In case you missed it, Alberta is pumping more cash into fighting gay marriage - $110,000 and counting. You know, Conservatives whine and whine about Liberals wasting money but we've seen million spent on a Senate election which won't elect Senators and now more money going into a legal fight they know they'll lose. I can't wait until the multi-billion dollar project to try and prevent the sun from rising in the East. Here's what the Edmonton Journal has to say:
Source: The Edmonton Journal
Gay marriage may not be the slightest practical threat to the traditional heterosexual relationship, but it certainly seems to be straining the union between social-conservative Tory MLAs and Ralph Klein's more pragmatic cabinet.
On a week when you'd think that desperate ranchers and the extension of the cattle-export ban would be exercising the governing caucus, MLAs were putting all their energies into reversing a sensible decision not to seek a hopeless legal battle against the proposed new definition of marriage being debated in our federal Parliament.
The government's legal advice is that provinces have no constitutional jurisdiction over the definition of marriage, and that as a result, an Alberta attempt to use the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the subject would accomplish nothing more than waste federal and provincial tax dollars on lawyers and court time in a challenge Ottawa would surely win.
Apparently, scoring political points is a good use of public money for these backbenchers. What a shame Klein -- who doubtless remembers past legal lost causes involving gay rights -- couldn't convince them otherwise.
Even more perplexing is Klein's flip-flop on this issue. Last week, Klein admitted defeat, conceding that "There's a 99.9% chance that we would lose".
But after a caucus rebellion and pressure from the mighty Alberta Alliance (slogan: "Half as powerful as the federal PCs in 1993!"), Klein has reversed his decision and announced he will fight the decision. Now, I know Ralph is a gambler, but 999-1 odds are a little steep to be wagering this kind of money on. So, it's pretty clear that the social right is alive and well in Alberta and still has a lot of influence on the outgoing Premier.
Bottom line - watch out for Ted Morton in the PC leadership race. The moderates are still in the minority in this party and Jim Dinning is not going to coast to victory as every commentator in this province seems to believe.