Mr. Harper, your dark roots are showing
Why is it that anti-choicers care more about protecting ''unborn'' children than born children? According to Statistics Canada, some 60 children and youths were killed, up 9 per cent from the year before. About a third of those kids were killed by family members, mostly their fathers, while the rest were murdered by non-relatives and strangers. That includes a good chunk of killings that went unsolved.
Meanwhile, the number of abortions is declining.
Now it strikes me as logical that, if the anti-choicers are hell-bent on banning abortion, they might consider ways to make it easier for women to avoid them, with improved family planning services, social support, wages and housing. But no, as we saw yesterday on this here very blog. More here.
Instead, all the conservatives who claim to care about children can talk about is ways of removing the rights and freedoms of their mothers. Does this make sense?
All of which leads to today's treeware column, which is generating some heat in the comments section on the Star's main website. Here's some of it, with added linky goodness and some notes:
Stephen Harper can put on all the warm and fuzzy sweaters he likes, smile and say soothing things to politically moderate Canadians but, every time his base speaks out, the Prime Minister's carefully crafted image begins to unravel.
This was evident during the Conservative national policy convention in Winnipeg last weekend, at least when it came to issues concerning women.
Passed were three policy resolutions that affect women, and their rights, and choices.
In ascending order of outrageousness, they are:
Resolution P-305 would allow for income splitting for families with children, which would ease the tax burden on the main earner and put more cash in the couple's pockets.
That means spouses – usually women – who don't work outside of the home for pay could also get some financial reward for their contributions to the family, assuming, of course, that they actually see some of the dough.
Now, on the surface, this is great.
Except for one thing: It discriminates against single-parent families, many of who struggle to make ends meet.
It also works more to the benefit of the rich than the middle classes. The more income that a couple can split, the bigger and better the tax break. And aren't non-working spouses dependents anyway?
What income splitting as official policy really says is, especially in the absence of a national daycare program, a woman's place is in the home.
Today I heard from reader Sara Landriault, a stay-at-home mother who lobbies for income splitting. She argues that single-parent families have an equivalent-to-spouse deduction -- they can claim a child -- which is just like income-splitting. Wrong! That deduction is for a maximum of some $6000 -- which is a lot less, a whole lot less, than a well-off single earner family would get to split.
To continue from the column:
The proposal eliminates support for full gender equality as well as equal pay for work of equal value.
Let me repeat that: It would eliminate support for full gender equality.
Oh it couches that in airy fairy speak, stating that the party is all for "the full participation of women in the social, economic, and cultural life of Canada." But the phrase "gender equality" was scrubbed and equal pay will only go for "equal work."
That means male parking lot attendants can continue to make more than female child care workers, even if the latter have university educations and are entrusted with your precious kid instead of your car.
Which says a lot about where the Cons stand on the issue of women's work and independence.
And, if you still don't get their agenda, consider what bloggers Dr. Dawg and Danielle Takacs both reported from the floor. At least one delegate objected to the resolution because women already have it "too good" and the proposal should have included men.
Because men should be equaler than before?
Last but, oh so very far from least, is Resolution P-207 which is all about, here we go again, protecting "unborn children" from violence.
Rewind to the eve of the last federal election when Harper pulled the plug on the controversial Bill C-484, the so-called "Unborn Victims of Crime Act" because it contained language that could lead to the definition of the fetus as a legal person.
Well, a similar bill could be back like the stink of skunk after the rain. According to Kady Malley of Maclean's, when one delegate got up to say that passing this would open the door to fetal rights, she was cheered. But, when the applause died down, she concluded that this was not a good thing. Which was when she was booed.
Back to the column ...
True, after the vote, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson told reporters Harper has publicly stated he has no intention of reopening the abortion debate. So why can't he close it in his own party ranks?
Some people complained in the comments on the main website that this last sentence suggests that I am anti-democratic and advocate that party members shut up. No, that's not what I am saying at all. I am merely pointing out that, no matter how many sweater vests Harper puts on to convey his caring side, the fact remains that he remains the leader of a party whose base threatens to crumble over women's rights.
Like I said, Mr. Harper, your grass roots are showing.