In the great North, Steven Harper’s pet zealots get out of hand and tried to rollback Canada’s abortion laws, and he’s helpless, helpless, helpless:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative MPs have been left seriously divided over the issue of abortion after a controversial motion was defeated in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening.
By a vote of 203 to 91, MPs defeated the motion by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth instructing parliamentarians to study whether a fetus is a human being before the moment of birth.
But in a surprise development, the vote revealed the deep split among Tory MPs over the issue. Eighty-seven of the 163 Tory MPs supported the motion.
Harper voted against, but more than a quarter of his ministers voted for the measure, including his Status of Women Minister. She was apparently trying to confirm that, in a Conservative government, the Status of Women is “shit out of luck”, especially if they’re pregnant.
(Thanks to Canadian Reader Bob for the tip.)
You front pagers are going crazy with the song reference titles. Big fun.
I have read a little about the Canadian prime minister, but had no idea of the degree of Canucknuttery up North.
I guess the job description for a parliamentarian in Canada is a bit different than down here in the States.
He’s auditioning for Roger Ailes’ Canadian product or what?
I bet they were all really polite, though.
@Cassidy: But were they polite to Soybeans?
I’m an American, I refuse to acknowledge the existence of any political entity outside our borders!
In one way its nice to know that they have whack jobs there too. t the same time it saddens me to think that their whackjobs don’t measure up to ours.
Somewhere on the web the other day there was a comment thread about “if you could delete one of the 50 states which one would you pick & why. Because of all the really crappy ones my tax dollars are supporting I couldn’t pick one until an old wish came to me. I said I’d delete Minnesota. If we could get kicked out of the US I would gladly become Canada’s 11th Provence.
The True North strong and free!
Canada should build a wall along the border to keep the stupid from flowing over from the US.
What the fuck does that mean?
Sorry, but stupid has a passport and is a platinum member of every frequent flyer program out there. You’re not going to be able to keep it out with a border wall.
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
Blame the Shale Oil deposits.
Now that once-Sensible Canada is well on its way to becoming a major resource-extractor state, the pull rightward will only get stronger as the years pass.
Just wait until the Arctic ice cap melts: Then the fight over drilling rights on the newly-viable continental shelf begins. Russia, Canada, the US (assuming Alaska hasn’t seceded by then) and Denmark, all squabbling over the last few virgin oilfields on the planet.
Won’t that be fun?
Oh, Stevie is home-grown evil (not stoopid), unfortunately.
Did you see Ambrose’s tweet?”I have repeatedly raised concerns about discrimination of girls by sex selection abortion: no law needed, but we need awareness!”
The old “raising awareness” bullshit: ineffectual when done for noble causes, and the camel’s nose under the tent for ignoble causes.
I was an elections official in my riding (illustrated: my ballot box, privacy shield and associated paraphernalia loaded on my bike a few days before election night) for the election that gave the Tories a majority. My poll and my entire riding turned orange for the NDP, and I left thinking that maybe the Tories had been held to another minority, but no. Sometimes I fucking despair for my complacent fellow Canadians.
According to my unofficial and usually unreliable sources, the Canadians have thought about it. Repeatedly. Since the get go.
What we have is a fucked up electoral system where 39% of the popular vote gets you the equivalent of majorities in the House + Senate + Presidency. Luckily he and (evidently) half of his MPs understand that they’d lose at least a quarter of those votes if they tried to ram through an anti-choice bill.
Or something like that.Suffern Ace
@Roger Moore: Money flows everywhere. Sometimes it goes to think tanks and before you know it, half the population is yammering talking points.
In this war, thing out there, get confused. I’m not sure we can file this under any war, but the future is bleak for we boy people, at least in the employment world.
Less manufacturing means less brawn needed, as a cruel factoid. Luckily, and unluckily, I’ll be worm food before we men are reduced to stud service and maybe an occasional dinner date producing the needed romance so that standard reproduction can commence in a meaningful way.
Ferd of the Nort
No-one really wants to go back there, metaphorically speaking.
Issue is OVER for Canadians. Harper, a serious fundementalist (and opportunist) would not vote to re-open it. He knows that he would be eliminating his chances for ever getting re-elected as PM. “Dead babies” is not worth the risk to his position. He allowed the performance art from his party and even got 4 Liberals (aka blue-dogs to you) to join. Other parties allowed people to vote their conscience. Only 4 went to re-open the wounds.
