Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More of that "real 'gotcha'"

So you may have noticed that Fern Hill at Dammit Janet has been on a roll recently in terms of raising questions about Tim Hudak's position on abortion and whether he just might defund access were he ever (heaven forbid) to become Premier of our fair province. Fern's blogging endeavour, pursuing this issue in particular, which most of us in the progressive blogging community have witnessed for years, is not a matter of "gotcha politics," the way it was termed in an op-ed in the Toronto Star today. It's an issue she cares about, as do many of us. If Tim Hudak wants to play fast and loose with the issue, Ontario voters deserve to hear about it and it's a good thing that she's helped draw attention to it.

That the op-ed referenced her as "a blogger with a chip on his/her shoulder, who relied on Google, which found an old article on our site," was frankly ridiculous. A predictable attempt to undermine basic and credible research Fern did that has put an important issue under a spotlight that it needed during this election. It may be new or maybe just uncomfortable to Mark Penninga, the author of that op-ed, but there is at times a symbiotic relationship between bloggers and mainstream media. No use in decrying it in this day and age. His words were so last decade-ish. This is the great thing about the blogging community, most of the time anyway. We don't do this for pay. We spend time doing it because we care about issues, we care about our country. Simple as that. It's also why when someone like Fern raises an issue, with years of a blogging record, it can actually carry more credibility and moral suasion.

Here is Fern's response to the op-ed and an excerpt:
My original question is perfectly legitimate. Would Tim Hudak as premier work to defund abortion? Yes, I know that abortion is a federal matter and he can't recriminalize it (however much his supporters may wish for that).

But health care is the biggest budget item in the province. And if you believe the squawking of the various Chicken Littles at the moment, the financial axe is about to fall on all kinds of things.

Medical services have been defunded in the past. Hospital beds have been closed.

Why not defund abortion? Why not defund certain types of abortion? Why not cut back on the locations it is available? Why not put up barriers to safe, legal abortion in the name of saving money?

Especially if it would garner the support of 'mature' and 'graceful' voters able to understand what this is about?

Mr. Hudak must answer the question. Would he defund abortion?

On a personal note: I'm delighted that a mere blogger, an ordinary citizen, could put the spotlight on this issue. All I did was dig a little. And find something that some would obviously prefer remain cloaked.
Well said.