Prime Minister Stephen Harper will vote against a private member’s bill promoted by one of his own MPs that would add new Criminal Code penalties for those who coerce women to have an abortion.
A senior government official also says that while the prime minister will not “whip” or demand Conservative MPs vote as he votes, it will be “very strongly recommended” that Conservatives vote to defeat the bill.
Meanwhile, Mr. Harper’s communications director, Dimitri Soudas, says that recommendation is consistent with Harper’s position since 2002 on any bill dealing with abortion: He and his government will neither introduce nor support any such legislation.
It doesn’t look like Harpie’s too interested in continuing his inexorable stumble down the path he witlessly careened onto with his Maternal Health Initiative. If Harper thought he’d finally shaken off all the “hidden agenda” paranoia that’s dogged him for so long, in the last few months it’s come back with a vengeance. If a dimwitted and transparent “coerced abortion” bill were to start slithering its way towards passage, the abortion-related volume that’s already been turned up would blow the woofers right out of his election campaign.
I guess he did the math and figured out that solidifying the socon vote isn’t worth alienating the vast moderate middle who really don’t care to see this issue re-opened.
UPDATE: Noteworthy comment from further down in the NatPo article, from Harper’s Communications Director:
“[Harper] has never had more than one position on this issue. The debate is over. It’s done,” said Soudas.
Not that I trust Harpie for a second, but it’s nice to see a high-ranking CPC spokesman go On The Record with what most of us know already: “The debate is over. It’s done.“.