Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rebellion In The Ranks!

"'I definitely will not be withdrawing my bill,' Epp told Sun Media.

He means Bill C-484, the "Lets Re Criminalize Abortion Through The Back Door!" Bill.

Damn! A week before a possible election call and the Tories have a SoCon revolt on their hands! And, as far as I can tell, one that was totally avoidable. Had Harper just dissolved Parliament, C-484 and all their other controversial legislation would have died quietly, but he chose to step on this particular rake. Clearing the decks for an election? If he can't get Epp in line fast, abortion becomes an election issue anyway!!!

Stephen Harper: he is playing chess, the rest of us merely playing ourselves with that weird looking item we bought for a buck at the sex shop.

Update: Epp speaks!

15 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

Not worth commenting on yet. It could just be part of what is known as "wingnut kabuki;" an elaborate and mystifying performance deliberately intended to communicate what the spectator wants it to. The SoCons could be hearing a dog whistle here (and why not; I'm sure with all the voices they hear, everything ends up sounding like high-pitched noise) and think it's a cunning plan on the part of the Harper Conservatives to ask the SoCons to give them just a little more time (and a majority), after which the real agenda will be exposed.

Auntie Liberal said...

You know, the easiest way to deflate the anti-abortion side is to just pay for it our of your own pocket. You know how miserly those conservatives are. They don't want their precious tax money spent on abortions or heroin injection sites. Why don't we all just use our LPC donations instead to voluntarily fund these worthy social programs ourselves? That way we'll never have to worry about getting a government mandate to provide funding for it - it'll be us!

Reality Bites said...

Loyalty, such as it is, in politics consists of two things: the hope that the leader may do something for you, or the fear that he may do something to you.

Since Ken Epp is an idiot, like many of the Reform dregs (Gallant, Thompson, etc.) he had nothing to gain from Harper. Since he's retiring, he has nothing to fear from him either.

It's hard to say whether or not Harper's complete dismissal of him was a good or bad move. It likely angered him, but it also pre-empted him and stopped him from raining on Nicholson's announcement before he could make it.

So Epp will become a so-con pet, much like O'Brien did by quitting the Liberals. He may even symbolically quit the party, as if anyone cares. There won't be any rebellion that matters. The ones who are running again know where their bread is buttered.

Pissed-off, angry denunciations from betrayed so-cons are great for Harper. They're like money in the bank. And their "power?" It means that he gets a hundred less votes in ridings he has no hope of winning, and two or three hundred in ridings where he has a plurality in the thousands.

buckets said...

In American politics, one can win elections by appealing to the 'base', as shown by Bush and Rove. But that is in large part because of the effects of the electoral college and the ways in which it exaggerates the importance of the rural vote.

Canadian politics doesn't work that way -- the middle of the spectrum is where the votes are important: these are the swing votes that deliver swing seats in there dozens.

Harper endangers no seats by poking Epps in the eye. The places where these people exist in large enough numbers to swing a riding are the safest ridings he has and they have no where to swing to.

By being seen to poke Epps in the eye, and being denounced for it, Harper makes himself more viable to middle-class secular voters in the suburbs of Toronto and Montreal. There are dozens of seats to be won and lost there.

bigcitylib said...

Well, I don't really buy the notion that stirring up this issue on the brink of an election helps Harper much. Yet again he has to deny he will fool around with abortion laws. Remember, the alternative was to do nothing and let the law simply die when the writ was dropped. Same effect, no nasty headlines.

skdadl said...

Actually, bcl, we've been told that's not exactly the case. C-484 might die on the order paper at prorogation, but when a new Parliament convenes, it can be brought back by a motion from the floor to its prior status -- ie, in committee, very close to third reading. And it wouldn't take Epp to move that motion, either. So it wasn't gonna be gone on its own.

Further, it had a very good chance of passing, given the Liberal caucus, and I'm not sure that's changing any time soon.

Alison said...

The rejection of C-484 by the CMA already raised its profile so doing nothing about it would have allowed the scary secret agenda Harper meme to continue on into the election.
This way they look proactive. It's "wingnut bukkake".

Reality Bites said...

Yes, BCL, it's what Alison said, plus what Dion said, not to mention what feminist groups would be saying during an election campaign.

Although Harper campaigns in a bubble, insulated from anyone who might ask a tough question, all the anti-484 stakeholders would do whatever they can to keep the issue front and centre.

Harper still faces the risk of the pro-484 forces (all 42, er, 21 of them) keeping this going, but that's a great risk to face. About the only thing better than being denounced by McVety and "REAL" Women would be if he could somehow get Bush and Cheney to denounce him.

Gayle said...

Didn't they promise not to bring up abortion before the last election? And then didn't they stand back and let Epp do just that?

Why should we believe them? They always make promises like this before an election.

Ti-Guy said...

About the only thing better than being denounced by McVety and "REAL" Women would be if he could somehow get Bush and Cheney to denounce him.

Wow. Cynical. And probably true.

Reality Bites said...

Harper promised that the government wouldn't introduce legislation, and that if a private member's bill did, he would do everything in his power to kill it.

In version one of the bill he did precisely that - sending Vic Toews to the justice committee to say it's unconstitutional.

So Epp's version swore up and down it wasn't about abortion, so now he can say "oops, it might have raised the possibility of fetal rights though."

So he gets to make an even stronger promise on abortion, just before an election.

Much as I despise Harper, I *do* believe him on this and on the no more marriage debate pledge. He might occasionally unbutton his pants for the so-cons, but in the end they ain't getting dick.

Reality Bites said...

Harper promised that the government wouldn't introduce legislation, and that if a private member's bill did, he would do everything in his power to kill it.

In version one of the bill he did precisely that - sending Vic Toews to the justice committee to say it's unconstitutional.

So Epp's version swore up and down it wasn't about abortion, so now he can say "oops, it might have raised the possibility of fetal rights though."

So he gets to make an even stronger promise on abortion, just before an election.

Much as I despise Harper, I *do* believe him on this and on the no more marriage debate pledge. He might occasionally unbutton his pants for the so-cons, but in the end they ain't getting dick.

Paul S said...

" . . . after which the real agenda will be exposed." - ti-guy

All that's missing is some ominous music playing the background.

Leftish paranoia always sees some secret conservative agenda hidden under the carpet. That's why Canadians will likely keep the lefties on the opposition benches until their delusions are cured.

Auntie Liberal said...

ti-guy, you seem to be off your meds again.

And put your tin foil hat back on.

Ti-Guy said...

Tin foil and meds.

Wow, you're quite the word-smith there, Auntie.

Paul S, you still haven't gotten the joke about the hidden agenda, have you?

It's OK. Your mommy thinks you're pretty and that's all that counts.