Friday, August 29, 2008

Tory Abortion Bill Not Dead Yet!

A small group of Tory Rebs have issued a press release in which they state that

"We, the undersigned, will continue to use all the legislative avenues at our disposal to ensure the successful passage of The Unborn Victims of Crime Act into law. We look forward to supporting Mr. Epp's bill at third reading."

The Rebs in question:

David Anderson, MP, Cypress Hills-Grasslands
Rod Bruinooge, MP, Winnipeg South
Royal Galipeau, MP, Ottawa-Orléans
Colin Mayes, MP, Okanagan-Shuswap
Myron Thompson, MP, Wild Rose
Brad Trost, MP, Saskatoon-Humboldt
Maurice Vellacott, MP, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin
Chris Warkentin, MP, Peace River

Pretty much a subset of the usual suspects. But what should it matter if the Tories plan to withdraw the legislation? It shouldn't matter, except that the Tories have no such plans. Dean Allison's office confessed as much to one Tory Blogger yesterday.

The Conservatives are not abandoning or distancing themselves from Bill C-484 or abortion. In fact, it is a mistake to view Nicholson's recently proposed alternative as such. The guy I spoke to over the phone suggested that the Conservatives do not think that Epp's bill will pass in the house, given the fact they only have a minority and the recent inappropriate focus on abortion by a small group of extremists who have totally misrepresented the bill. He said that both the Bloc and the NDP will be voting against the bill and most Liberals are likely to either do the same or simply not show up to vote. If that is the case, then it's hard to see how Epp's bill could pass.

Nicholson's bill is intended to provide the same protection to pregnant women, should Epp's bill not pass.If Epp's bill does pass, and both I and the guy on the phone hope it does, then great.

My MP will be voting in support of Epp's bill.

Despite efforts re getting abortion off the table as an election issue, the Tories have left C-484 still in play. In addition, they have thrown another bill into the mix which, when it is finally introduced, will apparently resemble Liberal MP Brent St. Denis's Bill C-543.

This fight is not over.


Reality Bites said...

When you cut a chicken's head off, it may continue to appear to be alive for a short period of time, but it's not going to be laying any more eggs.

In every party there is a group of people with no power and no influence, who will only see the inside of a cabinet while shopping at Ikea. In the old PC party this sad outsider was usually the leader, but in other parties they are known as career backbenchers.

Sometimes they are well-liked, but dim. Sometimes they are remnants of a former régime or too principled to be part of a team. Sometimes they are useful idiots.

The people speaking up in support of this bill are powerless. At least two of them are retiring.

Let's suppose for a moment that we don't have an election and this bill does proceed.

In committee, as with its predecessor, the Justice minister will file a brief saying its unconstitutional and it will likely be killed there. If it does reach the Commons for a vote, Nicholson has made government policy clear. It will be voted down by the Conservatives themselves.

If we do have an election, the same applies, plus it will need to find a new sponsor. And if by some grotesque turn of events Harper actually has his majority, then what? Then he will have earned his majority despite having just slapped the so-cons in the face yet again. He'll have proven that far from being his base, they're his albatross. And he'll be even less inclined to throw them a bone and piss of the rest of us.

Chicken with its head cut off. I'm as worried about this bill surviving as I am about who's going to win Canadian Idol

rww said...

"Pretty much a subset of the usual suspects. But what should it matter if the Tories plan to withdraw the legislation? It shouldn't matter, except that the Tories have no such plans."

The Tories could not withdraw the bill if they wanted to because it is not a party or a government bill, it is a Private Members Bill.

seaninsaskatchewan said...

Vellacott still has his yearly kick at abortion bill on the books as well...It is waiting for second reading....C-537.

Obviously the Cons are letting these "rebels" play their little game. We all know Harper is a control freak and if he didn't want that letter out there than it wouldn't be out there.....playing to the base as usual. I just wonder when the base is going to realize their being played?

sexy said...