Saundrie

After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

SSM: Here we go again...*sigh*

While not one of the five priorities it appears that Justice Minister Vic Toews is signaling that we can expect the SSM to be returning to the halls of Parliament sooner rather than later. Apparently the last go round was not good enough, supposedly because the Liberal government whipped its Cabinet while releasing all backbench MPs made it not a free vote which requires another bite at the apple. One problem though with that line of reasoning comes to mind. The NDP also whipped its caucus on this vote so if they again whip in this new vote it will have exactly the same problem the last one did according to Conservatives, it was not a full free vote of all Parliamentarians. Until and unless they can get the NDP to promise to not whip their members on such a vote the sole reason the CPC provides for needing to revisit this issue will remain. Therefore it would appear that the official reason for revisiting this issue is not likely the actual one. Which means that the only other logical reason for revisiting this issue is the fact that the CPC lost last time around and do not like the reality that SSM is state sanctioned throughout Canada.

So the only reason to revisit this in reality is to try and overturn this result and go back to the "traditional" definition of marriage, in other words take the right to marry away from gay couples. Now the only arguments brought against SSM come down to either religious belief or some form of internal distaste for the idea of gays marrying. What has never been shown is the harm allowing such marriage will do to the society whereas the harm depriving rights from citizens is quite clear and obvious. I see this intent of Toews as a direct furtherance of the religious opposition to SSM and trying to reverse what most Canadians have agreed is reasonable and now done needs to be left alone. It is not out of some principle regarding what a free vote is for the reason I already laid out, and without that fig-leaf the CPC has not got any reason for doing this other than to placate their section of their base which is against gay rights generally and especially SSM. Well I will state here and now that I personally find such actions indicative of bigotry and intolerance towards homosexuals and I will oppose it wherever I see it, and this government appears ready to display that bigotry masked in a principle that clearly cannot be met so long as the NDP see this as a fundamental issue requiring whipping of their caucus.

Any Conservatives that choose to leave comments calling me a fear monger or someone smearing the CPC with bigotry and intolerance go right ahead. Don't expect any response. I am not the one trying to limit the rights of Canadian citizens that are recognized as Charter rights by most of the Provincial Supreme courts before the federal government formalized it. The only way to override SSM in those Provinces where their Supreme Court ruled is to invoke the Notwithstanding clause, something Harper appeared to promise was not something he would do, yet I know Toews is on the record as saying this clause is something he thinks a CPC government should invoke often to transform the country into the Conservative vision of what it should be. The fact that such use of this clause guts the power of the Charter is no accident but the underlying intent is my belief in his and others within the CPC that feel the Notwithstanding clause needs to be used on things like SSM.

11 Comments:

Blogger Steve V said...

Harper loves to say that is government bases its priorities on what the people want- a government that is receptive to the electorate. Are Canadians really interested in re-hashing this debate, or even Conservatives for that matter:

"Environics asked 2,034 Canadians in a phone survey last Jan. 20-22 whether a new Conservative government should bring back same-sex marriage for another vote.

Sixty-six per cent said No, while 30 per cent said Yes, said Keith Neuman of Environics.

Conservative supporters were more in favour but almost evenly split. Forty-nine per cent said the Tories should not have a new vote on gay marriage, while 47 per cent said they should."

Results were decisive among supporters of other parties: 77 per cent were against a new vote, while 20 per cent were in favour."

Is Harper working for Canadians, or appeasing the far right at the expense of basic equality? With each day the moderate mask erodes.

Wed Apr 05, 11:37:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

Good post Scotian! The truth... the absolute truth, is that the only motivation for this is homophobia.

The Conservatives find a particular group of people repugnant and want to limit or eliminate their citizenship.

Thu Apr 06, 12:19:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

Perhaps then, we should focus our attention on the NDP to allow a free vote and decide this issue once and for all. That would mean there is no second guessing or "maybe next time" rational. It would be a totally democratic decision from society. The extreme right wing base could not complain the vote was hijacked and the issue would be put to bed. Could we all get behind that?

Thu Apr 06, 10:52:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Paladiea said...

John, the issue has already been decided.

