Tuesday, June 27, 2006

You gotta know when to fold 'em

Just back from a Town Hall meeting with my M.P. Karen Redman. To be fair, she did say a few things that gave me a bit of hope - such as her agreement with the effort in Afghanistan, and she even said she could support the legislation to raise the age of consent now that it contained the close-in-age exemption.

But her response to my question about whether or not she would support fellow Liberal M.P. Paul Steckle's attempts to limit abortion to 20 weeks, was an unequivocal "no". She maintained that it would lead to an all-out ban on abortion. I've heard that argument just one too many times today!

Think I'm going to pack it in on the social issues. It just takes too much out of me. Too much emotion. Too much caring.

From now on, I'm sticking to really fun stuff like statistics and polls and how will we ever resolve the fiscal imbalance.

And why do I care anyway? As long as it doesn't hurt me right? That's all that matters. I think I can buy into this Left-Wing philosophy if I try really hard, and just forget about my principles.

Anyway, it's a whole lot easier this way. Someone else will have to carry the torch.


PGP said...

At least you had the fortitude to confront her.

I find the Left wing KneeJerks on this issue really annoying ..like the assertion "..it will lead to an all out ban!"
Of course the "thin edge of the wedge" argument is a favorite ploy of the Right wingers side of this type of controversy as well.

Yes it is tiresome and wearying to try to talk sense to people who have no sense.....Redman is only one facet of that.
BTW did she acknowledge your writings and criticisms of her past behaviour? Or does she even have a clue?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - I'm just real tired of hearing the same bleatings over and over again. The same old arguments. Anytime you try to discuss it, they play their "rights" card, as if that should stop you in your tracks. It's just not worth it.

BTW did she acknowledge your writings and criticisms of her past behaviour? She doesn't even acknowledge or reply to my emails. I don't think she'd bother reading my blog. But she knows me all right. She knows me by name. I've stood up to her before at meetings, and I don't think she liked it. She's always civil and polite though. I'll give her that.

Zac said...

Awww Joanne, don't give up. Yeah me and the other left-wing heathens give you a hard time sometimes, but its all good. Don't worry about.

If you really feel strongly about the positions that you've stated, then keep fighting. Who cares what arrogant bastards such as myself think?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Zac. It wasn't you. It was Karen. She took the wind right out of my sails.

PGP said...

Well good for you anyway.
Seriously ...when a concerned citizen makes the effort to challenge elected representatives on their behaviour we all benefit a little.
Even though I don't have to worry about Redman there are many iterations
of her ilk and knowing that they are likely to be called to task...will think a little bit more.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, thanks PGP. That makes me feel a bit better. In fact I called her up on her bashing of the government over Kyoto. "Kyoto"... like it's some holy word. Some unassailable edit from above.

Regarding abortion, she said we will "have to agree to disagree". Just like same-sex marriage, and so many other things. It's actually somewhat therapeutic to be able to challenge your M.P. And BTW, there were only 14 people at a townhall meeting for a riding that numbers over 100,000.

liberal supporter said...

Why was she having a town hall meeting? Did she have them when her party was in power?

Sounds like Karen has the "suck the energy out of you" thing down pretty well. You just have to recognize it for what it is, then she can't deflate and conquer so easily. You want to get her on the defensive, get her worrying that she might get booted out in the next election. So you have to out-polite her, and give her every opportunity to look bad.

liberal supporter said...

Only 14 there? So any coverage will have to include your questions and her attempts to answer.

When she tries that "we'll have to agree to disagree", just say "no, we'll have to elect a government that doesn't ignore the voters' wishes, and we're over a third of the way there" or something like that.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - Whose side are you on? But thanks for the tips and encouragement! No, this isn't the first town hall meeting she's had, but it is the first time since she's been in opposition!

Funny thing is that all we heard was the bad stuff the government's doing this time! lol! Quite unlike the previous ones.

No reporters there. Just her assistant taking notes, so I'm sure that will be objective (yeah, right).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - BTW, she said she didn't really approve of abortion being used as birth control. So when I asked her why she wouldn't even consider some kind of restriction, she said it would inevitably lead to the end of abortion, and so she couldn't. I said even if the constituents wanted it? She said no, and that she didn't really think Paul Steckle's legislation would get very far anyway.Of course, she's the whip, so she probably has to vote the party line. I do like your comment to the "agree to disagree" statement. I'll try that next time!

KEvron said...

"Yes it is tiresome and wearying to try to talk sense to people who have no sense....."

brother, you said a mouthful!


Steve Kanter said...

Weak knee liberals. 20 weeks is five months, sounds reasonable to me. Maybe add an exemption besides the health of the mother, to be they need the signature of 2 or 3 doctors (like the old abortion committees in the 70s to get an exemption.) That would be pretty fool proof.


Kanter On Politics

Ben said...

Okay, Joanne, I didn't really believe you when you said you'd give up. Maybe you're shamelessly using your blog to get some encouragement, which is fine with me.

I will second what pgp said. You gotta realize that you're chipping away at your MP just as much as you feel she is chipping away at you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Maybe you're shamelessly using your blog to get some encouragement, which is fine with me.

