Thursday, December 07, 2006

Doomed to failure

The Government's motion to reopen the same-sex marriage debate will fail today. That is a certainty.

Some of those who support the traditional definition of marriage feel betrayed:

"I think there's going to be a lot of confusion and, when the smoke clears, a resentful attitude as well,'' said Mary Ellen Douglas of the Campaign Life Coalition, a socially conservative anti-abortion group.

Douglas said Prime Minister Stephen Harper has robbed voters of a fair chance to revisit same-sex marriage, which was legalized last year.

''It doesn't help anything,'' she said of a Conservative motion debated Wednesday that has little chance of passing when it goes to a vote Thursday.


After listening to some of the debate last night, I saw that the wording of the motion left some wiggle room for Liberal MP's who previously supported traditional marriage to decide to vote against the motion due to ambiguity and concerns of how "Charter-proof" the whole exercise would be anyway.

Some Liberal MP's such as John McKay will be supporting the government motion although he criticized the way the whole thing has been handled. Others such as Paul Szabo said they might have supported it if the motion was worded only to "re-open the debate" and nothing more.

So I suppose the question is, was the wording of the motion deliberately designed to engineer its own defeat and thus fulfill an election promise that the government hopes will quickly fade away from the public eye?


Personally, I don't feel that this has been a waste of time. There were some eloquent speeches given last night. I am still trying to access them on Hansard.

Harold Albrecht's was especially illuminating. He has a strong mandate from his constituents to preserve traditional marriage and delivered this message with passion. In an article in today's Record ("Same Marriage Debate; Same Stance"), he also exposes the way democracy was thwarted by the past government:

"I have received over 1,000 letters and e-mails and phone calls and overwhelming support for the traditional definition of marriage," he said.

In a speech in the Commons last night, he accused the previous Liberal government of rushing the same-sex marriage bill into law before the voices of Canadians were heard. He pointed to the committee on justice and human rights, which conducted hearings across Canada, but never presented a report of its findings to Parliament.

"I don't feel there was adequate closer of all the studies that were undertaken," Albrecht said.

He called the hearings "nothing more than a sham," which deceived Canadians into thinking they were part of the debate.



Has democracy been served now? I'm not sure. I do think we still need to examine the repercussions of Bill C-38 with respect to decisions of conscience concerning marriage commissioners in the West who are not public employees.

I also think we need to think about how early and how graphically we as parents want our children to be taught the facts of gay life in schools - if we still have a choice.


* * * *



UPDATE: Well, I don't have to tell you how this story ended, but some people seem to be looking for my reaction.

I am breathing a sigh of relief. This is closure. Dark Blue Tory mirrors my thoughts. "It's a done deal". Let's move on.

46 comments:

ellie said...

Since the United States is so far behind Canada in this debate, I wonder when we finally reach this point, will we face the same issues. It might be a good idea to take notes.

You might not see it now, but Canada is breaking new ground that might set the standard for other Countries to follow.

Fergs said...

Like most Canadians I was originally opposed to SSM, but have come around on it. It does not affect my life, and it is not the government's job to tell me who or who I cannot marry. The fact that we can have this debate in our country shows how strong as a people we really are. The fact that it is going on in the States shows the same thing, even if different resolutions are adopted. I only hope that one day Afghanis, Iraqis, and Iranians can live in a country where such a debate is possible.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ellie, when the States get to this point (and note I said "when" not "if"), please stand up for all rights; such as freedom of speech and conscience. Thanks.


Fergs - If the Muslim extremists and terrorists get their way, and North America is taken over, I wonder if they will stand up for gay rights.

ellie said...

No doubt about it Joanne. I will be right in the middle of it!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Good for you, Ellie! Your brother is blessed to have you on his side.

Steph said...

Fergs said: it is not the government's job to tell me who or who I cannot marry

It's not? Isn't it the government who tells us that you can't marry your brother or sister? Or your first cousin? Or your three girlfriends?

Or do you mean it shouldn't be the government's job to tell us this? Just wondering. (oops now I guess I'm being like one of Red Tory's kids -- stirring the pot and then leaving).

ellie said...

I think we can all draw our own conclusions about that. I think incest & poligamy is another issue, and the comment was taken out of context.

If you think that incest & poligamy are okay, there are countries that do not frown upon it...move there and you will be all set.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

In Canada polygamy and polyamorous relationships are not legal but neither are they prosecuted. So they may as well be legal.

I still don't see why two same-sex siblings can't get married. I really don't.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you think that incest & poligamy are okay, there are countries that do not frown upon it...move there and you will be all set.

BTW, there goes Ellie's tolerance.

ellie said...

Not at all Joanne...still tolorant. Just "stirring the pot" a little. But notice, I am not running (yet) With a name like Ellie...I can't be too brash can I?

