1. In Question Period today, the Conservatives fully clarified their position on their maternal health initiative. This was Conservative B.C. MP Jim Abbott's beeg, huge response to a question from the Bloc:
The G8 development ministers in Halifax today, where this issue will be discussed. We'll be leading the discussion at the upcoming G8 summit on child and maternal health. We're focused on how to make a positive difference to save the lives of mothers and children in the developing world. Canada's contribution to maternal and child health may include family planning. However, Canada's contribution will not include funding abortion.They're all in on this issue now. This is a real schism between what we do domestically on abortion and what is now being refused internationally. They've done this split domestic/international policy on the death penalty too. Doing overseas what they could not get away with domestically. I would also mention the excising of "gender equality" from foreign policy too. At least they're being fully transparent now about where they stand on the maternal health initiative so Canadians can see what they're doing. And they're getting appropriate attention for it too.
2. Maybe an interesting segue from that abortion statement by the Harper government today...the Harris Decima poll released today that shows Cons 29-Libs 27-NDP 20 has possibly a nugget in terms of the women's support numbers. The Conservative numbers among women started to drop at the end of March (p. 6). That's when Hillary came to town and delivered her broadside about the maternal health initiative and the need to yes, include abortion funding under the umbrella of family planning.
3. The focus on the gun registry could also be gelling poll-wise with bad implications for the Conservatives. As BCL pointed out today, there's a poll out which shows that Canadians support the gun registry being maintained and notably, women support the registry much more so than men. Could be a convergence of issues going on for the Conservatives.
4. For those thinking that the above Harris Decima poll represents a mirror image developing of the U.K. election, as Allan Gregg seems to be getting all excited about, a few thoughts. First, has he donated to the NDP? Just kidding, couldn't resist. Farnwide points out that this bump upwards in NDP support is not a supportable trend until seen in other polls, which it hasn't been to date. Then there's the obvious point that Nick Clegg carries with him a sense of brand spanking newness to the U.K. electorate, courtesy of those first time U.K. debates. Layton would have a hard time replicating what is a real phenomenon in Britain. Interesting poll though.
5. Jim Prentice keeps changing his story on the Jaffer front. Prentice stated his aide met with Jaffer in Calgary. Now it's his aide meeting with Jaffer in Guergis' parliamentary offices. More shifting representations from Prentice in the House of Commons that doesn't do anything to help his or the government's credibility.