Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why does Canada ignore polygamy?

The Toronto Sun has obtained a report released by University of Toronto law professor Rebecca Cook, which slams Canada for allowing "polygamous relationships to thrive with impunity", thereby violating international human rights law.

Apparently it is up to the province and police to lay charges, but Justice Minister Vic Toews vowed the Conservative government would strongly defend the law prohibiting polygamy.

I have a couple of questions. First of all, why is B.C. so reluctant to deal with this?

Secondly, what if anything was Status of Women doing about it all this time?

20 comments:

Shane said...

Same reason BC is so reluctant to do anything about soaring marijuana use. Far be it from ouour police and government to actually enforce the laws of this country.

Actually, looking deeper, it may well have something to do with the lingering aftertaste of another strange sect that made its home in the Kootenays: the Dukhobours. Google them for more info. Suffice to say it was and remains a very black eye on the government and police of BC, and they probably don't want to fight another "war" against religious zealots.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Shane - Sounds just like Ontario's Calendonia crisis!

What does it take for the provinces to get some um... intestinal fortitude?

Repeat after me: "If you ignore it, it will go away."

Swift said...

Polygamy is not diuscrimination against women UNLESS women are forbidden to have more than one husband. Do I hear this United Natios agency complaining about the discrimination against women in all areas of life that is present in many countries of thenon western nations? The silence is deafening!

Anonymous said...

Ignore polygamy? Liberal voting Canadians endorse polygamy, just give them a chance to make it law and they will.

It's not that they don't hate those Christian polygamists because they certainly do, Liberals are salivating at the prospect of more Muslim votes because traditional Canadian values mean nothing to Liberals.

liberal supporter said...

anon:
"traditional Canadian values mean nothing to Liberals."
Yes, the natives certainly agree with that. Or were you referring to more recent values brought by the settlers?

Joanne, you're right that it could fall within SWC issues, it should be no different than with couples where coercion is involved. A polygamous relationship is only recognized as one or more common law relationships, possibly with one or more legal marriage. Would it automatically be considered abusive? It would probably fall under the definition of a cult, and abuse is often found in those.

Unlike same sex marriage where there is still a couple, polygamy is not something that can demand equal treatment in any charter based challenge. In SSM it is a matter of marriage being for two people, and you can't restrict on basis of gender. Only on basis of age or blood relation.

We don't have a legally recognized relationship of more than 2 people (other than situations like business partnerships and corporations) and there is nothing compelling us to have one. I can see court cases recognizing support rights for people in polygamous situations, but that does not amount to legal standing for the relationship. Just as you can sue your former cult after deprogramming, it doesn't give the cult legal status.

Jeff said...

Why does Canada ignore polygamy? The same reason we ignore and foot-drag on everything else, too. We're ruled by liberals 3/4 of the time.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good point, Jeff. Hey, this isn't my 'buddy', Jeff is it?

Jeff said...

"In SSM it is a matter of marriage being for two people, and you can't restrict on basis of gender. Only on basis of age or blood relation.
"
You gotta love the logic of a liberal: You can't restrict on the basis of gender!! You can only restrict on the basis of these other arbitrary factors.
The truth is the government can restrict on the basis of any factor they like. If you read through the spin, even the supreme court agreed on that one.

Jeff said...

I don't think I'm the Jeff you think I am. I have noticed a number of other Jeff's posting around and getting confused with me. Maybe I need a pseudonym, eh?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Jeff. You just proved that you're not the Jeff I was thinking of, because he is very pro gay marriage.
Very good points, but when you say the government can restrict on the basis of any factor they like, I would say it's more likely the unelected, undemocratic courts that have the power to do so.

Red Tory said...

Funny how this is getting blamed on liberals.

liberal supporter said...

When you cannot come up with a response, and it's a place where swearing is not allowed, bleat and repeat the following:

conervatives good, liberals bad

four legs good, two legs bad

liberal supporter said...

Why have elected judges? They are appointed by the government that we do elect. Is the problem that they were appointed by an earlier government that is not now in power? They have no legitimacy since they are not appointed by the "new" government?

So we just let Parliament decide everything, and appoint its judges on day one after an election.

Why stop there? Many people voted for CPC but do not agree with all of its platform. Why not have votes on each item. Why can't I vote for the softwood deal, but vote againt the defence of religions act?

Why not go for real direct democracy? We'll have a vote on everything, every time it comes up.

I'm just going out for lunch now, assuming we didn't ban cars in the vote this morning. If not, I'll wait till tomorrow's vote and maybe cars will be legal again.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering.

How are these people are breaking the law?

I mean, if four women and one man want to live together and call it polygamy...okay.

Just don't ask me to fund it.

What I do find objectionable is how the girls are FORCED to marry men twice or three times their age.

While I think this could possibly be a valid issue, I suspect the issue is so minor on the scale of things...I wonder if it should be a priority.

Of course it would mean SOW wouldn't be sticking its nose in REALLY important stuff...maybe that'd be an advantage.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It was Paul Martin who talked about getting rid of the notwithstanding clause just before the election, and just after some document was leaked about the idea of decriminalized polygamy in order to "protect" women.

Does anyone remember anything about that?

Joanne (True Blue) said...


I mean, if four women and one man want to live together and call it polygamy...okay.

Just don't ask me to fund it.


lol!!! Now, there's an angle I hadn't thought of!

Anyway how is this different from swinging, which is perfectly legal and socially acceptable?

Yes, as long as we are talking about adults, and nobody is being forced into the relationship, where is the harm? Good point.

Crabgrass said...

Suzanne - What is SOW? Do you mean SWC?

counter-coulter said...

Secondly, what if anything was Status of Women doing about it all this time?

Talk about covering all your bases of outrage:

* Not too long ago you were complaining about what a waste of "your tax dollars" the SWC is and how it should be disbanded.

* Now you're asking why the SWC isn't doing anything about polygamy (of all things).

* And thirdly, if the SWC was doing something about it, you would be screeching to the heavens about how "your tax dollars" are being wasted by the SWC persuing such piffle.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CC - I really don't know if Status of Women were involved in this file or not. I was saying though, that this would have been an admirable task to take on.

I hope they don't discriminate against women involved in polygamous relationships.

Sara said...

very true about SWC... I think because no one over paid lobbiest to bring it to their attention!