It didn’t take long, but Rod Bruinooge’s comments to the media about the “secret” Pro-Life Caucus have officially stirred the hornet’s nest.
First the disavowals from the PMO. No, they certainly don’t plan to re-open the abortion debate. That would sound suspiciously like the hidden agenda that they absolutely don’t have, no way, no how.
Err, except that they’re still planning on introducing a bill to makes assaulting a pregnant woman a separate offence, and while they claim this won’t impart legal rights unto a foetus, that doesn’t actually work out logically. In fact, it rather sounds like a convenient legal fiction. But no, there’s no hidden agenda there.
And then come the questions to the other two national parties. Just how many Liberals and NDP members are in this little “secret caucus,” and what do the leaders plan to do about it?
Ignatieff’s spokesperson gave a non-answer about how this is all just hypothetical and the question was settled 20 years ago. The NDP’s Irene Mathyssen said that no one would be expelled for holding such a belief, as they prefer to “talk things through,” but apparently that’s all just hypothetical for them since the two known pro-lifers in the caucus, Bev Desjarlais and Bill Blaikie are both gone. Go figure.
For more analysis, Macleans.ca’s Kady O’Malley breaks down the “secret” caucus in her own blog post, with known members from the past, including several Liberals who went “unpunished” for their participation for years.