Thu Apr 06, 12:33:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

John:

NO! This ALREADY is put to rest except by the extreme right wing, and I along with a lot of other Canadians are tired of being expected to respect their bigotry with these repeated votes. The NDP will not do as you suggest because gay rights is for the NDP a part of their basic principles on human rights. This willingness to pander to the bigotry within the CPC base by CPC politicians when they know they will get the same result is nothing more than Harper continuing his belief that it is necessary to have a culture war in this country for the conservative movement to regain strength in Canada.

There has never been a secular reason to deny gay Canadians the ability to marry their partners, period. All the reasons go back to either religious in nature or inculcated bigotry absorbed while growing up. This issue has only ever been dealing with secular marriage despite the rhetoric of those that opposed this action. So there is no need for it.

Besides, as keeps being forgotten in all of this, Martin's Liberals only dealt with this because every Provincial Supreme Court had ruled SSM legal within their Province except PEI and Alberta. So all the Liberals did was extend it across the country since these various Provincial Supreme Courts ruled the same way for the same reasons and did so with the Charter as the basis for it. This issue cannot be reversed by any federal government without the use of Section 33 aka the Notwithstanding Clause, so this "free" vote that must be held according to CPC MPs and the CPC Justice Minister would be meaningless without the use of Section 33.

This is not an issue the general public is demanding, it is the special interests within the CPC, specifically the religious right. This is catering to the CPC base so as to keep their votes and not any other reason, especially given the degree of divisiveness this issue causes when the issue gets debated thanks to the respective extreme positions of either being against gay rights/marriage as some sort of negative and those in favour seeing it as a basic human right. The fact that those opposed are clearly a minority does not affect just how loud their voices get and how hateful some of their rhetoric gets, especially once things like pedophilia and bestiality get tossed into the mix by this minority to try and make being gay seem like a perversion and abomination.

This issue is over John, and the CPC does not need to go back to this well except to placate a segment of their political base that wants to return to the good old days where one could be bigoted against gays without stigma. Those days though are not coming back, not in this country. This is something that the CPC will use to help keep that base loyal and to whip up their intensity/support for this party/government, especially for the next election to keep their turnout and party choice maximized for the CPC.

There will never be a totally free vote because of the NDP, the NDP is highly unlikely to not whip on this issue given their platform and principles, so the one reason the CPC gives for why this vote must be done over can never be met AND THEY MUST KNOW THIS THEMSELVES! Unless one believes that the CPC MPs are too stupid to recognize this about the NDP and that in the last vote the NDP also whipped, yet they only talked about how the Liberal Cabinet whipping made it not a free vote. That is not honest, and it is something so basic that ignorance simply doesn't fly. No, it has to be deliberate, and this reasoning is bogus so it must be cover for reasons the CPC know that the majority in this country would find offensive and intolerant if actually stated.

This issue only resonates for the bigots that have problems with treating gay people and gay citizens the same as any other. Gay rights are not "special" rights being given, they are the rights they should have had but have not because of these bigotries and deferrals to religious beliefs within the law at the expense of the equal rights of gay citizens of Canada. If anyone ever had "special" rights until recently it is the religious Christian community with such deferrals within the law and not so long ago the criminal law to enforce their religious opposition to treating homosexuality and gay people as human beings no better and no worse than anyone else. It is the religious right that wants special rights not gays, gays want with good cause to have all the same equal rights all other citizens get, and that is perfectly in keeping with both our Charter and the wider declaration of human rights generally.

So the only reason there is any need for the CPC to bring this forward is to try and reverse the vote so then they can claim there is some basis for using Section 33. The reason stated is clearly bogus. So this is pandering, and pandering to the worst aspects in human nature. Yet another reason for me to find this clean cut government nothing more than a sick joke. The only people that want this are those with hatred and/or intolerance to homosexuals, the rest of the country moved on last year.

Thu Apr 06, 12:37:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

A couple of points:
1)Didn't the supreme court throw it back to the politicians and say "you decide"? (not sure on that one but that was my understanding)
2)it's not just the CPC and the extreme right wing. There are members of other parties who don't support it either so I don't think we can simply call this a left/right argument.
3) Of course this is pandering to this extreme right wing, isn't that what all parties do for their supporters?

