Monday, December 04, 2006

Same-sex marriage vote coming

Well here it is, folks! My long-awaited post re: SSM. (Yeah, I know you've all been staying up at nights anticipating this...)

The motion will read as follows:


"That this house call on the government to introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions, and while respecting existing same sex marriages."



I have several problems with the wording, but here is my first question. Just how "free" will this vote be? Will Stephane Dion totally whip his caucus into submission?


Already one Liberal, Ontario MP John McKay, said he would defy that directive:

"Kick me out of the caucus, go ahead," challenged Liberal MP John McKay. "If the Liberal leader decides that's a good idea ... That will be the first issue of which he and I will have a falling out."


Will any of his like-minded Liberal MP colleagues join him?

Mr. Wappel? Mr. Karygiannis? Mr. McTeague? Mr. Steckle? Mr. Szabo?



What this all boils down to is the following: Is this an issue of Rights or Conscience/Religion?

Also, we still have this murky area about Marriage Commissioners. Should they be allowed to abstain from performing a same-sex marriage due to religious conflicts or not?

These are the questions that are on my mind today.


UPDATE: Great interview on Mike Duffy tonight with Liberal MP John McKay asking that all party leaders allow a true free vote. He feels that this would bring closure to the issue. Conservative MP Gerald Keddy supports SSM, and seemed less enthusiastic about an all-party free vote although he seemed grateful that Stephen Harper was allowing him to vote his conscience. Both MP's feel that there is debate fatigue with this issue, and would like to move on.


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For more on the other Scary Steve, check out Halls of Macadamia!

True North
- "Dion ready to force caucus..."

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Tuesday Update: CTV - John McKay speaks out:


"The grievance of those who support the traditional definition of marriage is the previous two governments have whipped their cabinet, which means the vote in the House has been something less than entirely free."



27 comments:

Calgary Junkie said...

The whipped/not whipped aspect of this debate is in many ways the most interesting aspect of this issue. Having the SSM vote now, so soon after the Liberal leader is chosen, and with practically no time to figure out how to finesse the whipped aspect, again shows the true genius of Harper. Hardball tactics and the squeeze of the Libs from left and right is starting, and will be a joy to watch. I'm hoping for a non-whipped decision so we can marvel at how Layton goes into hysterics about the Liberals not caring about human rights, equality, etc etc. And will the MSM then jump all over Dion for being such a wimp, not standing up to the right-wing dinosaurs in his caucus ? Great stuff Mr. Harper ! Keep those hardballs coming, aimed at Dion's head.

Riley Hennessey said...

Joanne,

What I meant was what did you think about the wording itself. Does it go far enough for you? Will this dissapoint Harper's base?

Reason I ask is I think this motion is a watered down excuse to move past the issue. He knows it will fail. He knows he doesn't want it to sound harsh so that come next election, the other parties can't really hammer him on it.

All of these issues add up to the fact Harper wants to shelf this like Adrienna Clarkson's biography.

As a social-conservative who clearly disagrees with SSM, I thought the wording would irk you?

Always enjoy your opinions Joanne so this is why I ask. Also, say this vote fails, cause we know it will, do you think if Harper gets a majority he'd bring it up again? Cause I don't.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

As a social-conservative who clearly disagrees with SSM, I thought the wording would irk you?

Riley, the wording irks me to the extent that it doesn't really answer a lot of questions; notably who has the right to refuse to perform a SSM, and adoption rights, and so on.

It's nothing more or less than Harper promised, so I personally do not feel betrayed, but I do feel that some important ramifications are not being addressed here.

say this vote fails, cause we know it will, do you think if Harper gets a majority he'd bring it up again? Cause I don't. If you're asking whether or not Harper would lose his social conservative base, I doubt it. Perhaps the extreme ones, who might try to start up another Reform type party (God forbid!) or go over to Family Coalition or something, but that would accomplish nothing.

Red Tory said...

Playing politics with people's lives... yeah, that's the "true genius of Harper" alright. As David Giuliano, moderator of the United Church, said of this ridiculous stunt, its a “morally inexcusable” waste of time and effort.

PGP said...

