Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Now Pronounce You Partner and Partner

As we all patiently wait for Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper to lose the suffix, my thoughts turn inevitably to the contentious same-sex marriage issue. I think everyone would like this to be settled once and for all, but I don't think it is ever going to happen. Both sides feel much too strongly about it. Any initative from Parliament is unlikely to resolve the disparity.

Social Conservatives were led to believe that Stephen Harper would rescind Bill C-38, but Deputy Conservative Leader Peter MacKay said recently on CTV's Question Period, that "It's not going to be brought back as a legislative initiative to strike down same-sex marriage. It would be brought back to decide whether Parliament wanted to go down that road."

More agitation. More marches. More anger. If openly-gay Liberal M.P. Scott Brison is appointed interim party leader, we can look forward to him advocating for his own "rights" as well as those of the LGBT community. (Sounds like a deli sandwich, doesn't it?)

Here are my thoughts - We first have to distinguish between issues of rights and social issues. I have yet to hear anyone present a solid case to me that this is a "rights" issue. I hear a lot of rhetoric, but nothing substantive. Let's address this first.

If gay "marriage" can be proven to be a right, then we need to deal with it accordingly and ensure that all benefits and entitlements are granted equally. If it is not a right, then we are looking at a social issue, and I personally feel that this should be resolved by a referendum.

Finally, even if we end up proving that gay marriage is a right in Canada, people of various faiths and religious beliefs will still never give up the fight.

Therefore, I think the Canadian government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Let's just have "civil unions" for everyone, performed at an accredited municipal location, and devoid of any religious context. Then, anyone wishing a more traditional and religious ceremony could have that arranged afterwards at the church of their choice. It would be a two-step process, but it would take the word "marriage" out of the hands of the government, and give it back to the individual and God.

I welcome any thoughts and comments on this. My feelings will not be hurt if you disagree!

Friday, January 27, 2006

What is Happening to Me?

As I watched Stephen Harper hold his first news conference as Prime Minister designate, I became aware of an unusual feeling percolating upwards (no, it wasn't gas). It was a strange emotion; barely recognizable and so long suppressed. Finally I was able to define it! Canadian pride! I am proud to be a Canadian again! No more embarrassment or humiliation on the world stage.

I am Canadian!!!

Hey, why does that make me think of beer, eh?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A bittersweet Victory

Well, I’m slowly crawling out of my unexplained funk today. Stephen Harper will be the next Prime Minister of Canada! And yet, I mourn for our local candidate who made such an incredible effort. My daughter and I spent countless afternoons and evenings over the past five months canvassing with him. We were so hopeful, but our riding seems set in its Liberal ways for the moment.

However, when I look at the big picture, I can’t help being amazed that we actually booted the Liberals out of their self-proclaimed entitlement to power! Congratulations Stephen Harper on a job well done!

Mr. Harper and his worthy caucus now have the difficult task of trying to re-establish public trust in government. With the help of the NDP and the Bloc, this task should be facilitated. Liberal corruption will be exposed and punished. I have the feeling that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg on that issue.

Canada now has a truly federal party with a national, inclusive view; one that Quebec can cling to with hope; one that will finally give the west a voice that has been so long shut out.

God Bless Canada! The sky didn’t fall - and it is a glorious shade of blue!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Still Basking in the Afterglow

Actually, I forgot to mention a few things about yesterday. Well, I didn't actually forget, but it was a little strange.

When I was trying to make my way through the dense crowd to the area where Harper and company were exiting, the throng was so thick, I was at the point of turning back. However, I suddenly caught sight of an elderly woman moving in the direction of the exit door, and the crowd was making way for her. I followed close behind and the sea of humanity filled back in behind us. That's when I found myself nose to nose with the RCMP guy.

I don't know what happened to that little old lady, or where she disappeared to or who she was, but looking back on that, wasn't it amazing?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stephen Harper and the Elusive Mr. Akin

I’m still flying ten stories high! What an awesome afternoon! The Stephen Harper rally in Kitchener at Bingeman Park was incredible. The room was jam-packed with excited supporters. My friends and I arrived well ahead of time, and snagged a few of the remaining chairs that were left. I had brought along a photo of Mr. Harper and myself taken at a media event a few months ago. I was hoping he would sign it, but my hopes dimmed as the crowd grew bigger.

The media started trickling in, and I noticed Globe columnist Christy Blatchford out of the corner of my eye. She was standing on a media riser and chatting amicably with a fellow nearby. I recalled my email to fellow blogger David Akin of CTV that I was going to try to say hi to him, but since he was not in sight, I managed to ask Christy if she knew where he was, and mentioned that I had hoped to see him.

She said, ”Oh, you’re the BLOGGER!”

“Um, yeah!” Wow, who knew? Well, yes, I guess I am, come to think of it.

Anyway, she said she’d watch for him. As the pandemonium rose, and even more people jammed in, I felt a nudge at my elbow. Someone was telling me to look at Christy, who was smiling and pointing back at a very tall good looking gentleman, who I recognized as David Akin. He returned my wave and smiled, all the while talking on his cell. There was no hope of even getting close to him.

Stephen Harper eventually arrived to a thunderous, cheering crowd. He was introduced by the amazing MPP Elizabeth Witmer, and then he started whipping up the crowd into a frenzy! He was awesome! His message of hope for a country so starved for integrity in leadership, was inspiring and uplifting.

As he made his way out towards a side door, I knew it was now or never to try to get my photo signed. I wormed my way towards the departing entourage, and was stopped by the RCMP bodyguards. I held out my photo and silver sharpie with a hopeful look on my face, and I guess I garnered their sympathy, and I was allowed to stay in line.

“Lady with photo to be signed”, I heard one fellow mumbling into his mouthpiece.

Mr. Harper was making his way down the line, but his back was to me as he went past.

“Prime Minister Harper!”, I called out, and he turned around. I held out my photo and pen, and he signed it. Then we shook hands. Awesome.

Afterwards I was looking for David Akin by the media busses, but he was nowhere to be seen. I did however run into Monte Solberg, who I had met once before at a rally for our local candidate, and he remembered my name! Incredible. What a great guy!

All in all, a most amazing day. The crazy part is that it was easier to shake hands with Stephen Harper and Monte Solberg, than with David Akin. Who knew?

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Non-Partisan Plea

I am sending this out into the Canadian Blogosphere on behalf of volunteers of all party stripes who are canvassing in this election: We are volunteers!! That means we do not receive any pay or compensation of any kind for our hours and hours of walking up and down streets, knocking on doors, slipping on ice and trying really hard not to have our noses running when you answer your door. We have encountered all kinds of weather. Our pens have frozen to our fingertips. We have encountered freezing rain, ice pellets, sleet and slush. We are wet, cold and exhausted.

When you answer the doorbell, please don't just glance at our party brochure and slam the door in our faces. We are out here because we think we can make a difference; each in our own way. We care about our country, and where it is going. To those businesses and stores that won't let canvassers use their washrooms, I ask you to consider what price you put on democracy and freedom? Is it not in your best interest to provide your facilities so that our country can continue to flourish and encourage free enterprise? (And by the way, to that great Jamaican restaurant owner - I won't say where - Thanks so much for having pity on two cold and desparate women today!).

And to all those people that actually smiled, and thanked us for canvassing and delivering a message of hope, I say thank you! Your encouragement is what keeps us going. We believe in Canada, and we believe in democracy. But we can't do it without your support. God bless you!