The Rants of Issachar

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Michael Ignatieff - Playing politics with abortions

I voted for the Conservatives in the last election. I thought St├ęphane Dion and his platform were just a bad idea. But I like the idea of a revived Liberal party. I want to be faced with a choice between two excellent parties with good candidates.

But Michael Ignatieff continues to disappoint. (Don't get me started on the fact that the Liberal candidate in my riding is now the famous but utterly unqualified Ross Rebagliati.)

The catalyst for Ignatieff's idiocy was Stephen Harper's plan to focus G8 efforts on improving maternal and infant health throughout the world. This is as non-controversial as topics come, but the man who would be Prime Minister decided that it was the opportunity to bring up abortion and play politics with it.

To begin with, Mr. Ignatieff is categorically wrong when he declares that Canada has had a pro-choice consensus for years. We don't. We have a consensus that we disagree and that our disagreement crosses political lines. We know that turning it into a national war will achieve nothing for anybody. We cannot agree. This is the polar opposite of a consensus.

Discussions about abortion in Canada largely take place outside of the political arena and are focussed on changing minds than on changing laws and this is a good thing. Many Liberals are pro-life and many Conservatives are pro-choice. Most of the public falls somewhere in between. We think that laws against early abortions would be extremely difficult to justify, but we also think that actually performing abortions late in pregnancy is also very hard to justify. This isn't a "pro-choice" or a "pro-life" stance.

Into this delicate topic and without any cause to do so, Mr. Ignatieff choose to "lay down a marker".


I can only think of two possibilities. The first is that he's an extreme supporter of abortion, holds a view of it far outside the Canadian mainstream and he has an agenda that he wants to push but hasn't told us about it yet. The other and more likely possibility is that he's trying to drag up the old "Harper has a hidden agenda" plank of the Liberal platform. Although this possibility is better than the first, it's still terribly worrisome. Mr. Ignatieff seems prepared to pull the pin on the abortion grenade all by himself in search of a few extra political points.

Honestly, I keep trying to find reasons to like Mr. Ignatieff. I want the Liberals to play the long game and give me a reason to vote for them rather than merely against another party. Michael Ignatieff has got to stop pulling stupid stunts like this one.

:: posted by Issachar, 12:48 PM


Posted by: Blogger Marco

Do you send these challenges to the politicians in question? I'm curious as to the responses you'd get for this entry and the previous one. And much else on this blog, actually. One website says that Mr. Ignatieff's eMail address is
. I almost sent him this link, but maybe you should do it. :)
Blogger Marco, at Mon Apr 26, 10:25:00 PM PDT  

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