Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Who's "Politicizing"?

Start with a self evident truth- Stephen Harper, as champion of maternal health and protecting young children in the developing world is a CRASS FRAUD. Don't believe this assertion? I challenge anyone to find any text, from anywhere in Harper's career, where he has mused about these issues, as he did in Davos. Good luck.

I'm slightly baffled at the attacks directed towards Ignatieff for introducing the "wedge" issue of abortion, interjecting this discussion into the debate, "derailing" a solid initiative, "politicizing" and "playing games". Bullocks. I believe it was Stephen Harper who used the word "pregnancy" during this out of the blue speech in Davos.

Does anyone truly see this initiative by Harper as sincere? Do any of the Ignatieff critics not have the slightest doubt or cynicism about Harper's motives. In other words, are the outraged devoid of all reason and fair minded observation. I would submit, only a fool or a useless hack doesn't at least question the SUDDEN "champion". It only takes entry level common sense to see Harper's epiphany as at least partially POLITICALLY generated.

Why should the Liberals simply give Harper a pass on these initiatives? Why should Liberals avoid addressing an issue which is real, which does affect the people Harper wants to save with his Mother Teresa routine? So, Harper is allowed to use developing world moms and kids as political pawns, but the Liberals are morally bereft if they SMOKE OUT THE CHARLATAN? Please spare me the indignity, because the "politicizing" sits squarely with a PMO desperate to change the channel and improve Harper's image. Again, if you dare to disagree, please point me to the lineage, any hints or musings that lead to this sudden positioning?

The Liberals aren't politicizing anything, apart from ensuring that Harper doesn't get to just transform himself into anything he chooses WITHOUT scrutiny. The abortion "marker" must be viewed within the context of a transparent manipulation of the less fortunate to improve domestic political fortunes. What's truly sad, those criticizing the Liberals are apparently prepared to simply lap up the utter nonsense presented in Davos, as though sincere and anything resembling a deep-seeded moral imperative.


Northern PoV said...

I agree that this latest Harper initiative smacks of focus-group-and-poll-driven chicanery.

I think your defense of Iggy on this issue can be expanded.

Many pundits seem to think that Iggy is raising the abortion issue simply to drive a wedge issue (for once) against the cons.

While messing up the cons with their very own wedge issue (my how times have changed) may be a mildly amusing side-effect, the GWBush admin used exactly this "maternal health" type cloaking-rhetoric to de-fund family planning (including contraception and safe abortions) at home and abroad.
Iggy is calling out the cons on a very real issue.

Sandra said...

I dare him to go that one step further: Religious Extremists are running the country right now. Yes, start introducing the words "Religious Extremists".

I know, it used to be impolite to discuss people's religion. However, in those days, you kept your religion to yourself. Catholic Prime Ministers were not cutting funding to the beef sector because they sold meat on Fridays.

It will indeed take a number of smaller steps, like forcing Harper to admit that he CANT offer broad based support to women and children internationally because of the alliance church policy. Next, I think that the public would benefit from reading exactly what the alliance church policy toward Israel is, and then drawing comparisons to the behavior of the cons, to show that they are in fact one and the same.

Keep at it Mr. Ignatieff. It needs to be done.

Jerry Prager said...

They're in a corner and starting to fight like rats.

sjw said...

The evangelical christian element pulsating within this new conservative government has always been a huge concern for me. I agree with Sandra, somehow this very real issue needs to be brought to the forefront of Canadians collective awareness. Left in the shadows, it only grows unnoticed. Blogger Montreal Simon has written extensively on the subject and yesterday offered this commentary. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Tof KW said...

There is a big difference between being religious (of which I would fall into this category) and becoming an activist/fanatic. The later attempts to politicize religion and to legislate morality ...their particular view of morality.

The Liberal party needs to call out Harper on this issue, and damn the criticism directed towards Ignatieff for introducing the "wedge" issue. Harper is all about wedge issues, indeed they are a big reason he been able to get as far as he has in politics. It's about time the Grits give the Reformatories a taste of their own medicine.

