Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nicely played, Mr. Dion.

And it’s about fucking time, too.

Stephane Dion has challenged the prime minister to clarify his view on abortion, threatening to reignite the debate as Canada careens towards an election. The Liberal leader threw down the gauntlet while answering a question at a town-hall meeting on Wednesday night in Oakville, Ont.

The event was billed as a discussion of the Liberals' carbon tax plan, but a member of the audience instead asked Dion's views on the Unborn Victims of Crime Act. The private member's bill would make it a criminal offence to harm an unborn child during an attack on its mother.

Dion said he opposed the proposed legislation because it might infringe on women's access to abortion. "We need to protect everyone against crime but, at the same time, it happens that I believe in the rights of women to choose and I have a lot of respect for the people who have a different view," he told the crowd.

Dion then called upon Stephen Harper to state his own position on abortion. "I think all Canadians have the right to know what the party leader thinks," he said. "I gave my opinion. I want to hear the opinion of Stephen Harper."

Your move, Big Daddy.


Reality Bites said...

You could take Harper's wife and children and force him to watch them being waterboarded and he wouldn't answer that question.

However, with luck it will force him to once again reiterate the pledge that there will be no abortion legislation allowed, and piss off the so-cons

liberal supporter said...

reiterate the pledge that there will be no abortion legislation allowed
I thought it was only pledged that his government would not introduce any abortion legislation. But, like a good Reform demagogue, he said he would not block a private member's bill, and he would allow a free vote. Though a "free" vote, you can bet each of his MPs would be under threat by special interest groups if they voted against it.

That's the whole problem with his ideas of government. Expose the individual MPs to focused attack by special interest groups. If these groups can gain strength in numbers, why deny this strength to party MPs?

Reality Bites said...

On Jan 17 (2006), in response to Dr. Henry Morgentaler saying publicly he didn't trust Harper's promise to not re-introduce the abortion issue, Harper maintained that: "The Conservative government won't be initiating or supporting abortion legislation, and I'll use whatever influence I have in Parliament to be sure that such a matter doesn't come to a vote." ... "I will use whatever influence I have to keep that off of the agenda, and I don't see any likelihood of that in the next Parliament."

Such a statement of course does nothing to reassure pro-choice activists, absolutely infuriated the anti-choicers, but worked well on those who could be described as non-activist pro-choice.

liberal supporter said...

Thanks for that, I hadn't seen that specific quote. Now the much ballyhooed clause in C-484 that "it's not about abortion" makes a lot more sense. It is Harper's way to get out of that promise.

Sneaky fellow he is.

Reality Bites said...

That statement, coupled with the one that the government wouldn't invalidate existing same-sex marriages, was the start of the big so-con disallusionment with Harper.

At the Conservative policy convention they thought they traded banning late-term abortions temporarily for banning same-sex marriage. During the campaign he went further to the centre on those issues than the convention had given him a mandate for, and effectively signaled that no matter what happened, the clock would not be turned back on marriage or abortion.