Acceptance will never be granted on this topic until a truly free vote is held in the house. Because those who truly disagree will simply say that it was shoved down their throat by a manipulated vote. Take that away from them and they have nothing left to stand on but their personal thoughts, ie. "we think it's wrong". Only then, when those opposed are in the minority, will they be forced to accept that this is the will of the people as opposed to the will of certain politicians.

Thu Apr 06, 03:18:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Niles said...

John, if you think a so called 'free vote' result would shut down the 'religious right' evangelicals, I think you have them confused with people working from reasoned arguments.

The only 'right' result in any parliamentary decision for them on this matter, is having equal marriage laws turned back to cover only one man/one woman couplings, as dictated by their doctrinal leaders. Period.

Everything else is just a war on their beliefs. They will take their talking points from the evangelical theocratic movement in the US, not any so called 'unmanipulated' vote in Canada. You can dress that dogma up in a three piece suit of sputtering democracy denied, but it still goes woof and chews on your shoes.

I say, while the CPC're warming up the free vote snivel on equal marriage rights, they should demand a revisit of women's suffrage and hate crime laws. THOSE topics also offend some evangelical sects. I don't recall either getting 'truly free votes' either.

Why, just THINK of the Canadian civil rights laws that could be on the table because they're inconvenient to a self absorbed, proselytizing sect wanting their church and our state to be one entity.

Thu Apr 06, 05:27:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

*SIGH*

The Supreme Court of Canada did throw it back to the Parliament, true, but I never mentioned it. I referred to the eight PROVINCIAL Supreme Courts that ruled in favour of SSM as a Charter right with remarkably similar reasoning in each court. As for this idea of placating those that feel it was not a full free vote, so long as the NDP chooses to whip their caucus (which they will under this leadership of Layton's, he made his position on this quite clear last year) this notion that only a full free vote will end the revisiting of this issue is nonsense, pure and simple.

As for the members of other parties also being opposed to SSM, true, but they are neither within the leadership of those parties (Tom Wappel which tends to be the main Liberal tossed out as an example hasn't had any influence within the Libs for many years now precisely because of his attitudes on this and similar social issues) nor are they are sizable segment of their voting base, unlike the CPC. In the CPC we see SSM opponents in senior leadership positions, indeed the Justice Minister is one of the most strong opponents of SSM. We also see as noted in the poll Steve V posts in the top of this discussion thread that the only party supporters that come close to majority territory for revisiting this issue is within the CPC base, everywhere else there is a clear majority to supermajority support in leaving SSM alone now that it is the law of the land.

So your defence of the CPC here as not being the only party actually trying to pander to the bigots that oppose SSM and gay rights holds no water, as all too many of your criticisms of my writings have turned out. The CPC is the only party that has this position, the only party that has as a major segment of its base wanting this discussion, and the CPC is providing a bogus reason for revisiting this issue. AS I said before there is no way the CPC is not aware that the NDP whipped their caucus last time this issue was voted upon and would do so again if it comes back this year and therefore the "logic" requiring the CPC to bring this back for a full free vote fails totally. So since this will not happen there must be other reasons not being shared with the public for why the CPC wants to revisit this issue, and the only other plausible explanation is to pander to the homophobes within its base that demands this.

Give it up John, this issue is dead, and any party that chooses to reopen this will find itself on the wrong end of both history and the majority of the public. There is no majority support for this revisiting, not even within the CPC according to that poll of Steve V's, so this is pandering solely to those that did not get the result they wanted last year of being able to continue denying basic rights to gays because of their bigotries, be they religious or secular in origin.

BTW, kindly stop taking your problems with what I write at Saundrie to other blogs, especially when the discussion at those blogs is not related to your problem here. I really do not think Skippy cared about your interpretation of my opinion on the Emerson case when the topic under discussion was the Tim Hortons fire that some were convinced was a terrorist act. all you are doing is trying to continue a fight you lost here with those that were not a part of it here so as to make yourself feel better. If you really think you are going to harm my credibility and what respect others may have for me with this little crusade of yours you are in for much disappointment.