Scotian said...

Harper's entire success in gaining and holding power to date is built upon wedge issues and his kneecapping his opposition (Liberals mainly, he spends nowhere near the same effort and resources against either BQ or NDP) at every turn and his supporters have cheered him on for it and called it his chess against the checkers of his opponents. Yet this time they find themselves so affronted by the use of what they claim is a edge issue when it is against their man and it might actually resonate? Situational political ethics is the very hallmark of the CPC and its hardcore supporters (as opposed to soft supporters that still think they are supporting something like the PCPC because they don't pay enough attention to realize that the CPC is inherently anticonservative in terms of traditional Canadian conservativism) as we see here yet again.

However, it is not merely a wedge issue being used for tactical reasons as some would claim, as Northern PoV is quite right about how Harper's ideological and tactical inspirations/soulmates in the US have used maternal health issues to attack further any ability of the already heavily restricted ability of the American woman to have access to abortion. This is something that goes hand in hand with the inability to see beyond the blinders this CPC party and government has where anything religious/ideological is concerned, and is one of the things I have warned against for years only to sadly see too many dismiss it as exaggeration and/or empty rhetoric because I somehow hated conservatives/was a Liberal partisan.

I have said in the past that while I inherently distrust and fear zealotry and fanaticism of all types the one that scares me the most is religious because not only does one have all the other vices of the fanatical mindset but it also includes the belief that anything done "to serve God's will" no matter how evil and immoral in any other context suddenly becomes acceptable and even praiseworthy because nothing done in God's name can be wrong/evil. This is what makes religious zealots/fanatics even scarier and more dangerous than ideological and intellectual theory ones. This is especially true in a culture whose context is inherently multicultural, based in consensual governance of all as a core element of our way of life and governance, and rooted in the rule of law such as ours.

to be concluded...

Scotian said...


It is this strong streak of religious zealotry within the CPC that has been one of my core reasons for claiming it is a far more dangerous party and government than any preceding, and what makes it worse is how much it is pandered to by its leadership. People say Harper sold out his religious followers, but I would argue that he only held back because he never got to majority power where he could ram anything he wanted down our throats for four (I suspect he would have gone the full five before calling an election) years.

I also think there is at the core of the man a religious streak that would be more dominant if he wasn't having to first consider gaining that majority, it certainly was open enough for most of his adult life in politics until he finally caught on that he had to appear moderate to have a chance at winning power and started to hide his true political beliefs (both ideological and religious) from the public, including scrubbing as much of his older commentaries from the public record as he could to make it harder for people to see just how radically he changed positions he held for nearly 20 years of political life.

This needs to be exposed because it is as others here in this thread and elsewhere have said, something incredibly dangerous to the fundamental fabric of Canadian society and how we govern ourselves in a fair and equitable manner with justice for all and not just those of the favoured group affiliation (religious and ideological). Time and time again history shows us that when religion and politics are intertwined the result is destructive to tolerance, diversity, equality, with the rule of law applying to all evenly and no one being above it. We have a government that not only believes itself above the law but that the law is something to hold in contempt, it is hard to see how much more an antidemocratic mindset one could have without being openly calling for dictatorship and similar extremisms.

rockfish said...

Terrific analysis. Those commentators who've attempted to paint this as pure narrow opportunism by Ignatieff are letting the original culprit completely off. Since when does a so-called leader get to announce and preach of a new direction, a major focus, without providing details, showing evidence of their commitment? Liberals have consistently (besides a few single-minded individuals) stood up for reproductive rights of women. And what's most assinine is that a number of commentators, like Spector and Smyth, are trying to suggest Ignatieff is igniting an old musty debate about Canada's laws. In fact, this is all about how Canada sets its own agenda outside its borders, respects the principles that we hold here and not allowing special interest groups to deny medical aid to those who need it most.