I hope it doesn't look that way. I didn't intend that. I had been duking it out over at Red Tory's about abortion and Paul Steckle, and when Karen came up with the exact same arguments I guess I figured that the whole thing is hopeless. Somehow people have been brainwashed by the womens' rights groups to be very defensive about allowing any little chink in the abortion debate armour.

It's almost like an automatic engrained reaction, and that type of thing is very hard to reason with.

But thanks, Ben. I can use all the encouragement I can get right now. I've been taking a lot of flack from all sides.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Steve, I agree with you, of course. Somehow the electorate has to take some action on this and let their voice be heard. There is some misguided belief among politicians that this is a "dead" issue.

I have never been polled about abortion or anything other social issue.

Has anyone reading this ever been asked about abortion in a survey of any kind?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

anything other social issue Oops. s/b any other social issue. Time for another coffee.

Red Tory said...

KEv -- I suspect the irony is completely lost on Mr. Sweater.

SUZANNE said...

If you ever get the opportunity to bring this up again, ask her about the principle of protecting unborn children after 20 weeks-- are you in favour of this or not? In Europe, many countries have low gestational limits on abortion-- in Germany, you have abortion on demand until 10 weeks, until 12 weeks in France and 24 weeks in Britain. They aren't on the verge of any abortion bans.

I think this "it will lead to an abortion ban" business is the MP's way of saying "I don't want to confront the issue and look like I support partial birth abortion" or something like that.

Why would this kind of thing lead to an abortion ban, anyway? Heck,thanks for attributing so much power to us pro-lifers. I'm glad they feel that once the public hears our arguments, they will automatically turn around, vote for pro-life politicians and get an abortion ban.

Sounds like they're not too confident of their own position.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you ever get the opportunity to bring this up again, ask her about the principle of protecting unborn children after 20 weeks-- are you in favour of this or not?

Suzanne, I pretty much asked her that point blank. I asked her if she was o.k. with abortions right up to the moment of birth. She said she doesn't like to see abortion used as a birth control method, but she doesn't want to see any legal restrictions on abortion. She thinks women should be educated instead.

Yeah, like that works.

kelly said...

Don't give up Joanne, that's what the abortion activists want you to do. Redman is wrong - plain and simple. I think most reasonably minded Canadians would agree that to abort (kill) a fetus (baby) at 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 months is simply WRONG. I also believe that if each Canadian was polled they would want some kind of restriction on abortion. I guess Redman is mostly afraid of the "poor choicers" and their opinion of her (and it is obviously more important that yours or mine) - hence her reply.

BTW, what a poor showing of people to a town hall meeting! I wonder if that shocked her at all. Out of the 14, how many were her supporters?

kelly said...

Exactly Suzanne! I also didn't realize how much power pro-lifers have!

Joanne, interesting, yet again, how she did not answer the question! What a surprise! I remember going through this with my then MP, Murray Elston. He never answered my questions either and eventually stopped answering my letters. (no email back then!!)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kelly, lol! I suspect a few of those were "plants", based on their questions and praise of her accomplishments.

I also believe that if each Canadian was polled they would want some kind of restriction on abortion

I think there should be a national referendum on this. Just simply ask, "Would you like to see any legal restrictions on abortion in Canada?"

Yes or no. I don't think that will take us back to the coat-hanger days. I really don't. Personally, I think there may be some cases where abortions could be tolerated, although I don't agree with it. I really don't see how this has to be such a black-and-white, all-or-nothing issue. And who is the big power behind the pro-abortion side?

interesting, yet again, how she did not answer the question! Oh, she's good at that! I think they learn that at politician school.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Does anyone know at what age a minor can get an abortion without parental consent?

Sara said...

she is wrong

SUZANNE said...

No permission slip required, as far as I know.

And it's important to phrase the question to MP's correctly: are you in favour of the principle of protecting the fetus? We have to stop calling this the abortion issue. It has to be the fetal rights issue.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sara, I wish you had been there at that meeting last night! Karen Redman started talking about child care. I made some notes, but I'm not an authority. I really didn't feel prepared to engage her on it, but some of the stuff didn't ring true.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Suzanne, you're right. It's time to reframe the issue. Right on.

Sara said...

you should engage her and don't feel stupid I've noticed the more real the argument is the better, people will see your side easier than her statistics... seriously that is how I went at the councillors... you'll only be worried the first time you say something out loud.,.

I remember calling a Calgary open forum on the radio with a few hundred people in there and I said I was a stay at home mom etc... and they stood up applauding me I was flabbergasted!!!

Roy Eappen said...

You mu keep fighting for those who cannot!!Roy

Roy Eappen said...

Please don't give up. In the end we who love life will win, because it is right!.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Dr. Roy. Well, I couldn't really leave this fight altogether. I'm just giving it a little rest. Too much emotional involvement. After talking to my M.P. this past week, I was so disillusioned and frustrated, I could hardly stand it.

Sara, thanks for the tips. That is awesome about the applause! And you deserve it too!!