"....Playing politics with people's lives..."

And I suppose that the Liberal introduction of the SSM legislation was NOT!

Laughable ....Liberalism is founded on Hubris!

Red Tory said...

Hubris has nothing to do with striving to achieve social equality Sweater Guy. Perhaps you might want to go look up the word and in future employ it correctly.

liberal supporter said...

I think the idea that "bringing in SSM was playing politics with peoples lives" is typical of "the party of me". Somehow, accepting certain people so they have the same rights as everyone else is infringing on someone else's rights.

What those other rights are, I don't know. Is it the right to pretend there are no gays in the world? Or perhaps the right to separate people into us and them?

Cherniak_WTF said...

Sweater Guy, why do you even want to debate this?
Really, you are a homophobic right-winger that would like to deny equal rights to a group of citizens.

I have yet to see how the SSM has denied you and the religious nuts any rights.

So please tell us how having SSM has somehow denied you of rights...

Red Tory said...

What… No response from Joanne? Or will we just get the now familiar “I’m just saying” cop-out retort. You admit that the question as framed fails to address numerous issues surrounding this contentious matter that you regard to be of importance. In other words it is a waffling, pandering, equivocating motion simply designed to placate hard-line social conservatives, but has been engineered to fail. However, you don’t tackle the nettlesome question of why it is being re-opened in the first place, nor do you venture to speculate on the significance of its almost inevitable failure, nor will you castigate Harper for toying around with this and insulting your intelligence. Your friend from Calgary wants to change the channel to make it a question of whipping and how much more supposedly open the Conservative party is to such “free votes” as if that proves something.

PGP said...

The brave warriors of liberalism seem to be in a snit!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

However, you don’t tackle the nettlesome question of why it is being re-opened in the first place

It's being reopened because there never was a true free vote the first time around. It is obvious that there won't be a truly free vote again. That is the disappointment, and it has everything to do with being whipped; contrary to your snide remarks, Red.

liberal supporter said...

I do not get a vote in the matter, whether this is whipped or not. To claim that whipping makes it undemocratic, vs the "free" vote as being democratic, is laughable, when in either case I do not get a vote.

Whipping does mean that your right wing special interest pressure groups cannot as easily employ divide and conquer techniques on individual MPs. Ever watch Ontario teachers unions up against individual school boards? Same thing. Unfair pressure from professional lobbyists against individuals.

I'm sure they have their best closers in town to try to inflict their reign of terror on MPs.

Red Tory said...

The smug, grumpy, middle-aged, right-wing tokens of asshattery represented by Sweater Guy seem to be bereft of cogent argument. I hope you’re enjoying breathing the powerful aroma of your own farts considering the obstinate and physically awkward disposition of your head.

Joanne, as usual (I should expect this by now) you didn’t address any of my points other than to focus on the “free” aspect of the vote. This motion is going down in flames. Should be interesting to see what your reaction is afterwards. I can conjure your response already, but will be amused to see it formulated by you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne, as usual (I should expect this by now) you didn’t address any of my points other than to focus on the “free” aspect of the vote. You seem to have some kind of underlying assumption that I must address every point you attempt to make. Somewhat controlling of you, isn't it?

In any case, I don't expect much to come of this. Token effort. I'm not angry with Harper. I'm angry with Paul Martin.

Cherniak_WTF said...

"In any case, I don't expect much to come of this. Token effort. I'm not angry with Harper. I'm angry with Paul Martin."

- Why not be angry with Harper? He should word it to appease all you bigots except he's too scared.
This is a questions of equality, not religious bigotry and yet you are angry at someone that had the balls to promote equal rights?...

Typical Sweater Guy - full of bluster except when it comes to debating with substance - written diarrhoea as it's worse...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This is a questions of equality, not religious bigotry and yet you are angry at someone that had the balls to promote equal rights?...

No, Martin did it as a issue of political expediency and made a deal with the devil in order to get his budget passed.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Then get Harper and the Harperoids to ask the question in a way that will appease you.
He's in power now, failure to do so, should indicate that he's too chicken and using the RR...

PGP said...

