Heard this earlier, was in a meeting, blogging now. So anti-abortion moral champion Brad Trost is going on about saving fetuses again. From The Globe And Mail:
According to Mr. Trost, Conservative MPs have been asking since 2006 to have IPPF [International Planned Parenthood Federation] defunded but they were ignored “because we asked politely — and behind closed doors.”
In 2009, when they became more aggressive and took their campaign public, “federal funding did stop for a time. Funds allocated to IPPF were considerably reduced. Furthermore, federal grants for IPPF also had more strings attached.”
But that only happened because pressure was applied, Mr. Trost writes. “The battle over the IPPF continues. Pro-life politicians have been taught a lesson.”
I wonder if the Conservatives tolerate Trost because they know he speaks to the radical Christians in their political base. Stephen Harper’s not going to reopen the abortion debate — no way, he lucked out into his majority and he’s not going to risk it on an unwinnable social conservative crusade when he can get into enough trouble on his own. But allowing Trost, an irrelevant backbencher, to beak off in public without substantial consequences is a safe way to let disgruntled fundamentalists feel they’re something more than a credulous vote factory.
It’s a variation of dog-whistle politics — sending coded messages to your core constituency in a way that they’ll understand, but your softer, easily-scared-off supporters might not. The Republicans do it all the time in the U.S.
Then again, Trost’s idiocy could spook swing voters in Ontario and Manitoba elections (probably not in Sask, where the Sask party is essentially invulnerable) away from the Tories. That happens, and Trost might just get stepped on. We can only hope.
In the meantime, readers of this blog are advised to avoid the Saskatoon-Dumboldt area. You wouldn’t want the 19,930 morons who voted for Trost to drool on your nice clothes.