Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Grewaled Out

To be perfectly honest, I'm a little grewaled out so I won't even begin to comment on the latest bizarre twist in this saga. So, for the next little while, I'll try and make this a "Grewal Free Zone" and I direct everyone to Buckets of Grewal for the ongoing twists and turns of "The Adventures of Gurmant".

One guy who I do want to comment on is Pat O'Brien. I'm really tempted to give him credit for making a principled decision: This won't get him a Cabinet position and he didn't run around on his own little Alias mission. But, then again, Strom Thurmond was fairly principled too and it's hard to give him credit for that. So, if nothing else, let's just say that Pat O'Brien handled his departure from caucus with a lot more maturity than we've seen from most other MPs on Parliament Hill.

I don't think his one vote is extremely important because I can't imagine the Conservatives trying to force a July (or August) election when they're down in the polls. Then again, I suppose his vote could mean something come next November.

What is important in this is that Mr. O'Brien is a lot more than one vote. Unlike Carolyn Parrish or David Kilgour, Pat O'Brien has a following in the Liberal Caucus and was leading a band of 10 or 15 "rebel" Liberal MPs on a crusade to deny gay people the right to marry. While it's unlikely that many more would leave caucus, the potential of a backbench revolt is very real. And while I can't stand these MPs or their political leanings, I think it would be deliciously ironic for Paul Martin to find himself on the receiving end of a backbench revolt.

With Gomery done and the Grewal story (hopefully) dying down, I think it's extremely likely that we're going to be hearing a lot about same sex marriage this month. The Liberals want the legislation passed before the House adjourns for the summer. The Tories and O'Brien's disciples do not. I'm fairly sure this won't be the last we hear from Mr. O'Brien.

19 Comments:

  • I'm with you on the Grewal thing. Let's "wait for the ethics commissioner" already.

    O'Brien, as you say, will be an interesting twist in the plot. Especially with his 'no holds barred' approach (stated, and as yet to be determined) regarding blocking the legislation.

    Should there be a back-bench revolt, PMPM could find himself following in the footsteps of Joe...Joe... whatshisname.

    Good blog.

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:16 AM  

  • I do not think the Grewal story will be dying out any time soon. There will be more to come.

    As for O'Brien, what do you think about the timing of his departure. The new MP for Lab. was sworn in today. Things are bad between the Libs and O'brien, but perhaps not that bad.

    By Anonymous koby, at 2:44 AM  

  • Well, first the Conservatives were 'stronached' by Belinda. Then the liberals were 'grewaled' by Gurmant. And now there's a very good chance that the gays will be 'O'Briened' by Pat.
    Yes, we certainly do live in interesting times, don't we? :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:22 AM  

  • With respect to Mr O'Brien, I live next to his riding. He has always given me the impression that he is a bully. And like all bullies, he is a coward. I predict he won't be an independent for long.

    By Anonymous bugsindirt, at 8:48 AM  

  • Mr. O'Brien, well here's a fellow, who under the guise of his "morals" has left the Liberal party. How many times has the Government limited debate and time and selected "pro" government experts and presenters at committee hearings - too many to list. Where was Mr. O'Brien's morals and self righteousness during those times?. Only when "his" morals - not constituents are crossed does he make a play, or for that matter any MP in Ottawa. Maybe he should pull a "Cadman" and poll his constiuents and do what the people who elected him want.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 AM  

  • I know very little about O'Brien. Except that he gives the impression of behaving responsibily, and with conscience.

    My position on SSM isn't the same as his; I like the Liberal bill, though I harbour deep reservations with respect to what could happen to churches in a couple years following its passage (forced to rent out their facilities, tax-exempt status, etc.). But, I do think that civil union is an acceptable and consitutional alternative (if not as good), and share O'Brien's position that more debate - and real debate - on the subject is healthy, perhaps even necessary.

    Kinsella's tape recorder/god squad comment (while I don't like the latter term) remark was precious and spot-on. The Hill must be a very interesting place these days.

    As to Grewal, the Tories need to get something out there - a minute by minute timetable what was done with the tapes, by whom, and an expert saying that it explains the weird audio signature. Even if that's not the whole truth (I don't think we'll ever know that, from anyone involved), it should be enough to be plausible or provide - what was Murphy's purpored word? - "deniability".

    By Blogger matt, at 10:26 AM  

  • Let's be serious here. Any revolt by Liberal backbenchers on the same-sex marriage legislation is going to have no bearing on its passage since the Bloc and the NDP both strongly support this bill. Unless Paul Martin shoots himself in the foot by declaring this bill a confidence measure, or the Tories display a hitherto unknown taste for masochism by calling a confidence vote in the middle of Gurmantgate, the Liberals will live to see the fall session. Moreover, most members of the Grit god squad would be kissing their re-election hopes goodbye if the defect from the party over the same-sex marriage issue, considering that a good number of them represent socially liberal constituencies in and around Toronto.

