The Abortion Questionnaire: The Last Frontier

Socon BlogBurst Contribution on
the CPC Refusal to Permit Candidates to Answer Abortion Questionnaire

To read more entries on this Blog Burst, click the index page here.
LONDON, ON, November 22, 2006 ( – has learned that the Conservative Party of Canada is once again enforcing a policy barring its candidates from responding to questionnaires that would allow voters to cast an informed vote on issues of importance to them. The party policy is especially targeted at the controversial abortion issue. Despite denials by Conservative Party officials, the policy was in place during the last federal election in January and obtained a memo from party headquarters forbidding candidates to answer a pro-life questionnaire.

One of the issues that the Conservative Party ran on was to develop greater electoral transparency and accountability. So far, Harper’s government has done a good job, not only on meeting this objective but also implementing many other pro-family measures and policies. However, one of the disturbing points in his term has been his almost neurotic and paranoid fear of the abortion question. It is neurotic and paranoid because it does not reflect the reality of where Canadians stand on this issue. According to a recent Environics poll on the question, two thirds of Canadians want some restriction on abortion. Moreover, it cannot be argued that Stephen Harper is overly cautious on political issues, lest he overturn the proverbial political apple cart and lose the next election. He has shown that he can grow some blue testicals when the opportunity avails itself. Case in point: Canada’s controversial recent support for Israel in their conflict with the Palestinians. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, of course, but it is still nonetheless politically risky.

Given these two factors, social conservatives across the country are starting to wonder just what kind of deal Mr. Harper made with the devil to shut out the democratic process on the issue of abortion. Public sentiment is not the issue. The poll demonstrates that quite easily. In fact, that two thirds number has held for years now. Nor is his tolerance for pushing through on unpopular issues. Remember the Income Trust Tax changes? It’s not like he really cares about cozzying to seniors. This shows he is an idealogue on some issues. Good for him. Now it’s time for it to be good for us.

So what’s really going on here, Stephen? Something just doesn’t add up.

As my good friend, Suzanne, has written:

Barring candidates from answering questionnaires does nothing to develop greater electoral transparency and accountability. Candidates who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. People have the right to know what their candidates think on issue important to them, and candidates should be free to formalize their thoughts in written form so that their thoughts can be faithfully reproduced.

Now the conventional wisdom of Tory party drones is that they cannot bring up abortion because it would make the media even more hostile to the CPC than they normally are.


Then would one of these drones please explain to us why Mr. Harper has inaugurated the war with the Parliamentary press gallery? It doesn’t seem to me that Mr. Harper is concerned with media backlash when it concerns his own pet policies, but for some inexplicable reason, he turns from blue to yellow when it comes to standing up for basic free speech on the question of abortion.

Stephen, you’ve done a good job up until now. Don’t take us for granted. Let the democratic process play out in the Party and in the country at large. You’re a smart guy. If you can maneuver well on other complex political issues, you can do it for us on this one. We expect it. If not, look yonder south to the Republican Party, and what happened to them. It can happen here.

Remember the picture above, Stephen. Remember what cowardice you are displaying, Mr. Harper. Remember the Judgement. What the least you did for the least of my brethren, you did to me. Don’t forget it, Mr. Harper. We won’t.

To sound off, contact the Conservative Party here, and let them know that you are not very happy with their approach to this whole question.

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