Brad Trost goes rogue

The Conservative backbencher describes his conversations with the Prime Minister’s Office in regards to funding for Planned Parenthood, accuses CIDA staff of leaking to the media, mocks the government’s position and vows to take an “aggressive” stance going forward.

The battle over the IPPF continues. Pro-Life politicians have been taught a lesson. The government only responds to Pro-Life issues and concerns when we take an aggressive stance. We will apply this lesson. 




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Brad Trost goes rogue

  1. Brad Trost needs to have the principle of the separation of church and state explained to him.

    • Why do you think Trost, and the Queen apparently, need explanation when it’s you that is confused about which country we live in? 

      Wiki ~ Fidei Defensor:

      “Defender of the Faith” has been one of the subsidiary titles of the English and later British monarchs since it was granted on October 11, 1521, by Pope Leo X to King Henry VIII of England …. The title “Defender of the Faith” reflects the Sovereign’s position as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, who is thus formally superior to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The original Latin phrase - Fidei Defensor - is referred to on all current British coins by the abbreviations, F D or FID DEF.

      • And except that the Queen’s position….in England…has nothing whatever to do with govt positions in Canada….

        • Maclean’s ~ Defund Ont’s Catholic Schools: 

          It’s not just this unfortunate blemish that highlights the incongruity involved with publicly funding Catholic schools (though “Public Pays School to Discriminate Against Own Students” is an awesome headline). Some Catholic schools across the province still refuse to teach methods of birth control and STI prevention (even though it’s part of Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum) leaving it up to their students to educate themselves on preventing pregnancy and sexual diseases. Creationism is still taught alongside evolution (albeit, supposedly only in religion class), and the hiring practicesinvoked by some Catholic boards could, arguably, be called discriminatory.

          Ontario Government ~ Partnership Project 2011: 

          Many not-for-profit organizations, particularly those in the health and
          social services arena, were born out of faith-based organizations or local,
          volunteer-driven community initiatives. For some, their capacity was ensured by a guaranteed labour force, such as those run by religious orders, while others relied on community goodwill and a spirit of volunteerism.

          • Which again, has nothing to do with the topic

      • Show me where it says in CANADIAN LAW that we are a theocracy?

        • Show me where it says those without values, ie. “progressives”, are the only ones entitled to an opinion.

  2. Brad Trost’s role, like Rod Bruinooge and several others in the Conservative back benches, is to hint that the government is sympathetic with certain groups of gun loving, abortion hating, death penalty advocates, even if it does nothing but raise funds from them. I find it mildy annoying, but the gun loving, abortion hating, death penalty advocates should wonder why they are paying for this lip service.

    • The rightwing is like Charlie Brown on this…when Lucy pulls away the football….like Charlie they fall for the same trick time and again.

    • Maybe these angry people should form their own party to reform the ways of this Conservative government.

      • Whatever would we call such a party, though?

  3. Sounds like Con caucus are starting to feel their oats.

    Abortion, flag amendment, repeal S13 …. these are topics that are going to cause grief for Harper because they are popular with base but Harper et al. seem to do all they can to not govern like conservatives. 

    • I don’t understand how anyone can object to the flag thing.  From a really cynical point of view I guess it could be spun as mindless patriotism and/or jingoism, but who exactly is that jaded???  I live in a condo, and I know PLENTY of places that have banned residents from displaying a Canadian flag from their balcony, so personally, I’m actually quite pleased with the notion that next Canada Day I could proudly fly a Canadian flag from my balcony, and if my condo board wants to say something about it I could tell them to stuff it.

      I’d love to hear an explanation from someone who’d suggest voting against the flag thing.

  4. I guess we will shortly be referring to Mr. Trost as the independent member of parliament from Saskatchewan, sitting up in the corner with Ms. May.  It’s one thing to have strong opinions, its another to reveal confidential conversations with the PMO (assuming his version is even remotely correct – which may be too much of an assumption).  It’s more of a problem when he openly threatens the Prime Minister’s decisions. After all, what does he think the “PM” in the “PMO” stands for? And who does he think actually runs that place. Either he is now openly disagreeing with decisions of the PM, or he thinks the PM is incapable of running his own office. Either way, that position, publicly taken, seems inconsistent with his remaining in the caucus.

    • “Either he is now openly disagreeing with decisions of the PM, or he thinks the PM is incapable of running his own office.”