OT, but the judge in PA voter ID case apparently said he won’t rule from the bench today. This according to the Wash Times (yeah, I know, but not sure why they’d lie about what the judge said).
@Comrade Mary: You people talk funny. I think the context makes it clear but want to be sure. WTF is a “riding?”
…eh? (Sorry, no Red Green references pop out)
Canadians decided this issue a long time ago, and aren’t going back (unlike the US, which in effect decided it a long time ago, but revisit over and over and over).
The anti-abortion faction has always been in the Conservative party. However, unlike US politicos who use abortion as the perpetual shiny thing for both sides to conveniently focus on, Harper is not going to let it go anywhere. Letting the pro-lifers speak or vent is a sop to them.
More evidence we are likely in unchartered waters for an electorate in flux over the clear and unprecedented, imo, ideological clarity in this particular election.
Shocking that Romney also only leads Obama by 12 points in a state that was like ground zero for the 2010 tea party revival election. I don’t think it will be a wave election for dems, but possibly could be a here and there regional political shift, especially in the midwest and upper midwest . Some of the polling coming out of this region is shocking, to say the least, and not isolated or outliers.
I know this one! A riding is what Canadians call a parliamentary constituency (the term in Britain and Malaysia) or the equivalent of a congressional district in the US.
That backbencher was sending up a trial balloon on behalf of the Tories. All political action eminates from the PMO. Early on, Harper said that abortion would not be revisited. But the unlimited power of a majority government, in which the top Tories are all evangelicals or conservative catholics,has several more years in power.They are ahead of schedule in making life in Canada a misery.
Abortion is gonna be like slavery – make the right call, then suffer decades of pushback.
Riding = Congressional District
The easiest way to understand Stephen Harper’s rise in Canada is to assume that all of the smart people that used to run the Liberal party and win elections have somehow made their way into the Obama organization and that all of the smart people who used to win elections for the Republicans somehow made their way into Harper’s.
If the Liberal party weren’t floundering around like the Democrats in the Mondale/Dukakis years, Harper would be raging away writing columns for a fringe magazine.
Culture of Truth
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce just tossed their pet politician Mitt Romney under the bus.
@General Stuck: #16
Book, “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women”
Oh, my. Now there’s a title.
I have a conflicted emotional response to the issues you raised. On the one hand, I say it’s about time, dammit. On the other hand, I realize that the men to come are totally innocent of any harm done to me personally.
Deep in my soul, where I really care about life, I feel that if half of the human race is relegated to the dust bin we’ll lose the benefit of half the brains whose ideas could benefit everyone. I have difficulty expressing this clearly but I truly believe that it is stupid to not integrate all homo sapiens and enlist them in the cause of survival, good times, etc. The odds are against us humans anyway. Let’s not make it worse.
I know a lot of people who are knee-jerk CRAP voters, and if they could be bothered to actually really pay attention to stuff, I think they’d be kind of shocked at how right-wing Harper and his Harperoids really are. People like my parents still think the Conservatives are the same as they used to be in the 1970s, which is fucking insane, particularly considering how the takeover of the Conservative party by the ultra-right-wing Reformists was impossible to miss (and one of the most blatant textbook examples of entryism you’ll ever see), but I guess if you cosset your delusions enough, you can ignore reality even when it’s smacking you in the face.
I also just found out recently that copious amounts of Koch money also flows into Canada, by way of the Frasier Institute and other right-wing anti-thought tanks. Not satisfied with wrecking the political system of one country, they decided they needed to collect the whole set, or something. Fuckers.
@Culture of Truth:
What did they do?
Nom de Plume
You mean every post title for the last 6 years?
You said this quite well and clearly. I had no trouble understanding what you meant. (And I agree.)
RE: In Hanna Rosin’s new book “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women” she argues that women have gained a competitive advantage over men in the workplace.
Robots and foreign assembly practices (e.g. Apple and other companies with foreign assembly setups) complicates Rosin’s argument, I think.
Also, the supposed rise of women in colleges appears to be giving women an edge in brain as well as brawn occupations.
Of course, if technology is developed so that women can have all their eggs extracted after puberty, and double safe sperm banks are set up, stud service might be a cold room and a paper cup.
