Bill C-484 was never my favourite piece of legislation. It wasn’t pro-life, and man oh man, judging by the outcry on the pro-abortion side, it certainly wasn’t their cup of tea either. I suppose I enjoyed the fact that even in wanted pregnancies, the pro-abortion side was guarding against what they perceived to be a slippery slope–that somehow, if in wanted pregnancies killing a baby could amount to a crime, that might spill over into people’s subconscious for the abortion debate. In any event, Bill C-484 is no more. I think Harper did the right thing, telling Minister Nicholson to have that press conference, especially given that Dion was asking for his position on abortion. It’s off the table now–a good tactical move for any politician going into an election. Which I now, thanks to this move, fully believe we are.
Now how he did it, that irks me. Ken Epp’s office was not informed. I understand Epp is not running for office again. I understand therefore, that Harper thinks he doesn’t need to care. Here’s why he should have. Irrespective of how I felt about Bill C-484, there were those who supported Epp passionately, and saw it as a pro-life bill, or at least a small statement that social conservatives could support. Not telling Epp now means at best begrudging support from that crowd. What Harper did was fine. How he did it wasn’t. A tactical shift doesn’t have to be dirty.
That’s where Harper should be more careful. There are many people out there who couldn’t give a hoot for “politics,” but do look to substance and conduct. And why shouldn’t they? They don’t live in this special silo called Ottawa. Don’t they count for something?
Brigitte adds: Ken Epp says he won’t withdraw his bill. Good for him. I have zero doubt it will die on its own some day soon, but hey. There’s only so much any individual MP can do, and Mr. Epp is doing all he can.