      I have long wondered why our backbench MPs don’t try to control agenda more. Trost is somewhat protected by SoCons who agree more with Trost than they do Harper. PM has to be careful with discipline or significant part of base will get irritable. 

      In UK and US, there are always awkward squads within each party that make life difficult for leaders – only in Canada is there total obedience. 

      • True, but the tradition in Canada is that such disputes are kept behind closed doors.  There are a substantial number of Tories who would agree with Mr. Trost’s opinion, if not his tactics. They have never been able to change party policy on this issue, though.  And the PM, having successfully pushed the Liberals to the fringe, can now face internal opposition with the prospect that any overt revolt against him will lead to an NDP government.  Even the most “SoCon” of Tories might quail at that prospect.

    • The Geurgis chair is open. But it’s early days yet. It may be being saved
      for a bigger ass.

  5. I honestly believe Trost should be applauded for this.  I have little doubt that he speaks for the majority of his constituents.  For those that see the abortion debate as principally being about the rights of unborn individuals, it is hard to find a black & white issue that has a blacker black.

    • So you think that if a woman becomes pregnant, she should be the property of whoever got her that way?

      Even if she had no choice in the matter?

      I thought that conservatives hated it when the government interfered in their private lives — I guess that doesn’t apply if you have a uterus.

      • Well, I doubt any group of Conservatives would allow me to attend one of their meetings.  I also understand that anyone who sees the abortion debate as being principally about the rights of women to control their bodies would come to a strongly held view that is prochoice.  My own view is that abortions should be legal, but seen medically as a last resort, i.e. I am pretty comfortable with the current status in Canada.

        However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t see the power of the pro-life argument.  My guess is that in Saskatoon-Humbolt more people see the issue like Trost than don’t. My statement was that given he has strongly held personal views that are in-sinc with his constituents he should be given credit for standing up to a notoriously rigid and occasionally cruel leader.

    • I completely disagree with Trost’s position on this issue, but I agree with you.  My opinion on it doesn’t negate the fact that he feels passionately about the issue and is willing to stand up and the consequences be damned.  Good on him.  Too bad he’s just so completely wrong-headed IMO.

      • If that’s the criteria…passion….then next they’ll be arguing the pros and cons of a continental railroad!

        • No, the criteria that Jenn is lauding is the willingness to move forward with the wishes (I presume) of his constituents regardless of the personal political consequences.

          While I may strongly disagree with what he is saying, his being willing to say it makes him a good representative. 

          • We don’t know his constituents think anything like that….and in any case Harper has already made his statement…that Canadians can rest assured abortion will not be a topic.

            So what Trost is doing is making himself toast.

          • Do you really think he will be toast?  

            He was never going to get a seat at Harper’s table, but he is rapidly emerging as the only Conservative MP speaking out for the soc-cons in the party. The soc-cons of the party are its economic engine & more than anything leveraging a massive funding advantage allowed Harper to decimate the Liberals.

            Just as Max has flourished since he started speaking out for the small-c economic group with Libertarian instincts, I think Trost will likely emerge as a force to be reckoned with.  Neither will likely figure in Harper’s cabinet in a major way but both will have influence when Harper decides to hang em up.

          • @StewartSmith 

            Well I can’t guarantee it….you never know when Harp is going to do a U-turn, or stonewall or whatever…..but it seems to me that this is blatant open defiance of his party leader and the PM….on the national news and all….so I’m not sure the actual topic will matter, as much as the slap-in-the-face will.

            If he lets Trost get away with this, other MPs will be ‘emboldened’  to do the same thing….on whatever their particular  pet hobbyhorse is….and Harp could lose control of the party that way.

            He doesn’t strike me as a man willing to lose control over anything.

            Nor does he strike me as the type willing to foster new leaders for when he’s gone.

            You’ll notice Max hasn’t said anything for a long time.

          • Agreed.  He is strongly representing his constituents, who are (as a majority) completely wrongheaded on this issue.

          • Wow, please enlighten us with the “correct” version of the issues.

      • If more Conservatives were open about their beliefs, I doubt they have ever formed government.  It’s Harper’s stifling that has gotten them where they are.

    • I have little doubt that he speaks for the majority of his constituents

      I don’t have a problem with elected officials speaking their minds, and fighting for their beliefs, but what evidence do we have that the majority of the people in Trot’s riding agree with this stance on funding for Planned Parenthood? 