Oh, brave new world.
Apparently the Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition to Mitt’s call to designate China as a currency manipulator.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Adam C: Let me see if I have this right: you have a traditional multiparty parlimentary system up there. You have, in essence, English-speaking libs, French-speaking libs, and Conservatives. The French and English libs don’t want anywhere close to the same things (here it’s the firebagger/Democratic split) but the Conservatives march in lockstep just as they do here, and even though they’re an outright minority the other two parties can’t unfuck their situation and ally, so the Conservatives walk away with everything. Close to right?
(I know there’s a huge backstory with the Quebec vs. Everyone Else War, and the Libs up there have screwed the pooch with some outright theft and whatnot. I’m just wondering if I’ve got the basics right.)
It does not help intellect is viewed as a feminine trait. Manly men don’t need no book learnin, smart dorks are sorta faggy. Real men are action oriented, they DO the right thing they don’t think about what needs to be done.
As long as these stereotypes are replayed endlessly on TV & movies they will remain ingrained in society.
Yea, a lot of men would love to be relieved of the pressure of having to work to be a decent human being. As a by product of woman taking up their half in the work place and different balancing perspectives they bring. I figure there will be a transition of some pain to males, in a flux as to their roles in society, but it will get worked out, I suspect. If for no other reason, attitudes of woman on this stuff will offer much more insight and support, than the male ego has allowed for when the tables were turned.
@Nom de Plume:
RE: You front pagers are going crazy with the song reference titles.
They have been on a particularly productive run this morning.
Most I catch. A couple sailed clear over my head today.
Given the flubs by Harper lately (this, for instance, and suspending diplomatic relations with Iran), and the sustained support of the NDP, I’m rather sanguine about the next election. What the Tories try to get away with from now till then, however, still creeps me right out.
Oh-oh – I used a baaaaad word in my post above (you probably can’t see it) I got dropped into moderation.
It does not help intellect is viewed as a feminine trait. Manly men don’t need no book learnin, smart dorks are sorta [email protected] Real men are action oriented, they DO the right thing they don’t think about what needs to be done.
As long as these stereotypes are replayed endlessly on TV & movies they will remain ingrained in society. And we will continue to wonder why boys under-perform in school while girls are kicking butt.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
not precisely. The Progressive Conservatives do follow a form of Reagan’s Credo of disagreeing in private. They had their Reagan (Brian Mulroney) was all free-trade everywhere and deregulate the whole place…and then people figured out just how crappy things turn out like that. They picked out a Sarah Palin to change-the-game. Then the Reform Party came along stronger and they split their base, leading to a long reign of the Liberals.
Then the Reform and Progressive Conservatives made a pact and a new party, the Conservatives, united in their right-wing nuttery, and a Liberal party slathered in the shame of too many years in power with cronies and shady deals.
This might be the start of a return to Reform and PC.
For many, many years Canada has been “the polite skeptic to the north,” a refreshing and sensible offset to the unthinking nationalistic jingoism and overall boorishness of the nation to its south. It saddens me to see how far the Canadian people have allowed the jagoffs of the Reform party to go.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
Actually, the Conservatives walking away with everything is fairly new. The Reform party came to prominence in 1993 and repeatedly failed to advance further than official opposition through a level of incompetence that none of you would believe if you hadn’t all been watching Mitt Romney campaign this year. Harper himself threw away a sure win in 2004 and failed to win majorities in 2006 and 2008.
The system ground to a halt between 2004 and 2008 because at the time there were five major political parties competing for votes. The Reform/Canadian Alliance engineered a putsch against the old Progressive Conservative party and their votes scattered among the other four parties.
The three liberal parties – the New Democrats, the Liberals, and the Bloc, like you said, weren’t able to unfuck their situation, although it’s less that they weren’t able to come to an agreement than Harper was able to outmaneuver them when they did. The three parties agreed to a coalition and Harper invoked a procedural rule to stop them overturning his government. In the election that gave Harper the majority, the Bloc was decimated, leaving the New Democrats and the Liberals in the picture.
