The London Free Press notes that back in 1982, then Liberal MP Garnet Bloomfield was the lone Grit to vote against repatriating the constitution. Bloomfield voted against the Constitution Act of 1982 because it did not protect the right to life. Bloomfield is a tremendously principled politician. He voted against his prime minister and his party on an issue of utmost importance. The LFP reports:

And despite defying Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and voting against his own party, Bloomfield has no regrets, saying, simply: “I did what I could.”

His objection to Trudeau’s concerted bid to bring the constitution home from England earned him a private audience with the prime minister.

“I sat down and talked to Trudeau face to face” in a frank exchange that prompted Trudeau to understand and support his rookie MP’s position.

“He would defend me after that,” Bloomfield recalls. Trudeau, he found, held no grudge. “I have a lot of respect for Pierre Trudeau.”

The irony is that a principled stand could win you the opprobrium of your colleagues, but it could also win their respect. There are lessons there for politicians today in all political parties.

As an aside, I am planning to interview Garnet Bloomfield later this Spring for a story on the “What happened to the Liberal Party?” Its caucus used to have a sizable contingent of pro-life MPs, but today there are no more than a half dozen willing to defend the unborn.