Canvass Into Gear


This morning.

Dublin 2.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and cabinet colleagues gathered outside Tara Street Dart Station before taking a walk through the city towards Government Buildings to canvas for a Yes vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment on May 25

Pic 3, from left: Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee, Leo Varadkar , Senator Ctaherine Noone, Minister for Health Simon Harris , Minister for  Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Education Richard Bruton.

Sam Boal/RollingNews

60 thoughts on “Canvass Into Gear

  1. newsjustin

    Debate your proposed amendment and legislation Simon and Leo.

    At least Senator Noone has the backbone to defend what the committee she chaired came up with.

    Simon and Leo must be one the one hand relieved and on the other hand mortified that they could allow the President of Sinn Fein to defend their proposals in a debate when they would not.

    1. IonaLotOfProblems

      Or maybe they thought that female voice was better positioned to talk about the issue.

    2. Cian

      Or maybe they are preoccupied with other issues? Like running the country/health service?

      1. dav

        you forgot the end of your sentence @ cian … ” Like running the country/health service into the ground”

        1. Cian

          possibly? But they do have jobs to do. If they are out campaigning they might miss an important memo – and we can’t have that happen.

    3. SOQ

      That was not a debate that was a Jeremy Kyle show. And because they happen to in favour of Repeal does not mean they are under any obligation to spearhead the campaign. Where were the politicians in favour of Retain btw?

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            You may LOL but certain legislation is so complex that they outsource it: the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009, for instance.
            Put that in yer phíopa, a chailín.

          2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            An expert in the area. Lawyer. They couldn’t get anyone in the Dept to bone up on it fast enough.

          3. mildred st. meadowlark

            That’s why I lol’d.

            I can’t imagine Simo managing to write legislation that complex. I’m sure he’s grand, but best not to have his fingerprints directly on the legislation which may well backfire on him in later years. He’s still relatively young and has a long career ahead of him in politics.

          4. newsjustin

            Mildred, he’s the Minister for Health. He didn’t type the thing up or do the photocopying for the cabinet, but he is the responsible minister and the author of the General Scheme of the Bill.

          5. mildred st. meadowlark

            With advisors, consultants and vast amounts of legal assistance.

            This legislation will go through numerous drafts and revisions. And Simon’s name may be on the cover as minister, but it’s doubtful that he wrote it in it’s entirety.

        1. Cian

          Can I compare this legislation to, say, architecture/engineering.

          If Simon wants an extension build, he would talk to his architect and tell her what he wants (and doesn’t want) – the big picture, as it were. She would go off and draw it up, and get an engineer to spec out various parts.

          Would you expect Simon to be able to single-handedly debate the details of his extension? and to be knowledgeable on all parts of it: architectural, structural, legal and engineering aspects?

          1. newsjustin

            The abortion debate really does blinker some people. Now you’re suggesting that legislators don’t have to debate legislation they produce. Listen to yourself Cian.

          2. Nigel

            Presumably the legislation will be debated when it’s introduced. If Repeal succeeds we’ll be debating the ever-loving crap out of it, no doubt, and since it will have to be passed in the Dail, it will be a political debate by the parties and it will be great fun I am sure.

      1. newsjustin

        Just have Simon go head to head with one pro-life campaigner. A single moderator. No audience.

        Sound safe enough?

        1. Listrade

          Question for you. Did you support the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act when it was proposed?

          1. newsjustin

            I did because a risk to life due to suicide is a risk to life. It was a clarification to the law essentially.

          2. Listrade

            Take out the usual administration arrangements for legislation:

            50% of the proposed text is the PLDPA. So I expect you agree with at least half of it. If you supported PLDPA. Did Simon Harris write that?

            25% includes provision for FFA (specifically defined so that it won’t include disabilities or other impairments that aren’t included as justification for abortion)? What needs to be debated there?

            25% relates to the 12 weeks. Is this the issue for debate? Why does it need Simon Harris when all the information is available via the commission and the conclusions of the committee? It’s all there. It was the best solution available for abortions for rape and incest. What need is there to debate?

          3. newsjustin

            The 50% you talk about is not the PLDPA, you know it’s not. A serious risk to health /= a real and substantial risk to life. We can debate the merits of that, but that’s just a fact.

            I don’t believe it is defensible to legalise the ending of the life of an unborn foetus just because it’s life will be short. You are mistaken if you think that I’m ok with that (that there’s nothing to debate).

            Nor am I in favour of abortion on demand up to 12 weeks.

            If a Minister (and Taoiseach) expects us to vote for this amendment and legislation, the least he/she can do is actually debate it in public with someone – anyone – who takes a different view.