      Was there a poll?  Do we know from previous polls that the people in his riding are much more anti-abortion than the people in the “average” Canadian riding?  What, in short, makes you so sure that the majority of Trost’s constituents have a problem with the government giving money to Planned Parenthood?

      Most polls I’ve ever seen indicate that the majority of Canadians want abortion to remain legal (this poll from 2010 found that 52% of Canadians self-identified as “pro-choice”, while only 27% identified as “pro-life”).  Funding Planned Parenthood is presumably favoured by even MORE people than just those of us who are “pro-choice”, since even some (undoubtedly a small number, but still, SOME) pro-life Canadians would agree to giving Planned Parenthood funding for non-abortion related activities.

      Now, it’s entirely possible that Trost’s riding is atypical, and that a majority of his constituents are opposed to giving funding to Planned Parenthood, but do you have any evidence to support that notion?  The pro-choice/pro-life divide is narrower in Saskatchewan and Manitoba than anywhere else in the country, it’s true, but even there (in the above poll) 40% are “pro-choice” as compared to 37% who are “pro-life”.  I find it hard to believe that the other 23% split decisively in favour of denying Planned Parenthood funding.

      I certainly agree that “For those that see the abortion debate as principally being about the
      rights of unborn individuals, it is hard to find a black & white
      issue that has a blacker black”, however, I believe that even in Saskatchewan this group of people likely represents less than 40% of the population.

      • Trost got 52.7% of the vote in his riding. He was one of 5 candidates. The nearest competitor was the NDP, with 35.1% of the vote.  Given that, I think it’s quite reasonable to say that the majority of the riding, not just the plurality of it, supports him.

        And since he’s been anything but quiet on his views about this issue before, it’s also reasonable to say that the majority of his riding either agrees with him outright, or at very least has no significant quarrel with his views there.

        • I certainly don’t think he’s got his constituents up in arms or anything, but supporting him in the election, and agreeing with every position he takes on every issue are two different things.  I don’t think this is going to remotely hurt Trost, even if the majority of his constituents do disagree with him on this issue, my only objection is to praising him for following the wishes of his constituents on this file without (as far as I’ve seen) the slightest bit of evidence that what he’s doing on this file is what the majority of his constituents would want him to do. 

          What Trost is doing is perfectly appropriate, no doubt entirely consistent with his campaign rhetoric on abortion, and likely entirely laudable as a strongly held belief and a principled stand.  It MIGHT even be what the majority of the people in his riding would want him to do on this file.  However, I’ve yet to see any evidence whatsoever that Trost is following the will of his constituents.  Nor is he obliged to, I just don’t think we should credit him with following the wishes of his constituents on this file in the great spirit of democracy before we determine what the wishes of his constituents on this file actually are  He should only get credit for doing what the majority of his constituents want him to do if we actually know that what he’s doing is what the majority of his constituents want him to do, and I’ve seen no evidence thus far that we know that.

  6. After days of news about unanswered questions in the House from the opposition parties about porkbarrelling by Clement, and on the day that the total costs of MacKay’s Challenger jet rides is published, is it just coincidence that one Harper backbencher ressurects the abortion debate and another Harper backbencher proposes to jail for denying anyone the right to fly the flag in whatever way shape or form they please?  

    • I agree that jail might be over-the-top, but personally, I’m all in favour of a law that will allow me to tell my condo board to take a flying leap the next time they want to try to prevent me from flying a Canadian flag from my balcony, which MANY condo boards do.

      • There are many restrictions that apply to condo ownership but prospective condo owners are usually made aware of such rules before they buy into the condo so the way to get a Canadian flag on your balcony is to either buy a unit in a complex that doesn’t have such a rule, or get on the condo board to try to change the rule. 

        In any case, it just seems to me that this was a red herring meant to distract attention from the MacKay flights of fancy.

        • I guess I fell for it then, ’cause I like the idea of a law that legally protects my right to fly the Canadian flag, and I think the McKay story is the height of idiocy.

  7. It’s refreshing to hear from an honest Conservative.  Too bad more of them didn’t speak their minds prior to the election…

  8. Oh FFS.

    • LOL

      Now all I have to do is figure out which of the half dozen potentially exasperating things about this story has you exasperated.

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