Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Failure of Canada's Opposition Parties

One of the more surprising things I learned this week came on the day Canada's answer to Sarah Palin, Candice Hoeppner, decided to take a dump all over 'Decorum Day' on the hill. An act that was not particularly surprising when you consider the source. She, after all was the same woman who sponsored the bill that would have ended the long-gun registry and also, in a nasty bit of politicking, drove up to the Peace Tower on the day of the vote in an SUV emblazoned with "Kill the Registry" decals, shrieking and disparaging anyone who disagreed with her point of view. I'd loved to have seen her try this courageous act in front of UQAM or Dawson College here in Montreal.

 Anyhow, as I was reading about her mean spirited attack on what seemed to me to be a relatively non-controversial private members bill from Michael Ignatieff (would he sponsor any other kind?) -- one that enshrined pay equity for women as a right -- I learned that in the omnibus budget bill C-9 there had been a clause shoved in there that put pay equity for women on the table. That's what had Hoeppner so exorcised. She couldn't believe that Ignatieff would sponsor a bill that did the opposite since he had allowed the budget bill to pass. She thought she had him cornered somehow.

For starters, by inference and an unfortunate choice of words on her part, she has as much as said she is against equal pay for women for equal work. And PM Harper, by sticking this noxious idea into his budget, has said the same. My question is, how on earth is this not a winning issue for members of the opposition and why have they not communicated it as such to Canadians?

There aren't a whole lot of issues where you can be guaranteed to get better than 60% or 70% agreement  from the public but I'd hazard a guess that pay equity is one of them. Please stand up and shout Mr Ignatieff. I think Canadians would welcome hearing from you on an issue that hits so close to home for most everyone I can think of.

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