Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Burning Money

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.

7 Comments:

  • Apparently, some suggest that Morton may even splinter the PCs and become the leader of a rural Conservative party which would amalgamate with the Alliance...

    I think the upcoming Alberta Liberal convention in May, under the title "Organizing to Win", will be a very interesting meeting. I mean, Taft's promising us a victory, so I'm hoping he has some kind of remarkable game plan up his sleeve to capitalize on potential fissures within the Alberta right.

    By Blogger Jim, at 6:23 PM  

  • It's a sad day when Ralph Klein is being more sensible than someone. It's even sadder when those someones make up a substantial portion of the provincial legislature.

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 7:07 PM  

  • they spent quite a bit of money fighting kyoto and the gun registry in spite of the views of the majority of albertans. did'nt they take the gun registry fight all the way to the supreme court? then there was Vriend v. Alberta (King's College wrongful dismissal suit) which they fought endlessly knowing from the start it was not winnable. and on and on and on...then they scream like babies when someone suggests they drop public library
    fees.

    By Blogger robert mcbean, at 7:19 PM  

  • well the alberta government won at the court of appeal level, so they must have thought they had some chance to win the vriend case.

    and just a point of clarification, they were fighting to preserve the alberta human rights act, as it was at the time, not fighting vriend's wrongful dismissal

    By Blogger iloveLaP, at 9:30 PM  

  • Has anyone else noticed how much the Liberals are going after the Minister of "Restructuring and Government Efficiency", Luke Ouellette? The Liberals pick on him several times in each question period, and it sometimes seems like Ouellette is going to crack -- or at least throw a nasty temper tantraum -- under all the questions. His responses, more often than not, indicate that he is incompetent.

    By Blogger Jim, at 10:40 PM  

  • Ah yes, stupid moronic Tories still don't understand there is utterly NO-NONE-NADA PROVINCIAL POWER vis a vis gay marriage except, er, cough, sputter, section 92(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867, but EVERYONE KNOWS that subsection is a dead letter in light of what our sage and infallible Supreme Court has had to say about it (what's that - the SCC has never limited the ambit of or abrogated that particular subsection? Well DON'T TELL ANYBODY!)

    By Blogger heckinahandbasket, at 4:55 PM  

  • Really effective data, thank you for the article.

    By Anonymous alfareria vasca, at 11:02 AM  

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