Andrew Coyne is very good at his job
Not sure what spurred Coyne to write about the abortion "debate", but I was thinking about the same things after reading Spector's Monday column (which I blabbed about here).
Coyne is right that it's conventional political and media wisdom that, as Spector says, "Some conservatives, particularly those in the anti-abortion movement, are incapable of compromise..."
I don't know any way to interpret this besides, "they should just shut up about it". Because using the common English definition of compromise, it would mean, "Those so-cons should just agree to meet the pro-choicers in the middle, and agree to certain limited restrictions on abortion." What? Oh. Who is it that's unwilling to compromise, again? (This might be a good time to refer back to Aldini's Disqualification Principle).
And just to step back about Spector for a minute: I don't really have a problem with the guy. He's arrogant, but so are a lot of people, and at least he has some impressive education and experience to buttress his positions.
I'm not impressed with his political advice, though, for a rather simple reason, which is probably best characterized by the answer to the question, "Was the split of the 'right' for 10+ years in Canada good or bad?" His former role with M. Brian, and his high regard for compromise as a political virtue, shows that he thinks it was bad. I think it was unquestionably good. (For example, I think Parliament c. 1993-97, with Reform as the unofficial opposition, is the best thing that happened politically to Canada since the FTA.)
This is the type of disagreement - were he to know who I am ;) - that would not be resolved through a week of discussions. I'd rather be mostly correct and pissing into the tent than barely correct and pissing out; many, including Spector, prefer the opposite. The only real difference is that I believe his position to be unwise, whereas he appears to believe my position is immature and idiotic. Them's the breaks, I guess.