I am not sure if I am against poligamy. I can't say that one person's religon is right or wrong. If the poligamy is apart of the religon, and other wives know about the one another. But if we go there, and I decide to become a poligamist...I want a few husbands. :)
Nothing wrong with variety (that IS a joke)

I am not going to even touch the incest topic.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

just "stirring the pot" a little.

Ha! I've been known to do that from time to time as well.

I watched an interesting documentary on our Communist Broadcasting Corp channel last night about polyamory.

I think the family is located in the States. Dad just had too much to share so he and his wife took in 2 extra "wives". They all take turns with him, but try to hide the extra wives from their 2 kids. I was trying to figure out what the kiddies would do if they saw this show on TV, or maybe the net? lol!

ellie said...

That is wrong. I think that you should live for your children and hiding something like that is detrimental. One day they will find out, it all matters on how they will find out.

Zac said...

he also exposes the way democracy was thwarted by the past government

So, since Martin whipped his cabinet, the vote was not free, and can be ignored?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So, since Martin whipped his cabinet, the vote was not free, and can be ignored?

Good grief. What convoluted logic!

No, I was referring to the cross-country hearings and the findings of which were never allowed to be presented to Parliament.

Zac said...

Ok, but was the first vote free, in your mind?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ok, but was the first vote free, in your mind?

Why do I feel that this is a trap?

Gabby in QC said...

Despite efforts to point out
1. the undemocratic way that Bill C-38 became law, and
2. the long-range effect of SSM on the rest of society (cf. Margaret Somerville)
let's face it, those opposed to SSM are on the losing side of this question.

Now the tactics being used are appeals to emotion. Case in point: NDP MP Bill Siksay, rather than argue why he thought the SSM debate should not be reopened, proceeded to read the touching "wedding" vows read by two couples, one gay and the other lesbian.

Couple that with personal stories of the humiliation and shame some have suffered, and all those mean-spirited and hard-hearted far-right extremist neo-cons (like me) just break down and cry.

Zac said...

Why do I feel that this is a trap?

Well, perhaps it is and I suppose I should be more straight forward.

The argument that I hear from numerous CPC MP's, including Rob Nicholson, and Michael Fortier is that this debate and vote is needed because the first vote was not free. I've heard you use such an argument as well.

If this is true, would the logical extension negate the "nation" vote and leave every other vote in which one caucus was whipped open for revision?

Anonymous said...

Yes, just as open as that vote against ssm in 1999.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If this is true, would the logical extension negate the "nation" vote and leave every other vote in which one caucus was whipped open for revision?

Ah-HAH!! I thought that's where this was heading!!! ;)

My reply would be that this is an issue of conscience; the other was an issue of national policy.

Zac said...

My reply would be that this is an issue of conscience; the other was an issue of national policy.

Sure seemed like a matter of conscience to Michael Chong, how many more are in the CPC caucus who are like him?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, as you know I felt badly about Michael Chong feeling that he had to resign his ministerial post.

I blame Iggy for opening up that whole can of worms.

Zac said...

Fine, blame whomever you like, if you read my blog you'd know that I place the blame in somewhat the same direction, but would you agree that the "nation" vote was also a vote of conscience?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, Gabby. Not exactly a debate that flowed from logic on the part of Siksay.

Zac, what do you think about the results of the cross-country hearings never being presented to Parliament? Do you think that was just something to placate the Pat O'Brien's?

Just read your next comment. I must get myself over to your place to catch up. Do I think the Nation vote was a vote of conscience? No, it was possibly a vote of ideology. "Conscience" implys a moral decision.

O.K. Now I'm going to check out your blog in a bit.

Zac said...

"Conscience" implys a moral decision

To me, defining Quebec as a nation would be a moral decision in my mind, it was Ken Dryden, it was for Michael Chong, it was for Jimmy K, as it was for many parliamentarians. There are more votes in the house of commons that could be defined as "moral" decisions. This is one of them, but there are others.

You don't have to read what I wrote if you don't want to, I was just saying that you'll find my anger regarding the nation resolution in plain sight.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You don't have to read what I wrote if you don't want to

Oh, I want to. ;)

I guess again it all boils down to semantics. For me "moral decision" involves religion. For you, it involves politics. Your bible is the Charter. Your religious garment is the flag.

All hail the great Charter Prophet Pierre! Bow down and worship.

Zac said...

Your bible is the Charter. Your religious garment is the flag

Nope, I'm jewish. My "bible" is the torah and my religion garment is the tzitzit and the kippah.

Despite what you might think, I'm not some athiest lemming, blindly following the secular instructions of dead politicians.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Despite what you might think, I'm not some athiest lemming, blindly following the secular instructions of dead politicians.

lol! Good one. Actually I thought you said somewhere that you weren't too into religion. I knew you were Jewish; just that I thought you hadn't practised it for a while.

I checked back into your archives, and yes I can see where you weren't too thrilled with "Iggy Nation". I guess my take on it is that the Bloc had put forward a Nation motion, and the Quebec cabinet ministers felt they had to support it. That put Harper in a difficult spot, hence the reworded motion.

