Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bruinooge going rogue?

Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge apparently feels quite unencumbered in speaking to the media these days: "New chairman of pro-life Parliamentary caucus pushing to reopen abortion debate." Given the cone of silence under which most Conservative MP's must operate, this tells you something about what Bruinooge, for instance, thinks of such party norms at the moment. He seems to think it's high time to start pushing a divisive issue, in the midst of an economic crisis. What must the PMO be thinking about this? And why would Bruinooge speak out now, likely to the great irritation of Harper? Could it be that Harper's losing that iron-fisted control over the caucus? If you read the CP report today, sure sounds like a possibility:
The new chairman of a secretive pro-life Parliamentary caucus is pledging to rekindle the abortion debate in Canada and bring "more value" to the lives of unborn children.

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he's not interested in reopening the divisive issue, Winnipeg MP Rod Bruinooge told The Canadian Press people need to be better educated about Canada's abortion stance, which he says puts the country in a "class of its own."
There's more "wisdom" from Bruinooge in the report that you can peruse for yourself as he apparently feels that now is the time to educate we Canadians and women, in particular, on what Rod feels needs changing in terms of what women should be able to do with their bodies.

This comes at an interesting moment. As the auto industry's teetering, Canadians' savings are dwindling and our federal members are supposed to be all hands on deck with an economic stimulus, Bruinooge is otherwise preoccupied. Bruinooge should ask the boss how the decapitation of political party funding, the banning of the federal public service's right to strike and putting the clamps on pay equity went at the end of November. Further confirmation in the form of this report that Conservatives just don't get it.

(h/t CC, DJ, C from C, UOH)

Update (6:20 p.m.): A reader writes:
As a voter in Winnipeg South I have an abiding disdain for Bruinooge. During the local election campaign to he raised the same issue in an odd & tangential way during a local interview/debate. it recieved some brief CBC radio coverage but the issue went nowhere.

I thought it was odd at the time that he would venture into this polarizing territory; all I can think now is that he really is intent on "going off the Tory reservation". Personally, I welcome his misguided tryst in this direction. It can only hurt him locally and give a social-pragmatist like myself hope that there will be one fewer Tory sitting in the HofC after the next election!