Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NDP Have Double-Downed On Their Pettiness

So the federal New Democrats, currently facing a series of accusations that they out-and-out lied about their caucus satellite office and looking for a way to change the channel, are apparently going to drag the abortion debate back into the House of Commons in a pretty blatant attempt to smear Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.

Guys, I know you're kind of low in the polls right now and feel like no one is listening but... this isn't going to help. I personally think Trudeau even bringing up the idea that anti-choice candidates are barred from running for the Liberals was a misstep (why announce it?), but it wasn't one he fully invested himself in, spent time dwelling on and decided to bring it forward in the House. I mean who would be so naive as to invest themselves in a fight that no one except the small cadre of social conservatives that exist in this country care about? That would just be stupid.

I'm not saying it isn't an important issue, nor one that we should always avoid, but the thing is that the issue should only be brought up and dealt with when its the anti-chociers that push it. Pro-choice parties have already "won," so to speak - we have the default position in this country. Why the hell would you bring it up unless you wanted to change it?

Ignatieff made the same mistake as the NDP are now, and it backfired not just because of the small group of anti-choice MPs we have in the Liberals, but because no one cares. It is a side show issue as of right now, and it should stay there.

But, oh no, Mulcair, Ashton, and others feel the need to really try and stick it in the craw of the Liberals. Because, you know, its too hard to present real policies that people actually care about. That's no way to win.


  1. Really. This is the sort of change-the-channel politics that you'd expect from the Conservatives when faced with democratic-wrongdoing. And, the NDP scream the loudest when the Conservatives pull this sort of thing. I'm not blaming them for yelling at the Conservatives for this sort of stuff, but admit your own mistakes, say what you're going to do to make sure it doesn't happen again and move forward. For the NDP, I guess not.

  2. A comment on the CBC forum summarizes this perfectly - "I don't see how this will put Trudeau on the spot but I can easily see how the Conservative backbenchers could have a field day".

    I feel Justin Trudeau made the correct call by announcing anti-choice candidates are barred from running for the party. This is to prevent social conservatives from hijacking Liberal nominations, as has happened in the past when the Liberals were in opposition. The best case scenario was in 1988, when ultra social conservative Tom Wappel won the nomination over John Turner's preferred candidate Patrick Johnston.

    Now the NDP are just wasting their time with this motion. They are better than this! In the last two years, Thomas Mulcair's NDP has done well to be the official opposition to the Harper Conservatives. They are well organized, disciplined and articulate - unlike the official opposition Liberals of 2006-2011. Too bad they will be going to third party status after the next election.

    1. I couldn't agree more - this energizes no one except those social conservatives that want this debate re-opened. Maybe that will benefit the NDP, the same way a sovereignty resurgence would theoretically benefit the Liberals - but I don't think the abortion issue has the same traction, not when the anti-choice numbers are so low to begin with. I really don't know how to describe it other than "waste of time."

      As to the Liberal nomination stuff - I'm of two minds on it. On the one hand, I know of Wappel and the others that took over ridings in a concerted way, and I feel for people who are afraid of that happening - and the same time, I just can't help but think that we are narrowing our base. The fact is that there are a number of really good MPs - Kevin Lamoureux, Derek Lee, even Jimmy K when you get right down to it - that are anti-choice but have contributed a lot to our party. Do we really want to put up "No Entry" signs to candidates based on their one position on this one issue?

      I don't know, its a tricky issue. Maybe Trudeau did make the right call, I'll just have to trust that he did.

  3. As well, to add, I personally know people who have gone from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life; but I've not met many people who have done the opposite. Unlike just about every other "progressive" issue - IE allowing non noblemen to vote, allowing women to vote, allowing natives to have rights, allowing blacks to be equal to whites, allowing gays to marry, allowing euthanasia - abortion does not follow the normal time-curve of popularity; and I expect it to swing back over time.

    1. There are plenty of people who go from anti-choice (because we're all pro-life, but only some of us are pro-choice, or even pro-women's right when you get right down to it) to pro-choice. I agree to an extent that, unlike some other issues it does tend to swing back and forth, however the general trend is against anto-choicers.

  4. I think the anti-pro-life candidate stance is a foolish one. If one takes the policy to its furthest (and admittedly fantastical) extent practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in the Liberal party. Young Trudeau was supposed to make the Liberals a big tent party again, this abortion policy undoubtedly makes the tent smaller. More importantly it drives pro-life Liberals to the main competition the Tories.

    I have long thought the NDP hypocritical for a number of their policy positions-they talk a good game but, play dirty once they hit the ice. Fortunately over the last 3 years the NDP no matter what they do continue to decline in the polls, they are well on their way to reclaiming their traditional third place in Parliament.