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On push-polling.

Well, I’m presuming a poll claiming to show a majority of Canadians opposed to Dr. Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada was done by the anti-abortion movement as explained over here at Birth Pangs (I prefer giving them the link traffic) because they were horrified at the fact that 2 legitimate pollsters did polling that showed a solid majority of Canadians (by over 2-1 numbers) approved of Dr. Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada.

When faced with polling done by those pollsters done with no axe to grind vs one that has been asked by a group with an obvious agenda, you always go with the established pollsters. […]

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Multiple polls show strong support for Morgentaler receiving Order of Canada

A lot of progressive and/or feminist blogs such as these ones were pointing out this poll done by Ipsos-Reid commissioned for Canwest Global which showed that 2/3 of Canadians polled supported giving Dr. Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada. There has been a  very public outcry of some of the anti-abortion crowd and some of the media – specifically the Canwest newspapers and editorialists  – claiming that the letters and calls they received showed a lot of opposition to Dr. Morgentaler getting the Order of Canada.

Well,  Ipsos-Reid’s poll (ironically commissioned by CanWest) showed that not to be the case, and now another poll from Angus-Reid this morning has confirmed those findings – the silent majority of Canadians approves of Dr Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada:

The exclusive Angus Reid Strategies online poll done yesterday and Monday – a week after the Canada Day announcement – showed that, of the 1,016 Canadian adults surveyed, 60 per cent supported Morgentaler getting the honour while 29 per cent opposed it. Another 12 per cent weren’t sure. Asked whether Morgentaler was a hero to millions of Canadian women, 66 per cent said they agreed, 26 per cent disagreed and 9 per cent weren’t sure. The results don’t reflect what Morgentaler critics have called widespread national condemnation of the decision.

No kidding. This is just a very vocal minority that is very good at organizing letter campaigns and telephone calls and freeping online polls.  Here’s another interesting tidbit from this poll that shows there appear to be more fair-minded people about this on the other side of the divide then is represented by some of the Blogging Tories and the radical Religious Right up here:

..the survey did find that even people opposed to abortion supported his appointment. “There were a number of people who feel despite their views on abortion they support the appointment of Morgentaler”

Ouch. That and these poll results have  got to sting for those claiming that this appointment is “divisive” or that there is “massive opposition” to this.

One more thing: I posted a couple days ago a blogpost alluding to those radical right-wingers calling the Supreme Court and the Governor-General’s office and urged that others look up the 1-800 #’s and let them know there ARE some silent majority out here that aren’t so silent who support Dr. Morgentaler’s choice.  I didn’t directly post the #’s, but since Matt has at least posted the G-G’s office #, I’ll direct you to his blog to get that one, and I’d encourage you to call in to show your support for the pick of Dr. Morgentaler as an Order of Canada recipient.

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When wingnuts freep, its time to freep right back.

I got an email from someone who I know who liked my blogpost going after Jeff Watson and his ridiculous assertion that this Henry Morgentaler appointment is all Paul Martin’s fault, and she mentioned that it wouldn’t be a bad idea if people gave the Governor-General’s residence and/or the Supreme Court a call at their 1-888 #’s and leave them a “happy” call. Apparently, the conservative radicals on the right-wing are “freeping” the switchboards of both, due to the governor-general’s decision to award Dr. Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada. The governor-general being called is obvious, but I guess the Supreme Court is being called so they can lambaste Chief […]

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Come again, Jeff Watson? The only one politicizing the Order of Canada is you!

Jeff Watson, in case you weren’t aware, is the Conservative MP for Essex, which is down near Windsor. Apparently, Jeff wasn’t too thrilled that Henry Morgentaler was given the Order of Canada by the Governor-General. Not a shocker – most Conservative MP’s aren’t.

What caught my eye about his particular objection was this line in his press release:

Watson in his written statement said the choice of Morgentaler, one of 75 people receiving the honour this year, is a “continuation of the sad legacy of the Paul Martin administration. Today, through his appointee for governor general, Mr. Martin has succeeded in politicizing the Order of Canada and in doing […]

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Conservatives turn into nanny-state advocates on issues of morality.

With regards to the “brouhahah” some on the conservative right are having over Dr. Henry Morgentaler being awarded the Order of Canada, I find it extremely interesting that a lot of these conservatives are the same types decrying that the government or the state impose too many regulations on Canadians; that we are home to the nanny-state, and that there is too much government intrusion in our lives.

As an example, remember the child-care program that former PM Paul Martin and the federal Liberals brought in? According to the Conservatives and their allies, that was the oppressive federal government dictating to Canadian families what they should do for child-care; that they were being deprived of the freedom of personal choice.

When it comes to issues of morality however, these supposed conservative libertarians turn absolutely hostile and show they are no libertarians at all – or at least hypocritical ones. Remember when then-Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau brought in reforms to the Criminal Code that among other things decriminalized homosexual acts in private and declared that the state had no business being in the bedrooms of the nation, and what was done in private between consenting adults should have nothing to do it the Criminal Code? That’s about as libertarian an act and a statement as one can be, yet that would be the start of the right-wing’s hatred of Trudeau – that somehow in this case, the state needed to regulate this. We have seen that continue on with them right through to the present with gay marriage being legalized.

The abortion issue in Canada is another moral issue where “right and wrong” has been left up to the people involved who face this tough choice to decide what is ethical and what isn’t. The Supreme Court has ruled it is their choice to decide what they will do – not the state’s. Yet here again, the conservatives and supposed libertarians would impose their beliefs on the majority of Canadians (91% of Canadians in a recent poll believe abortion should be legal in some form, only 5% of Canadians want an outright ban). Those arguments that Conservatives use about the nanny-state and government interference in our lives are all but forgotten.

To be clear, my position on abortion isn’t why I’ve made this statement: I’m a practising Christian who has struggled with this issue trying to balance my religious beliefs with my political beliefs of liberalism. I’m probably classified as one of the 19% of Canadians recently polled who think abortion should be legal with some sort of restrictions. The reason for this blogpost is what I perceive to be the utter hypocrisy of the conservative right-wing on this vis-a-vis not letting government control people’s lives and taking away their choice. On issues of “morality”, they’ve thrown those beliefs right out the window and they would have no qualms of bringing the whole force of the state down on “evil” doctors and “misguided and confused” women.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I have no objection to Dr. Henry Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada. He is not the only “divisive figure” to have received this award, and he’s not even a convicted criminal (Conrad Black, anyone?). He has as much right to receiving this award as anyone else on the list, or past recipients.

UPDATE: I should be clear that I’m not saying all libertarians are hypocrites. John Murney is an example of someone who is very consistent in his libertarian views across the board. He supports the right of a woman to make her own choice and that the state keep out of matters. My issue is with conservatives and Conservatives who profess to be libertarians on such matters and then talk out of the other side of their mouth on issues like abortion.

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