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I guess its no longer a secret, so what’s the point of calling it a “secretive” caucus?

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.

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9 comments to I guess its no longer a secret, so what’s the point of calling it a “secretive” caucus?

  • My vote is for distraction. The Cons are allowing this debate to bubble to the surface so the hard right base is happy and the media and bloggers are distracted. Also, if an election comes around late Jan, the base is already agitated and motivated. My guess is that it disappears soon as long as it doesn’t get more traction.

  • karol

    Scott
    Let us keep proper perspective here; abortion is not an issue that affects Conservatives supporters as much as it does Liberal supporters. If we are talking about war of attrition thru abortions Liberals must be loosing at least five times as many potential Liberal supporters as Conservatives do.

    I can you imagine your outrage if Harper were to say publicly that Conservatives are not interested in opening abortion debate because current state of affairs gives Conservative Party of Canada huge electoral advantage.

    I can you imagine what you would say if Harper would state as a matter of fact that Conservatives were elected to govern Canada thanks to SCC Morgentaler decision made 20 years ago as majority of potential Liberal voters got aborted while majority of potential Conservative voters got spared.

    I can imagine you going ballistic if Harper were to say that since 2006, the year when this Conservative biased generation reached voting age he can count on Conservative votes growing and Liberal votes shrinking by about 100000 potential votes a year.

    There would be no end of you comparing Harper to Hitler.
    There would be no end of your accusations that Conservatives are condoning and promoting genocide of their political opponents.
    Cheers,

  • Hmm, why would they want to resurrect their scary party favour just before New Years? Could it be to squeeze out a few more donations from those who aren’t maxxed out yet? Or maybe because their blatant buffoonery over the past month has actually seen their monthly dribblings curtailed, thus forcing them to ‘anger up’ the core, remind them why they are ‘one of us’… Either way, I think it’s just a stunt for cash. While I rarely agree with bruceofjan, it could also be that Harper’s hope is that he buys just enough time to get past this budget, then a month or two after being shown handing out big cheques (funny, the photo op with Sikorsky didn’t come back from the lab!) then drops the poisoned pill on the opposition, looking to ‘Stockwell’ Ignatieff. But who cares. Canadians have shown that under nearly every situation possible, they aren’t going to hug the paranoid Harpocrite.

  • foottothefire

    More secret committees? Yet another behind the scenes Harperite Stasi group? Another fascist group using taxpayers dollars to secretly undermine the Human Rights of Canadians?
    The economy be damned; first and foremost are the needs of Zealots?

  • Loriane Lamontagne

    In the French version of La Presse Canadienne, there is a slightly different take:

    “Il n’a pas voulu dire combien de députés faisaient officiellement partie du caucus provie, mais a tout de même laissé savoir qu’il était formé de députés appartenant à tous les partis politiques.’

    Bruinooge let it be known that elected members from all parties belong to the secret caucus.

  • A couple of times a year the Cons permit an MP to deliver a forklift of rotting red meat to their base who are then unable to resell it to anyone else. That’s all that’s going on this time too.

  • Anonymous

    Bruinooge is a P/Secretary which means he is speaking on behalf of the government.

    Right?

  • janfromthebruce

    Sure keep it up, this crew will do anything to move Canada to social conservative side of things. Hopefully the libs just don’t see this crew as the folks they want to act as their backup band. Oh look, 200 million cut to CBC. Can’t wait to see that budget on January 27th. Of course the banks got theirs back in the behind the scenes of the last week of the election in their mortgage bailout, so they don’t give a rat’s ass about ordinary Canadians.
    Thanks Scott for keeping the coalition bloggers tag up.

  • i thought about the distraction angle too…but this is not a good one for them. also considered whether this was a base rallying thing…but they’re just not as clever as we have tended to give them credit for. this issue is a loser, IMHO. hopefully, they’ll keep it up…:)

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