There are many who believe that Andrew Scheer's resignation will bring renewal to the Conservative Party of Canada. But, Marc Lafrance writes, Scheer is actually in step with his party. Consider the party's MP's:
A careful inspection of the current Conservative caucus reveals that the party’s radical right-wing values run deep.
For example, Campaign Life Coalition — Canada’s biggest anti-abortion group — says that 46 out of the 121-member Conservative caucus are pro-life, which amounts to almost 40 per cent of the party’s sitting MPs.
RightNow, another anti-abortion group, goes further. It contends that 68 members of the Conservative caucus are pro-life — more than half the MPs. RightNow’s post-election analysis was emphatic: “The House of Commons is now more pro-life than before, the Conservative Party of Canada caucus is more pro-life than before, and some of the staunchest pro-abortion Conservative female (MPs) have been replaced by younger, more diverse, pro-life Conservative female (MPs).”
It's not just the party's anti-abortion views that affect party policy. Those views are part and parcel of a general outlook:
Anti-abortion voters tend to differ from pro-choice voters when it comes to their views on the status of women, according to the survey.
Only 23 per cent of anti-abortion voters believe that the lack of women in elected office affects women’s equality, compared with 70 per cent of pro-choice voters. Only 27 per cent of those who oppose abortion think access to birth control affects women’s equality, compared with 74 per cent of those who support abortion. And only 19 per cent of anti-abortion voters feel that society is systemically set up to give men more opportunities than women, compared with 66 per cent of pro-choice voters.
Anti-abortion voters also tend to differ from pro-choice voters when it comes to their views on how women think and act. Seventy-seven per cent of anti-abortion voters agree that women are too easily offended, compared with 38 per cent of pro-choice voters. Seventy-one per cent of voters who oppose abortion think that most women interpret innocent acts as being sexist, compared with 38 per cent of voters who support abortion rights. And 54 per cent of voters against abortion agree that men generally make better leaders than women, compared with 24 per cent of pro-choice voters.
And the party's views on women filter down to its stand on inequality:
A recent nationwide survey in the United States found that “anti-abortion voters are among the most likely — if not the most likely — segment to hold inegalitarian views.”
In other words, those who agree that abortion should be illegal are less likely to be egalitarian — particularly when it comes to gender — than those who agree that it should be legal.
The problem isn't Scheer. It's the Conservative Party.
Image: Vancouver Sun