My Dear RT...Hubris...as in you believing that you have said anything worthy of a measured or thoughtful response.

Childish sophomoric retorts and name calling, the mark of simple adolescent petulance, remain your habit. Once again you have returned to where you always seem to when your precious assumptions are challenged.Thus, giving the lie to all of your pretensions of high mindedness and intellectual honesty.

As evidence that you exist as a legend in your own mind mounts with every word you write the world is granted an ever clearer view into your empty existence.

Cherniak_WTF said...

SweaterGuy, I'm still waiting for a debate with you. You have once again failed to answer/respond/copy-paste talking points....

Amazing how Liberals and some Libertarians have no qualms about visiting here and Liberal sites yet you remain in your safe little haven...
Sheesh, I've seen 4 years old able to construct stronger arguments than you have.

Mac said...

I support SSM, as Joanne knows, and I like to think I've presented my reasons for doing so reasonably, politely, logically and without attacking others.

RT and c_wtf, you should be ashamed of your conduct. You've done nothing but attack, deride and mock PGP and Joanne. Do you somehow hope to persuade PGP and/or Joanne of the err of their ways or beliefs by this display?

Debate? You aren't interested in debate so why pretend such? Only to attempt to justify your obnoxious behaviour!

Cherniak_WTF said...

mac, you can do better than that.
Yes I can be rude at times but opening of the SSM issue is pandering to RR.
Not only that, is shows how little respect Joanne and SweaterGuy have for others on this issue.

Harper and the Droids are chicken: they are putting forth a motion that will likely fail and don't have the courage to word it so that it can appease the likes of Joanne and SweaterGuy. The end result is that bigots will want to reopen this debate ad nauseam...

liberal supporter said...

We are hearing that "they won't try it again, even with a majority".

I do not believe that.

Mac said...

I can only guess at why the Conservatives chose the wording they did. They committed to make this motion and they intend to keep the promise but I would say they realize most people are sick to death of the SSM debate (I sure am!) so they've throw together a proposal which contains enough buzzwords to appease the social conservatives within the party.

They know full well that a strongly worded motion would fall flat on it's face and provide ammunition for the left in the next election. I guess it's kinda like the Referendum question... a simple yes or no won't do so they've soaped it up.

The debate will be brief. Those on both sides who want to rant will do so, likely more so outside of the House than inside, and a "vote of conscience" will be held. The results are predictable. They'll have kept their promise and they'll move on.

This attempt at appeasement of that social conservative element of the party is one of the reasons why I'm not sold on Harper... but if the alternative is parties like the Grits & Dippers who are determined to repeat the failed socialism experiment here in Canada, I'm voting Con!

Those who strongly disagree with SSM will continue to do so regardless of any vote, no matter how it is worded. Like all attempts to legislation morality (or socialism for that matter) all efforts are doomed to failure.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Thanks for that explanation Mac.
I'd wish that SweaterGuy or Joanne would have explained their motivation.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CWTF - I'd wish that SweaterGuy or Joanne would have explained their motivation.

Motivation for what?


The end result is that bigots will want to reopen this debate ad nauseam...

I suppose you would be very happy to see Freedom of Speech denied to Social Conservatives.


PGP - As evidence that you exist as a legend in your own mind mounts with every word you write the world is granted an ever clearer view into your empty existence.

Very eloquent.


The debate will be brief. Those on both sides who want to rant will do so, likely more so outside of the House than inside, and a "vote of conscience" will be held.

Mac, that's interesting. You say a 'vote of conscience' will be held. Do you mean the conscience of the party leader, except in the case of the Conservative caucus?

Zac said...

Do you mean the conscience of the party leader, except in the case of the Conservative caucus?

Joanne, before you get all huffy about that aspect, think back to the "nation" vote and the three-line whip that Harper employed. Try to avoid thinking that Harper is somehow democratically superior to other party leaders because it ain't true.

Mac said...

Jo, I'm going from memory but I believe what the Conservatives promised during the last election was to hold a vote whether to reopen the SSM issue or not and committed to allow their MPs free vote- a vote of conscience- so the MPs can truly represent the views of their constituents rather than the position of the party.