I missed this on Friday, but the Globe and Mail’s Jane Taber wrote a piece asking if Ignatieff’s attempt to light up the abortion debate for a few political points will work.
It’s a good question. Just because it’s an odious thing to do doesn’t mean it won’t work. If they can convince even a small slice of the public that the Conservatives are planning on outlawing all abortions it will lock those people into voting anti-Conservative regardless of what actual Conservative policy is.
I hope very much that it won’t work and that has nothing to do with what I think of the Conservatives or abortions. As I said on Thursday, Ignatieff is dead wrong about any consensus. The only consensus we have on the subject is that as a country we don’t agree. And I hope we also have a consensus that we don’t want to turn it into political leverage. Historically, the Liberals and the Conservatives have welcomed pro-lifers and pro-choicers into their camps. They recognized that beliefs about abortion were based on deeply held beliefs about when human life begins and as such the question was qualitatively different than a disagreement about tax law or how to best care for the poor.
This is the most disappointed I’ve been with Michael Ignatieff. I thought the Liberals made a good choice with him. I still do actually, but my respect for him has taken a serious blow. A man who would be Prime Minister shouldn’t seek to divide a country for a bump in the polls.