          4. Listrade

            What is there to debate about the legislation? The legislation is there. The reasoning for it is public information. The debate is I support repeal and the legislation because I think the conditions for abortion it outlines are justified on the basis of the greater good of the mother.
            You disagree.

            The debate you want isn’t the legislation, it’s to grill Simon Harris on his personal opinion. Not a factual debate, a circus to put him on the spot for shits and giggles and to score points.

            Factual debates can be had, say on FFA or rape and incest. But they’re dismissed as sad stories.

            But I think TheRealJane summed it up best when she said both sides are having two different discussions.

            The proposed text is there. The justification for the text is there. Let’s start with why it’s wrong.

            No Down’s syndrome, no made up statistics about 97% of abortions being to healthy babies, none of that.

            Why is it wrong? Why isn’t it the greater good?

          5. newsjustin

            Why is it wrong? It allows for abortion of healthy babies of healthy mothers on demand before 12 weeks.

          6. Listrade

            It’s a choice of two wrongs: allowing abortion of healthy foetuses under 12 weeks or forcing rape and incest victims to go through with a pregnancy.

            It’s about what we individually believe to be in the interest of the greater good. There is no right or wrong in those circumstances, just weighing up two difficult choices and making your own decision.

            If you need a showcase of deceptive No campaign spokespeople vs Simon Harris to do that then so be it.

            But all the information we will ever need is out there. We have the proposed legislation. We have the actual stories from those who have been harmed by the current restrictions, we have the realities of what abortion entails, we have the stories of those who have been traumatised by having an abortion, we have the millennia of philosophy on ethics and morality and the foetus, and we have the science of foetal development.

            It’s all there. We can debate it sensibly on factual issues and we can have our own opinions. A circus with Simon Harris is just pushing for an attempt to embarrass him, not debate.

            So yeah, I will be voting to allow for the abortion of a healthy foetus because I believe that the avoiding the lifelong trauma, health issues or death of the mother is for the greater good.

            You think it isn’t and the foetus is more important than what mothers have and will suffer.

      1. Listrade

        Not sure about illegal, but given that genetic conditions are not grounds for abortion under the proposed text, it would appear that it is disingenuous at best to imply that this would be allowed in Ireland.

        1. Cian

          The equivalent for Ireland would be
          “In Ireland 50% of foetuses diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted (in England)”

        2. newsjustin

          It’s obviously not illegal Listrade. Just makes pro repeal people uncomfortable.

          1. Cian

            Hmm… there is an argument that if someone asks for that test they are likely to get an abortion if it is positive. And those that definitely won’t have an abortion – won’t get the test done. So the number is skewed to be a large percentage.

          2. Listrade

            I am uncomfortable, but that might be haemorrhoids. Also it could be that while that is the case in the UK, the proposed legislation does not provide for circumstances where genetic conditions are a grounds for abortion.

            It’s there in black and white. The inference of the poster is that voting no will stop this. It is disingenuous at best.

            But hey. I can take a bit of discomfort as long as it’s truthful. I’m sure McGuirk hasn’t lost any sleep over a mother getting cancer and not getting treatment. I’m sure he doesn’t even bat an eye to a rape victim getting pregnant.

            Love both, but lie about one side and tell the other side to shut up with their sad stories.

            You picked good honourable people to defend. Sleep well.

          3. newsjustin

            I sleep better, for all my faults, knowing that I don’t campaign for laws that will increase the number of unborn humans aborted in this world.

        3. Termagant

          But the referendum isn’t to implement a certain doctrine for abortion. The referendum is to put the power in the hands of the government to make decisions as to what is to be our doctrine for abortion, and our government doesn’t tend to ask our opinion unless they absolutely have to.

          Combine this with the reverence our leaders seem to hold for the way the Scandinavians do things and you could possibly see how this could be a valid cause for concern: the frequency of Down Syndrome is somewhere in the region of 1 in a thousand, Denmark is a country of about 5.4 million, and yet to quote the Danish ambassador to Ireland “In 2016, there were four children born in Denmark with Down’s syndrome after prenatal diagnosis and there were 20 children born with Down’s syndrome diagnosed after birth.”

          Now, personally, I’m not entirely against eugenics, I say if we can selectively breed an 8 foot tall superman who can juggle bowling balls and never get the squits after a dodgy kebab then let’s go at it, but you should be able to see how the above could make people squeamish.

          1. TheRealJane

            I that’s fine when you’re not the person who has to live the consequences of whatever decision is made. We can all be lofty and high-minded about what other people should do, but there are many, many elderly people in this country caring for middle aged children who will not be able to care for themselves once their parents pass and the state hasn’t much to offer now for those who struggle today or in terms of what will happen if there’s no family to take over.

