Tuesday, August 26, 2008

C-484 and Cranial Explosions

I can't remember where I read it but I do recall clearly a prediction that the social conservative wing of the Canadian Conservative party could not long survive alongside the libertarian wing of the same party.

One wing wants to tell you what to do with your body. The other doesn't want anything to do with you at all. The reason the leadership long kept the abortion question off the platform and out of the media was that it shone a bright spotlight on the fissure between the Ontario-style PCs (who were neither progressive nor conservative, when you get down to it) and a certain number of Alberta style conservatives (former Reformers) who believe in a 6000-year-old earth and the government having the right to tell people when to have sex.

Bill C-484 shone a light on that fissure. It was an attempt to sneak language in to our laws that would give a fetus the same rights as a human being. Yes, it would be done sideways - simply by making it a crime to assault a pregnant woman. But it would use language that would refer to the fetus as a "child", damage to which must be accounted. The CMA came out and declared that the bill could be used to limit a woman's choice to have an abortion.

This is dangerous. Not so much for women once everyone realized how the bill could be manipulated. It probably wouldn't make it past its last reading now that the information is out. It's much more dangerous to the Conservative party as a hand grenade dropped in that long-hidden fissure. So Stephen Harper came out and did the politically prudent thing: he canned the bill.

At least we can now see who the social conservatives are in the party and who are the "don't tax me, I'm rich and I don't want to help you out" conservatives. The social conservatives are exploding as I write.

Yep. Without anti-abortion, the conservative party is "soulless". Apparently, the only morals are the morals of the social conservative. The rest of us, with our abhorrence of the death penalty and admiration of drug rehab programs, sex education and rehabilitative prisons, don't count.

I'll be the last to argue that the Conservative party has a soul. As far as I'm concerned - and the evidence in ditching C-484 supports this - the social conservative "soul" of the party was never anything more to the neo-conservative leadership than a useful voting block. No working class people in their right minds would ever think about supporting a party made up of rich, old, white men who do nothing but give themselves tax cuts and take us in to war for the profit of private companies. It's just not smart.

But if you can make them believe, on a confusion of the meaning of the word "conservative" that blowing up a path for a pipeline in Afghanistan, making war with muslims far away and cutting taxes and social services has something in common with Jesus ... well ... you can run a government.

At least for a little while. Then that social conservative base notices that you're a hypocrite and they dump your ass at the next election.

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Beijing York said...

Interesting perspective DTK. Who would you say are the Libertarians in the party? Only four MPs voted against Bill C-484 (and I believe they might have all been from Quebec).

Greg said...

I'm going to argue that the four who voted against it (one of whom was Gordon O'Connor) are definitely of the libertarian variety.

There would be a number of others who voted for it merely to placate the social right. They did this knowing full well that an election was coming and that the bill would never make through third reading and royal assent in time.

As for who exactly are the social conservative MPs and who are faking it ... that's harder to tell. But I don't believe that the social conservatives dominate the party. Otherwise we'd be seeing bills like this going through before the tax cuts.