I guess this “secretive” anti-abortion parliamentary caucus is no longer a secret, if their purported chairperson Rod Bruinooge is publicly boasting about it, right?
Oh, I suppose you could say that who exactly is in it is the “secret” part, but really, that isn’t exactly hard to figure out, is it? Just take everyone in the Conservative caucus who voted for Ken Epp’s private Members Bill C-484 (99.9% of them), and count them in that secret caucus, then add the social conservative wing of the Liberal Party who did the same (though a few are gone now out of the caucus after the last election), as well as anyone else from the remaining 2 parties, and voila, there’s your “secret” anti-choice caucus.
I’m like Impolitical: I really have to question what exactly is the the motive behind Rod Bruinooge coming out and publicly trumpeting this. Has the whole prorogue/coalition thing caused the formerly sheep-like Conservative backbenchers to get bold and/or restive, and thus defy Prime Minister Harper’s much publicized control over his caucus? Is it perhaps the Conservative brain trust is trying to find some issue to divert attention from the economic crisis and their handling of it?
That seems unlikely to work with Parliament in prorogue and the Christmas/New Years vacation here, so maybe they’re trying to divert attention from their Conservative staffer who politicized Hanukkah celebrations when she tried to get a school to cancel an event Michael Ignatieff was attending over threat of cancelling of school funding (and she’s not been disciplined or fired yet, by the way). Or, are they trying to come up with some wedge issue to divide the opposition? That also is a puzzler, since either a private members bill or a government sponsored bill on this issue would likely be a free vote and not a motion of confidence over which the Conservative government would fall (though with this government, one never knows what they might try).
Whatever the reason, we’ll need to see if the Conservatives try to revive another version of Bill C-484, because remember, their grassroots voted overwhelmingly to try and bring something like that bill back again.