    By Blogger Vivek Krishnamurthy, at 10:28 AM  

  • O'Brien has always struck me as being Liberal in name only. I find it telling that his leaving was not over the sponsorship scandal, but over SSM.

    But you're right, I think a backbench revolt would be wonderfully ironic.

    kgp

    By Blogger Kevin, at 12:10 PM  

  • No, these guys couldn't kill the bill itself because it's already passed by a comfortable margin, and they were already voting against it.

    What they could do would be to vote down other legislation, obstruct committees, etc, etc. If we've learned anything over the past two months, it's obscure parliamentary tactics.

    And, I suppose, there's always the chance they could vote against their own government's budget but I doubt it would come to that.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:21 PM  

  • I think it's sort of interesting, because this is like the British method of refusing the Whip. The guy is still basically a Liberal and I would not be surprised if he rejoins caucus by September.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 1:41 PM  

  • O'Brien is homophobe plain and simple. Goodbye good riddence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 PM  

  • Congratulation for Pat O'brian representing the wishes of a MAJORITY of Canadians; not fast tracking/avoiding debate on the SSM issue.

    The facts are that it is not an issue of rights but mere social distinction and it's high time someone realized most Canadians do not support legalizing gay marriage or further promotion of a hazardous lifestyle upon our children.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 PM  

  • A couple of points:
    1) These Liberals don't represent "socially Liberal" ridings. 90% of them represent ridings where people are "socially conservative". I've canvassed in Scarborough. The voters there are So-Con - but they still vote Liberal.
    2) I'm not convinced Paul Martin is actually in any hurry to pass this. I mean, this has been going on for 2 years now. He could have passed it when he had a majority in December of 2003... or January 2004.. or April 2004.. you get the picture. I think he prefers to drag the issue out so he can campaign on it again and again.

    Cheers,
    Toronto Tory (A Tory, but not a social conservative).

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 4:21 PM  

  • Bill C-38 contains the text: "NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:".

    Do you believe "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith" will enact legislation that is contrary to the Christian faith?

    According to the Christian faith, marriage is honourable in all (Hebrews 13:4) whereas homosexual relationships (Romans 1:26-27) are not honourable. Also, "he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife" and "she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband" (1 Corinthians 7:33-34).

    By enacting Bill C-38, Queen Elizabeth II will have broken her coronation promise to maintain, to the utmost of her power, the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel.

    The Lawful Definition of Marriage in Canada
    http://www.ocii.com/~dpwozney/marriage.htm

    By Blogger David Wozney, at 8:53 AM  

  • David Wozny asks:

    "Do you believe "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith" will enact legislation that is contrary to the Christian faith?"

    Why not? It was Henry the VIII who was originally granted the honourific "Defender of the Faith" by the Pope - he merely went on to split the English branch of the Catholic Church away from Rome to form the Church of England. Merely glancing sideways at Leviticus could hardly trouble his successor.

    Dean

    By Blogger deaner, at 11:35 AM  

  • (Hebrews 13:4) whereas homosexual relationships (Romans 1:26-27) are not honourable.

    If you're going to quote the Bible don't skip essential parts of the text:

    Romans 1

    22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    Most scholars think the bolded parts are a clear reference to idolatry and Paul is condemning lustful acts done in the service of idols. The "Because of this" and "Therefore" showing cause and effect. You can't use an indictment against temple prostitution to condemn modern committed same sex relationships.

    Besides if we're going to use Bible verses to determine law in a mulicultural society shouldn't one reinstitute slavery (subject to the regulations in Exodus) or make divorce illegal except for adultery?

    By Anonymous daninbigd, at 10:32 AM  

  • "Besides if we're going to use Bible verses to determine law in a mulicultural society shouldn't one reinstitute slavery (subject to the regulations in Exodus) or make divorce illegal except for adultery?"

    Exodus in the KJV Bible does not use the word "slavery". Even so, in the present church age, people today are not under Old Testament Mosaic law (which was for Israel) but rather are under New Testament Christian law. The KJV New Testament Bible does not refer to “slavery” or to a “slave” but only to “slaves” once (in Revelation 18:13).

    The laws of God with respect to divorce are presently in effect. New Testament Christian law does not prescribe any specified penalty, punishment, or enforcement for violations of the laws of God before the end of the present church age.

    By Blogger David Wozney, at 2:58 PM  

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