, which denies fundamental rights, like the right to life, is in a certain sense, no longer a democracy," he added. (listen)

3) Martin carried on his theme in his stump speech today (Reuters has the story), making much of the rapidly expanding list of socially-Conservative candidates in hiding and tying it to the abortion question.

"What's going to happen after the election? Are these social conservatives going to stay in hiding ... (or) are they going to come out and start expressing their views, advancing their causes?" Martin said at a rally in Atlantic Canada.

4) The Liberals summed it all up in a release that made some good points. They note how closely Stephen has been parsing his words on the topic (we had this debate on Chernaik’s site awhile back) and they point out the fundamental contradiction in his argument.

The Conservative platform states on page 31: “A Conservative Government will not initiate or support any legislation to regulate abortion.”
This allows Mr. Harper to claim that he and his Cabinet will not push the abortion issue.
But here is the loop-hole for anti-abortion MPs, candidates and groups: on page 44, the platform states that “A Conservative government will make all votes in Parliament, except the budget and the main estimates, ‘free votes’ for ordinary Members of Parliament.”
This means that the Conservative caucus is explicitly permitted to introduce whatever legislation it wishes.
Mr. Harper has said he would not whip his Cabinet on “moral issues”.

So there you have it: Abortions for none, and miniature American Canadian flags for all!

Sarcasm aside, I think this is an issue that should be talked about. Given that Conservative Party President Don Plett has assured party members there would be a bill on abortion from the backbenches if they form government it seems to me two very relevant questions need to be asked:

1) Will Harper allow this bill to get to the floor, and if he does will he or will he not whip his cabinet to vote against it?
2) How would Harper, and every other candidate (for all parties) vote on such a bill?

Lastly, I saw a Liberal television ad (in the same style as the other attack ads) on the abortion issue on TV tonight, although I don’t see it on their Web site yet (correct me if I’m wrong).

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


A BCer in Toronto said...

Just a note to timm-eh!, progressiveU and others:

If you cut and paste the same off-topic rants here and in every other blog you can find on the Web I'll delete those comments from this blog.

I welcome debate, but it needs to be relevant to the post your responding too, not the same rant you're cut and pasted on 20 blogs in 10 minutes.

Anonymous said...

"I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night." --Ralph Reed, The Hill, December 17, 1997

Perhaps this is why Martin is using the abortion word. he knows who he is fighting against.

timm-eh! said...

This is 1000% ontopic, wouldn't you say?

* Paul Martin said he was personally opposed to abortion (Toronto Star, March 26, 1990).
* Joe Fontana, current Minister of Labour: abortion should be limited to “exceptional extenuating circumstances” involving rape or incest (London Free Press, October 12, 1988).
* Joe Volpe, current Minister of Immigration: “The government has contented itself with casting the issue in the context of abortion, a context which invariably favours the rights of those who are present against those who are silent, a context which too often is seen as purely a woman’s issue” (Hansard, November 22, 1989).
* Albina Guarnieri, current Minister of Veterans Affairs: “The decision as to which life merits protection cannot be left to judges, doctors, or even women themselves” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).
* Joe McGuire, current Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency called abortion “the murder of another human being” (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

A BCer in Toronto said...

Maybe not 1000% timm-eh!(love South Park btw), but I would say 100% ontopic, so thank-you, even if you don't make an argument but just post a list of quotes.

I would say though that Martin has changed his mind on this issue, as people tend to do over time. Why, Stephen Harper's miraculous evolution since June 2004 has been breathtaking.

I would also point-out another differene. Martin has promised to whip his cabinet on the vote, while Harper has said he will not.