Liberals dig up Tory's student column on abortion
Published Friday, April 15, 2011 6:44PM PDT
The federal Liberals have dredged up a 12-year-old university newspaper editorial written by James Moore to shed doubt on the incumbent Conservative candidate's views on abortion.
A Liberal press release from B.C. spokesman Brad Zubyk accuses Moore of "shocking extremism" in a Nov. 1, 1999 article he wrote for "Over The Edge", the student newspaper at the University of Northern B.C.
"The real shocker is how Mr. Moore mocks the well-being of a pregnant woman as a legitimate reason for abortion and suggests that: ‘…a woman could legally argue that that her well-being could be self-defined as perhaps not wanting to gain weight, or not wanting to lose the use of a wardrobe,'" the release reads.
"Really Mr. Moore?"
Moore, the candidate for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, says the quote was taken out of context and insists he is pro-choice.
In the editorial entitled "The flip side of abortion extremism," Moore questioned then-U.S. president Bill Clinton's veto of a bill banning late-term abortion.
The article contains a graphic description of an abortion performed on a six-months-pregnant woman, and casts a disapproving light on "the cold extremism of the partial-birth abortion advocates."
Vancouver-Centre Liberal candidate Hedy Fry maintains that the article is proof of Moore's small-C conservative values.
"No matter how calm and cool and fuzzy everyone seems to be, underneath it all there is a core ideology that trivializes everything that women do and that trivializes issues like this, when nobody knows what a woman goes through when she makes these decisions," she said.
But Angus Reid Public Opinion pollster Mario Canseco says that dredging up the distant past isn't a smart policy for the Liberals.
"It's not something that works," he said. "When it comes to things that were said a decade ago or were said in a different setting, it's really something that shouldn't be brought up unless it's something that matters from a social policy perspective."
The strategy could even backfire for the Liberals.
"They really need to be careful with this type of thing, because sometimes people get really, really turned off by this kind of situation and if that happens, turnout is low and that only benefits the incumbents," Canseco said.
Liberal strategy provokes anger
Moore refused to comment on the Liberal release, telling CTV News "it's garbage" and the article was taken out of context.
"I'm not going to dance with a liar. It's bullsh**," Moore said. "Anyone who knows me knows I'm a pro-choice moderate."
He also angrily disparaged a CTV News staff member for even asking him to comment.
"Asking me to comment on a lie is unprofessional," he said. "If you guys think that's journalism, then that says more about you than me."
Moore went so far as to threaten a disinformation campaign against his Liberal opponent, University of B.C. student Stewart McGillivray.
"If there's a story tonight, tomorrow I'm going to send out a press release saying that the Liberal candidate in my riding has cheated on all of his exams," he said. "I look forward to CTV getting a reaction from him."
McGillivray could not be reached for comment.