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Not one of the OLO’s better days

In my opinion, Peter Donolo has done a nice job getting the Office of the Leader of the Opposition organized since he was hired by the Liberals and Ignatieff. However, today won’t go down as one of his better days, or whoever in the OLO were in charge of getting our votes onside for our maternal/infant health motion (I’d have included the Liberal whips, but they really can only work with what they got, as I’m about to explain).

If you’re going to put forth a whipped motion, and there are still dissenters in the ranks who defy you on what is considered official Liberal policy or an official Liberal position, then that’s unfortunate, and you make sure their actions have consequences. But, I think you need to at least ensure you have enough of your own MP’s in the Parliament to support your own motion, even if it is only a non-binding one. In addition to the 3 Liberal dissenters and the 2 Liberal abstentions, there were 11 Liberal MP’s missing today (and only 1 paired off with a government MP). I’m sure a few of them had valid reasons for being away (I understand Anita Neville was in Poland for example), but when you have an important motion going forward in the house and you’re trying to make a point, it is not good planning or foresight to put the motion out there on the House of Commons voting schedule when you don’t have the votes or aren’t sure if you have the votes (consider that even if the 3 Liberals who had voted ‘no’ had abstained instead, we still would have lost the motion by 3 votes).

It may not mean much in the overall scheme of things since the government would have ignored this anyhow.. but it’s rather embarrassing optics.

That said, the vote did accomplish one thing; the Conservative government of Canada, and its MP’s in the house today – both men and women – are apparently all in favour of enacting George Bush right-wing Republican type policies with regards to maternal health issues in the 3rd world at the G8 Summit and restricting family planning options for those women. Excuses about “anti-Americanism motions” and “re-opening the abortion debate” don’t cut it for their voting against this motion.


16 comments to Not one of the OLO’s better days

  • Now the narrative is all about a divided liberal caucus, and how Ignatieff can not control his caucus.

    The narrative should have been on the initiative, and it’s lack of contraception and family planning.

    The BLOC, and the NDP were not divided.

  • slg

    I think it looks bad for the Cons – they are now on “record” voting against women’s rights.

    • ts

      since the motion never even mentioned abortion, the only thing the conservatives are guilty of is voting down a vague and misleading motion. just face it. your parties little stink-bomb blew up in their face.
      the negative press and bad blood that has been sown in the divided liberal caucus far outweighs anything that the Cons may have lost. Even liberal media pundit and outlets saw this as a huge disaster for the Liberals.
      think about it: 13 out of 75 libs broke ranks. that is almost 1 in 5!

  • bubba

    Ther are so many things canadians want MPs to be moving ahead on. Abortion is at the bottom of the list. This was totally unnecessary.If funding is cut to worthy institutions then attack. But poking for no reason. Its so pathetic and 10 or more Lib M.P.s agree so before you attack me please publish their opinion.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @bubba, please provide an opinion to attack. The previous comment really isn’t an opinion as much as a regurgitation.

  • Bonnie N BC

    After all the slagging of Dion – this is the great Liberal hope?

    Somehow I think they are now eating their young in protest.

    Pathetic Liberals. This was a serious issue you managed to reinforce the Conservative brand.

    • Red Forever

      Bonnie in BC

      Yes I guess the CPC brand was reinforced

      Believing a woman should not have reproductive options and choices/

      Believing a woman should not control her own body.

      Wanting women in Africa, to have more children, even if they cannot feed, and clothe the ones they alrady have.

      Putting your right wing crackpot idealogy before sound policy.

      The europeans are alredy, ridiculing Canda over this. They can just not believe it.

      There are thousand of women who die in the developing countries, because of botched abortions.

      Failure to acknowledge, that is pathetic.

      So if you believe the CPC brand has been reinforced, you are delusional.

      The G8 summit will be an embarassment for Canada, which is par for the course with Harper on the international stage.

      What is really pathetic is CPC apologists, who spew forth their uneducated and ignorant views of the world.

      Keep drinking the koolaid

      And please keep Harper as your supreme leader

      • ts

        “Believing a woman should not have reproductive options and choices”

        A woman does have choices…it’s the unborn child that has no choices at all. He/she in the womb can only hope that society has his/her best interests at heart.

        you forget that that unborn but undeniably living citizens of this planet also have rights. Liberals such as Al Gore and David Suzuki had no problem saying that global warming deniers should be guilty of “generational theft”.

        Liberals can fight for the rights of people who are 100 years from being conceived, yet a child who is mere months away from having his/her chance to live has no rights what-so-ever according to these hypocritical liberals…

        “There are thousand of women who die in the developing countries, because of botched abortions.”

        As opposed to the millions of children who die because of totally legal and successful abortions?

        Your twisted logic amazes and disgusts me.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Bonnie N BC, Congratulations on the negative reinforcement Bonnie. Good to see Fred’s got a fellow idiot in BC.

  • And maybe Harper can now claim a Parliamentary mandate to make further cuts to international family planning.

    Yeah, definitely, ‘not one of the OLO’s better days’.

    But, hey, it’s just women’s rights and lives we’re talking about right? Like in the US, women’s rights are always negotiable when there’s important stuff like politics to do.

  • wilson

    Add Derek Lee to the abstainers list Scott, that makes 6.
    Danny’s 6 got a pass on a whipped vote,
    will the Pro Life 6 get the same?

  • Paul Raposo

    I don’t understand people like MP Derek Lee. He opposes equal marriage for all Canadians; opposes the right of women to govern their bodies; yet runs as a liberal and claims to be progressive. Why doesn’t he just run as a CPC candidate? maybe because the voters in his riding wouldn’t vote for him? So really, he’s just in it to win, not to actually support any policies of the Liberal party.

  • bull caller

    Well the glass isn’t half empty. Headlines generally are framing it as the conservatives voting down the measure. Whatever you wish to make of the mechanics of the move, the optics are not going to do so well for the conservatives vis a vis getting the female vote.

  • Red Forever

    I am a little disapointed.

    Now the narrative is all about a divided liberal caucus, and how Ignatieff can not control his caucus.

    The narrative should have been on the initiative, and it’s lack of contraception and family planning.

    The BLOC, and the NDP were not divided.

    Even in their warped and perverted way, the CPC was also not divided.

    I still think most women in Canada, want control over their own reproductive choices, and do not want to be told what they can do with their own body.

    I am also willing to bet that they believe that same courtesy should be extended to women in the third world.

    More so in fact because of the devastating poverty.

  • foottothefire

    Were it not for the policies of Bush, Harper would never have introduced a single policy to Canada.

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