Monday, February 22, 2010

I got a reply from Michael Ignatieff

I received this email today:

Dear Philip Carney:

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent email concerning the Liberal Party’s request that the Conservative government uphold Canada’s long-standing tradition of recognizing women’s reproductive rights and access to contraception as part of Stephen Harper’s maternal health initiative.

The Liberal Party remains concerned that this initiative will break with Canada’s tradition of funding organizations that advance women’s rights to reproductive choice and access to birth control. Access to contraception and reproductive health services is an integral part of any strategy to empower women. Without reproductive choice or access to birth control, women are less able to benefit from education or economic opportunity, and remain susceptible to gender-based violence and discrimination.

Stephen Harper has shown that he is willing to cut funding to aid groups, like KAIROS, an ecumenical charity, that dare to speak out against the Conservative party line. We need a clear commitment that access to contraception reproductive health services – and the organizations that promote them – will not be jeopardized by the Conservative caucus.

We understand this issue stirs extremely strong feelings and the Liberal Party respects the right of every Canadian to express their views freely and openly.

Yours sincerely,

Office of Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

Here is part of what I wrote back:

Dear Office of Michael Ignatieff:

Thank you for your reply to my email.

(A)dvancing the Liberal cause by raising the abortion issue and advocating abortion, is an incredibly cynical way to buy votes. The party can appeal to women in a whole lot of ways besides doing it on the backs of unborn children. I am left gasping for breath at this.

The party risks alienating a lot of voters by going down this path. (T)his is what you are offering me to vote for?

You are a taking a huge gamble here. But what a cynical one it is, that's what gets me.

I and many Canadian voters have been caught off guard by this.

I am watching closely.

Time for a rethink.

Philip Carney

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