It is also incredibly rude to continue such fights with someone on other blogs like that, so your credibility/reputation for manners and basic civility are being damaged each and every time you do so. Give it a rest, you are not the bloggers ethics commissioner, and you most certainly are not mine. You might also want to look into the post titled Warning: Light Blogging Ahead for the evaluation I made of the Ethics Commissioner’s report before you continue trying to claim I never addressed it. Just because I did not do so in the manner YOU feel I should have does not make it that it was not addressed at all, nor is it your place to tell me when I must edit and revise my writings. the level of hubris and arrogant presumption you display each time you do so also undermines any credibility you have.

If I think you are so full of it, why do I keep responding you no doubt wonder? Simple, because you provide such a useful example of someone so caught up in their own narrow perspective and beliefs that revising and altering what someone actually said into what you believe they actually meant is seen by that person as dealing in truthfulness when in reality you are dealing in truthiness.

Get a life John, all you do is provide some amusement value to me, other than that you have convinced no-one that was not already someone that opposes me on partisan grounds that your arguments have any merit to them. You really need to deal with these insecurity and self esteem problems you clearly have by spending so much time on me and my writings with your self appointed truth squad duties, pity truth is though you really suck at it given your inability to accurately paraphrase me and what I have written.

Thu Apr 06, 05:50:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

My point was not in defence of the CPC, but rather that until their is a "free vote" they will use that as amunition to further their cause. Taking that away will expose their true ignorance, that's all. Right now they can claim that the matter was not really decided. That was my point. Now Scotian, you can hack on me and accuse me of things all day long but what I doing here is trying to give you some insight into what others might think or feel. I have neither supported nor denied either side but for some reason you view me as the problem. I am not the one trying to further this issue so telling me to give it up is like pissing into the wind. Not my issue here and if you would take your head out of your ass once and awhile and actually read what I write you might realize that not every I say is a disagreement with you.
I told you long ago that I would call you on your lies, I will continue to do so. Respond, don't respond, I don't give a shit.
Yes, that's right, the "truth squad". You made a claim you couldn't back up. Plain and simple, you tried to talk your way out of it but couldn't. You don't see it, that's fine, you don't see a lot of stuff. Defend your position or don't, I don't care but I will still challenge you on unsubstantiate accusations because I think they are dangerous. Your actions, or inactions, speak louder than anything you write.
If it makes you feel better to call me narrow minded and insecure then that is okay too. I am not interested in having approval from you. Ever notice that you have no issues with what I write when I agree with you? But when I challenge you, you go ape shit?
Like I have said many times before Scotian, you are an angry man who has just as much intollerance for others ideas as those you chastize here on a daily basis. You cannot seperate the cause from the person. It's a big world out there, learn to accept a little more and your day will go much more pleasently.

Fri Apr 07, 12:10:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

My point was not in defence of the CPC, but rather that until their is a "free vote" they will use that as amunition to further their cause. Taking that away will expose their true ignorance, that's all. Right now they can claim that the matter was not really decided. That was my point. Now Scotian, you can hack on me and accuse me of things all day long but what I doing here is trying to give you some insight into what others might think or feel. I have neither supported nor denied either side but for some reason you view me as the problem. I am not the one trying to further this issue so telling me to give it up is like pissing into the wind. Not my issue here and if you would take your head out of your ass once and awhile and actually read what I write you might realize that not every I say is a disagreement with you.
I told you long ago that I would call you on your lies, I will continue to do so. Respond, don't respond, I don't give a shit.
Yes, that's right, the "truth squad". You made a claim you couldn't back up. Plain and simple, you tried to talk your way out of it but couldn't. You don't see it, that's fine, you don't see a lot of stuff. Defend your position or don't, I don't care but I will still challenge you on unsubstantiate accusations because I think they are dangerous. Your actions, or inactions, speak louder than anything you write.
If it makes you feel better to call me narrow minded and insecure then that is okay too. I am not interested in having approval from you. Ever notice that you have no issues with what I write when I agree with you? But when I challenge you, you go ape shit?
Like I have said many times before Scotian, you are an angry man who has just as much intollerance for others ideas as those you chastize here on a daily basis. You cannot seperate the cause from the person. It's a big world out there, learn to accept a little more and your day will go much more pleasently.

Fri Apr 07, 12:10:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

Sorry folks, must have been such a good post that scotian wanted it there twice :)
I guess i had fat fingers that day.

Sat Apr 08, 08:34:00 PM 2006  

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