If the cabinet had not voted with the government motion, I suppose the Québécois would have been a tad miffed.

I can understand it from a political perspective. I do respect Mr. Chong for his decision. I believe he made it from the heart. I think his career as a Conservative is over though.

Zac said...

I can understand it from a political perspective. I do respect Mr. Chong for his decision. I believe he made it from the heart.

So you can see how the motion could be seen as a matter of conscience to some?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So you can see how the motion could be seen as a matter of conscience to some?

O.K. UNCLE!!! Sheesh.

Zac said...

O.K. UNCLE!!! Sheesh.

Ok, now I leave.

Cheers.

Zac said...

I forgot to add:

interesting as always Joanne.

Anonymous said...

So Joanne, where is your anger towards the Cons?
Where was Harper during the debate?
What’s clear is that there is now more support for SSM.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

interesting as always Joanne

Ditto. I always enjoy debating with you Zac. It makes me crazy, but I do enjoy it. Cheers!

Mac said...

Like I said in other thread, the sooner this is over and done, the better. There are issues of greater substance for the government to deal with than SSM. Time for the MPs to start earning their salaries.

Gabby in QC said...

Somewhat off topic, but ...

Just viewed some interviews on Garth Turner's MPtv re: SSM (day before vote).

Fair and balanced question asked of Defend Marriage Canada spokesperson Joseph Ben-Ami by fair and balanced CBC reporter Julie Van Dusen:
"Why are you picking on gays?"

Yes indeed, a fair and balanced debate. AND a fair and balanced Press Gallery that is *obviously* trying to get at the truth.

Cherniak_WTF said...

The silence is deafening here....

Jay said...

Usually when some one gets a job and doesn't like it or when conditions change they get a new job, not new management.

Boo hoo for the marriage councillors.

Even though I disagree with polygamy I would support people who want it to fight for it. A little tit for tat for the games the social conservatives are playing with my marriage. I can help can make your lives hell also.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CWTF - lots of stuff on Blogging Tories. I have nothing to add.

Crabgrass said...

Has this topic been kicked to snot, or what?

I've posted a colourful graphic representation of my position on the matter at my blog.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Crabcrass, is that a rainbow image?

Joanne, actually there is next to nothing on this on Blogging Tories.

Hey, since you like these guys so much, lets see what they wrote about:
Canada Government Bid to Reopen debate on Homosexual "Marriage" Defeated 175 to 123
Only 20 of 308 MPs were in Commons for the Debate

OTTAWA, December 7, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canada's Conservative government's motion to re-open the debate on same-sex marriage was defeated in the House of Commons today by a vote of 175 to 123.

The margin of defeat was wider than expected with fewer pro-family Liberals voting in favour of the motion. The wording of the motion added to its rejection as it included acceptance of same-sex "marriages" that have already taken place under the current law.

It is widely acknowledged that the measure was not a serious attempt to reopen debate. CanWest News reporter Janice Tibbetts captured that message in two lines of her coverage. Tibbetts wrote: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the man who promised to bring the contentious same-sex marriage issue back to the Commons, was absent from the chamber and had no plans to defend traditional marriage as debate opened Wednesday on whether to revoke Canada's same-sex marriage law. The Commons was virtually empty, with about 20 of 308 members showing up."

Crabgrass said...

Cherniak_WTF said...
Crabrass, is that a rainbow image?

Good guess, CWTF, but no. It's not for or against (though I personally can't conceive of a way that SSM could ever hurt me or anyone else, and think that we should move the hell on).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sorry Crabgrass. I didn't quite get what you were trying to say with your graphic.

CWTF - Read the update on this post.

Steph said...

I don't feel like this issue was given its proper voice with this motion any more than it was when Bill C-38 was on the table. But part of me at this point just wants to say "whatever".

Crabgrass said...

Joanne - I'm afraid I'm a bit obscure sometimes.

My point was really that I don't want to think or talk anbout it any more, in the spirit of your update to this post.

Sort of like "...we now conclude our programming for the day". Does it make sense now? I thought it was hilarious, but I think I'm sometimes alone in that...

I hope you have a great Christmas.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne - I'm afraid I'm a bit obscure sometimes.

That's o.k. Crabgrass. I've been known to be obtuse myself. Not sure which is worse.

Sort of like "...we now conclude our programming for the day". Does it make sense now? I thought it was hilarious, but I think I'm sometimes alone in that... Oh!!!! I get it now!!!!! Heh! That was great. See the problem is that the rest of us just aren't quite up to your intellectually nuanced wit. But I like it. The old test pattern. Show's over folks!

The people who will hate that this is over the most won't be the social conservatives. It will be the Liberal media that can't hang this on Harper anymore. What are they going to rant about now?

Merry Christmas to you too Crabgrass. :)