            It’s not as simple as just saying that it’s terrible if children with Down’s syndrome aren’t born. Why aren’t we first making life decent and helping parents and their children before requiring that others fill our moral outlook?

          2. Termagant

            Right, and as I said, on the face of it I don’t entirely disagree. But what about autism? There are many people with advanced autism who’ll need lifetime care. Do we screen them out as well? Some children are born blind and deaf and will most likely never experience anything like a real life, should we abort them? At what point do we permit a foetus to live?

            I’m not being deliberately pugnacious. But if you’re going to vote Repeal you should know how you feel and have your own answers to these questions. I’m voting yes, I know where I stand, I have my own lines drawn as to what I’d like to see in the coming years and what I wouldn’t. But it seems like a lot of Repeal voters are having too much fun campaigning and indulging in self-righteous indignation to stop and consider the uncomfortable and difficult questions that are going to arise from this.

          3. Listrade

            All those questions have been answered in the proposed legislation and the answer is no to all.

            The only ones having fun raising it as an issue is the No side.

            It’s an uncomfortable question that has been answered already.

          4. TheRealJane

            You do understand that I’m an adult woman with a child of my own and that I certainly don’t need to be patronised and told what I need to consider?

          5. Termagant

            To be honest Jane I don’t understand what you currently having a kid has to do with anything. I’ll tell you what I see fit, and as a grown adult absolutely it is your prerogative not to listen, but what I’m telling you right now is that it’s insufficient to approach this very complex issue with anything other than a comprehensive understanding of the facts at hand and a thorough interrogation of your own beliefs, and if you disagree with that I think I’m quite justified in having no respect for you whatsoever.

          6. Termagant

            @Listrade The proposed legislation isn’t relevant. The referendum makes it a non-constitutional issue, if they want to change it in future they won’t have to ask.

          7. Listrade

            You say above to Jane that you’re dealing in facts. So let’s deal in facts.

            Irish constitution 1937. No constitutional protection for unborn. Abortion prohibited under regular statutory instruments (albeit one from 19th century).

            It wasn’t a constitutional issue until 1983. For 46 years there was no constitutional protection.

            Less than 10 years later the Attorney General brought a case to prevent a 14 year old girl raped by a neighbour and suicidal from getting an abortion.

            The Supreme Court said that the Constitution allows for abortion in certain circumstances and that the government should legislate to give clarity.

            It took 21 years and a woman dying for them to even legislate for what was allowed in the constitution (only inserted in 1983).

            The government demurred on the growing pressure for a referendum by holding a public hearing, probably hoping it wouldn’t have given such a resounding yes to reform.

            They demurred on a date.

            They eventually give a date and a draft text. The draft text addresses the key issues that “poll” well on abortion: serious mother’s health, emergency, FFA, rape and incest. Nothing more. The minimum.

            All I’m saying is I really don’t see a history of political will to suddenly go all out on baby killing and eugenics.

          8. kellma

            No Legislation will force anyone to have an abortion. If you want to give birth to a 12-foot green furry piers morgan then you can go ahead and do that.

          9. Cian

            Denmark had ~61,400 births last year. @1/1000 you expect 61 children with DS; there were 24 born. So
            1. 20,000 of the mothers didn’t ask for the test; (~30%)
            2. of the 41,540 mothers that asked for the test, there were 41 positives resulting in 37 abortions.

          10. TheRealJane

            Termagent, I’m astonished that you think that anyone goes through pregnancy and childbirth without thinking about these issues.

            I’m continually surprised by how trivial and childish men feel entirely free to assume women are and what interesting, original and challenging thinkers they are pleased to imagine themselves to be.

          11. Nigel

            ‘and if you disagree with that I think I’m quite justified in having no respect for you whatsoever.’

            Likewise I’m sure.

          12. Termagant

            Jane, I wasn’t even talking to you in the first place, nor was I even addressing you in any way. You’ve taken upon yourself a criticism I’m leveling at a certain element of an entire political movement, an element of which, if you find yourself in a position contrary to the one I laid out, you’re not a fupping part. Cool your jets, take a valium and next time don’t be sexist.

      2. ____

        The placement, on a Luas power pole.

        You’d assume it’s banned to poster them, same as normal ESB poles

  2. Hieronymus Tosh

    And now that the image of the enemies of the people have been shown, let the broadsheet 2 minutes of hate commence

  3. frankie

    The question about possibility of aborting special needs babies is pretty scary and with no protection under the constitution alarm bells are ringing
    And knowing the scandals in the HSE imagine trusting them not to abuse their power

Comments are closed.