The whip

The New Democrats have said they will unanimously oppose Stephen Woodworth’s motion—which, as private members’ business, would generally be considered a free vote—and Jeff Jedras argues that the Liberals should whip their vote.

If this issue is as fundamentally important as our messaging makes it out to be (and I believe it is), why are we not whipping this vote? If Harper not killing a private members bill is evidence he supports it, what does it say when the Liberal leadership lets its members vote for it? How are we any different? And worse, we’re launching petition drives and releasing pious press releases while pretending to be different. It’s ridiculous, and we’re setting ourselves up to look like hypocritical idiots. 

As noted last night, the government’s chief whip spoke against Mr. Woodworth’s motion during the first hour of debate. During QP, the Prime Minister said it was “unfortunate” that the motion had reached the House floor. The NDP sent out a news release yesterday calling on the Prime Minister to prevent Conservative MPs from bringing forward initiatives related to abortion.