Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Woodworth Is a Scaredy-Cat

So, somebody in the PMO leaked to the Globe yesterday.
The Prime Minister’s Office is putting heavy pressure on members of the Conservative caucus to vote down a Tory MP’s effort to trigger a legislative review of when human life legally. It’s unusual for a PMO to work against its own MPs’ motions and private members’ bills but Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are anxious to avoid association with any legislative activity that could be characterized by opponents as re-opening the debate over abortion.

MPs are privately being reminded that support for fellow Conservative Stephen Woodworth’s motion would be considered a vote against Mr. Harper’s wishes. Word being spread in the Commons lobby recently by senior Tories – not the PMO – went even further, saying a vote for Mr. Woodworth’s motion is a vote against Mr. Harper.

This informal coaxing is focused on those who are not considered to have taken firm positions in what has become a polarized debate, including rookie Tory MPs elected for the first time last year as well as fence-sitters and those with strong ambitions to rise in the caucus.
Which was echoed by the Sun (emphasis mine).
Conservative MPs are under intense pressure from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to vote against a Tory MP's non-binding motion that calls on Parliament to study when human life begins.

Tory sources say Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants southern Ontario MP Stephen Woodworth's motion eliminated before Parliament rises for the summer in late June.

"The PM himself wants this vote beaten down," one source tells QMI Agency.
There were rumours on Twitter yesterday that Woodworth's Wank would NOT be debated tomorrow nor be voted on on June 13.

So I was wondering if Woodwank were being strong-armed into withdrawing it, which, as I understand things, is the only way to stop it.

But no. This morning:


What's so urgent about Scott Brison's -- a Lib, mind, though former Con, -- private member's motion?
M-315 — April 25, 2012 — Resuming consideration of the motion of Mr. Brison (Kings—Hants), seconded by Ms. Murray (Vancouver Quadra), — That the Standing Committee on Finance be instructed to undertake a study on income inequality in Canada and that this study include, but not be limited to, (i) a review of Canada’s federal and provincial systems of personal income taxation and income supports, (ii) an examination of best practices that reduce income inequality and improve GDP per capita, (iii) the identification of any significant gaps in the federal system of taxation and income support that contribute to income inequality, as well as any significant disincentives to paid work in the formal economy that may exist as part of a “welfare trap”, (iv) recommendations on how best to improve the equality of opportunity and prosperity for all Canadians; and that the Committee report its findings to the House within one year of the adoption of this motion.
Well, that's all laudable, I guess.

But now in 14th place and with little time before the House goes on vacay, The Wank® is unlikely to see the light of day until fall.

Is Woody cruising for a bruising from the PMO? Or just trying to stay alive to fight another day?

Or. Using that well-known Fetus Lobby tactic of Stringing the Fetus Fetishists Along.

And while I was writing that, Kady O'Malley did a quick explainer. (That's why she gets the big bucks. She's fast.)
Under the rules governing private members' business, Woodworth can keep his motion alive virtually indefinitely by trading down the precedent list whenever his name threatens to reach the top. At some point, however, one suspects that his supporters might start to wonder why he seems so reluctant to put the question to the House.
Stringing them along.

Yup. They seem to like it.


Mark said...

If Harper is serious about punishing MPs who support M312, then it's actually too bad that Woodworth is delaying it. Harper's majority is down to ten (eleven if they can will the by-election,) and there's almost certainly more Con MPs than that would vote in favour. If it does come up for a vote, it would certainly be interesting to see how many Con MPs still vote in favour, even with the threat of punishment.

Which brings up the possibility that the best course of action would actually be to encourage as many Con MPs as possible to vote in favour.

deBeauxOs said...

Harper doesn't want a rebellion on ANY issue. M312 could be the last straw for some of his backbenchers who are putting up with a lot of pushback from their Reformatory base.

So the PMO put the fix in with Brison, Woodworth was given an option and he took it. It's all a big fucking chess game to Harper.

And yes, the passive agressive anti-Choicers will allow themselves to be strung along.

Sixth Estate said...

If the Opposition was intelligent, they'd all vote for this ridiculous motion in favour of "furthering the debate," and try and tease out a dozen or so anti-choice Cons to join them.

Anonymous said...

Steve - *Big Steve* that is, not the backbench wanker with the same given name, should wear this early & often if the "debate" is kept on life support over the summer constituency bunfest season.

The strategy of stringing the fetus fetushists along should figuratively end up hoisting PM pro-choice wink-wink to the wingnuts on his own petard.


Post a Comment