Feb 04 2010
The beauty of Canadian abortion politics (bet you never thought you’d read “beauty” and “abortion politics” in the same sentence) is that they have always been very non-partisan. There are pro-lifers scattered about in every party. Did Michael Ignatieff just change the game by declaring his party to be the party of abortion rights? Will be interesting to see just who has to do the backpedalling here, and my guess is it’s not going to be the Conservatives. Tons of faithful Catholics vote Liberal. Or they used to, anyway.
Here’s a good piece about this, with plenty of good quotes:
By bringing abortion into a discussion where it had not previously been, and then making it a key element, Mr. Ignatieff seemed to go much further, says Tom Flanagan, a University of Calgary political scientist and former campaign manager for the Conservative party. “Of all the issues that you could possibly raise about women’s health, why would you start with abortion?” Mr. Flanagan says. “What kind of mindset is that that you have to start killing unborn babies in order to help people? It seems to be based on the now discredited theory that poverty in the Third World is based on overpopulation. I don’t think any serious scholar believes that anymore.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It appears that abortion in the Liberal ranks just moved from necessary evil to irrevocable right. I don’t think the majority are comfortable that.