Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Extremists on both sides are trying to hit Harper on abortion

Being a national leader means that no matter what, some people are going to be upset with you, either for what you are doing, for what you aren't doing. In the case of some of Canada's political extremists, they might even hate you because you're doing what they want, but they suspect you might secretly do something else. Or  because by doing what they actually want, you're diminishing their opportunity to publicly hate you the way they feel entitled

Sound crazy and confusing? You bet it does, but that's what's happening right now with the abortion situation in Canada.

The Canadian Supreme Court struck down Canada's abortion laws in 1988 as being unconstitutional. The Mulroney Conservatives failed at an attempt to bring in a new abortion law and since then, no government has made an attempt to introduce legislation on the volatile, contentious subject. Aside from the difficulties of creating a law that would conform to constitutional legalities as defined by the highest court in the land, stirring up the emotional debate on a matter would be political suicide.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised that neither he nor his government would introduce any new abortion legislation and he has kept his word. That has a few people in his caucus and very many in the far-right anti-abortion camp angry. They see Harper as standing in the way of their divine mission to prevent the termination of thousands of unborn children.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Looney Left is always complaining about Harper's secret agenda of reintroducing abortion laws, going so far as to claim that by not funding Third World abortions, Canada is somehow on the road to restricting the procedure internally.

There may be good heath policy arguments for funding foreign abortions in impoverished countries, just as there are sound political reasons for not doing so. But that hardly makes an open foreign aid policy part of a secret domestic agenda.

One thing this matter indicates is that when both political extremes think you're going too far in favoring the other side, it places you firmly in the political centre. Harper's ability to supplant the Liberals in that political middle ground has been the key to his electoral success. If he can keep the Conservative keel steady there, aided by the ineptitude of the most incompetent Official Opposition in this nation's history, he could easily sail on to more election victories.

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