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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Proclamations of the Red Queen

30th September 2008

Canada: Pragmatic Conservatism Vs Hardline Social Conservatism

Posted by: Craig Young

It seems that Canadian Tory PM Stephen Harper is a pragmatist, not a dogmatist, preferring to guy his social conservative heartland over issues that he knows that he can win. Apparently, rehashing Canada’s abortion debate isn’t one of them, according to the Globe and Mail.

Harper stated that he was a fiscal conservative first and foremost, which will probably antagonise his more fanatical fundamentalist supporters, who will have to settle for his populist attacks on federal arts funding- even if it has badly backfired on the Tories in Quebec, which tends to be fiercely protective of its French-derived cultural specificity, art and literature compared to anglophone Canada. Furthermore, he has no intention of ever opening the debate, and antagonising Canadian female voters. He further indicated that as parliamentary party leader, he’d impose a whip on hardline Tory social conservatives, so that they wouldn’t introduce any legislation that might rock the boat either. One wonders whether John Key will emulate such tactics here in the course of our own election campaign?

Furthermore, Quebec is also strongly social liberal, and raising the issue of restricting abortion rights there would be political suicide. One wonders what temper tantrums Canada’s extreme rightist anti-abortionists will pull, deprived of their pet issue.


Jane Taber: “Harper rules out abortion debate” Globe and Mail:…

Tags: Politics · Religion

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