Basically, after years of changes in Parliament, the list of players is back to what it was in 1984 or so, with the Liberals, the Conservatives, and the NDP. The Conservatives have simply gone bugfuck crazy. When they did get their majority, they didn’t even do it by increasing their voting base. Liberal support cratered in 2008 and 2011 because Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff were both poor politicians. The 2011 vote in Canada was basically the equivalent of the 2010 vote in the U.S. Higher base turnout closed the deal for the winning party. Even though the three opposition parties were doing some vote-splitting, they would have held Harper to a minority if they (meaning the Liberals) had turned out their voters.
Culture of Truth
@Baud: They said his China policy was stupid.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
Nah, it’s more complicated than that. English and French progressives generally do want the same things; but the separatist movement has a left-wing populist base and that complicates things. Most of Quebec elected a federal left-wing party in the last election, though.
The big-L Liberals are really much more centrist than liberal (I know that’s still to the left of the Democrats but there really is a political difference between our countries). They got in trouble when they started believing their press clippings as “Canada’s Natural Governing Party” and started relying on that reputation rather than competence. Nobody likes an arrogant git and they got the boot once a (seemingly) reasonable alternative came along. Unfortunately they still haven’t learned their lesson and seem to believe they’ll be returned to power just by waiting long enough.
Unfortunately the electorate didn’t seem to notice that the Conservative party they used to trust had been taken over by right-wing populists from Alberta. Until we figure that out we’re going to have government by and for the Tar Sands, and policies geared to curry favour with wingnuts at home and especially across the border.
And of course, the shitty electoral system we have – probably even worse than yours – distorts everything.
@moops: Kim Campbell as Sarah Palin? I’m going to have to sit and ponder over that one for a while.
@Adam C: What do you think is wrong with the Canuck electoral system?
The private member’s bill that the party in power allows and that the Prime Minister votes against is the standard way Conservatives in Canada deal with the loons in their own party. Brain Mulroney did the same for the death penalty when he was in power — allowed a Conservative private member’s bill to come up for a vote, and voted against it himself, along with a good part of his party (and most everyone else).
It is a trick the Republicans could stand to learn themselves, but harder in a non-Parliamentary system.
Ahh…sweet sweet Harper tears.
pseudonymous in nc
And all of that doesn’t even cover how much the Liberals and NDP hate each other on a local level: some of the most bitter contests in Canadian federal elections are Liberal/NDP fistfights.
Whoa whoa mutherfuckin’ WHOA!
They picked an attractive woman, yes, but Kim Campbell was/is a highly accomplished, humane and witty Red Tory with smarts and ethics. She was handed a sack of shit in the shape of a government and didn’t do much to improve things in the SIX months before the election. I doubt that she would have gone down in history as a great PM even if had been elected and had more time to fix things, and I know I didn’t vote for her election for a variety of good reasons, but equating her with the deeply dim and unaccomplished Palin is unfair.
Also: Campbell on Real Time.
Republicans sort of did stuff like this before they went crazy. Someone would bring up a bill to end Social Security, so they could show the Party had a notion to abolish the New Deal and they’d vote it down, when it got to the actual vote, so they could run ads saying how they voted to keep Social Security intact.
It’s only recently Republicans have quit being cynical opportunists and converted to true believers.
Crap. Wrong RT link. This one, where she shows the most PAINED expression on her face about one minute in when Kingston demonstrates the depth of his ignorance before she attempts to school him.
@Adam C: And of course, the shitty electoral system we have – probably even worse than yours – distorts everything.
It can be frustrating. The Cons got a majority with 40% of the vote, and liberal votes are split between Lib and NDP. On the other hand, the arrogance and incompetence of the Cons (sound familiar?) has them polling at about 30% now, and I doubt they’ll hang on come 2015. And Mulcair, Rae and their MPs are doing a fair job of calling them out. So, all is not lost.
It’ll be interesting to see if Trudeau throwing his hat in the ring will prove to be a game changer. I know that there are a lot of people who venerate the memory of Père Trudeau, but there are a lot of people who would just as happily spit on his grave. So it’ll be interesting to see if young Justin can run a good campaign on his own merits.
I certainly wouldn’t equate the smart, witty and sane Kim Campbell with the idiot Palin. She was thrown under the bus by the PC’s when it was clear that Mulroney’s utter corruption was going to bring the party to its knees.
Hopefully he meant MacKay as Palin. You’re right, about the only thing Campbell has in common with Palin is gender.
@PeakVT: 40% of the popular vote gets you the equivalent of winning the House, Senate, and Presidency in the US.