Thursday, June 16, 2005

Priorities

I know Conservatives are upset about a lot of things the Liberals are doing. Now, with this news, we can finally get a sense of their relative outrage.

So, for those keeping score, the Conservative Party is more upset at the prospect of two dudes marrying in Alberta, New Brunswick or PEI, than they are with the government spending 4.8 billion dollars in what they consider to be a wreckless and irresponsible manner (check out Monte's blog to see how much they hate the NDP budget).

Based on this, I think we can construct the "Tory Tower of Hate", ranking their grievances:

most upseting
1. Two people who love each other marrying in the three provinces where it's not already legal
2. NDP Budget
3. The Sponsorship Scandal
4. Belinda Stronach
5. The Gun Registry
6. The CBC
7. The Kyoto Accord
8. Ontario Voters
9. Tim Murphy kinda sorta making offers to possible defectors
10. Andrew Coyne turning off his comments section
least upseting

18 Comments:

  • Opposing SSM likely will neither hurt nor help them on its own. I'm wondering if the CPC is going to try to spin this as an effort to extent the debate rather than as a specific anti-SSM/anti-gay stance.

    Or … it could just be that they are thrashing around for an issue to take the attention away from their current ineffectiveness in the House of Commons.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 2:14 AM  

  • I'm not entirely certain that you've got this list quite right. I'd wager that Coyne turning off his comments would have ranked at least #6.

    Of course, now that they can post away again at www.commentsplease.com they might be happy again. Coyne's wingnuts certainly seem to be having fun attacking Adrienne Clarkson for responding to Paul Wells' book meme challenge.

    By Blogger Matt, at 8:05 AM  

  • I think that this is a prime example of the abysmal state of the Conservatives communications department. This screams loud and clear that social conservatism (the kind people find scary) is a higher priority for them than fiscal conservatism (the kind alot of people think makes sense). Nice work guys, being a non-Conservative myself, I wait with eager anticipation to see what the next move will be.

    By Anonymous PeterP, at 9:56 AM  

  • I think for once this is actually a well done move by the Tories. The only way to prevent same sex marriage is to keep the status quo on any bills relating to same sex marriage.

    Furthermore, it puts the ball in the Liberals' court - which is a completely different political situation than the last 6 months, where Tories' serves keep hitting the net.

    -Kirk Schmidt

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 AM  

  • It is a crazy move on their part. While SoCons will still support a party that is only fiscally conservative, urban conservatives will not support a part that first and foremost SoCon. I think the problem is not communications, but advice in general.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 12:18 PM  

  • Stupid, stupid, stupid. You know, I understand where they're coming from. They really don't want an election right now, but this is just dumb. a) It emphasizes social over fiscal conservatism, b) it makes the Conservatives look weak (they caved on the Budget, then they caved on the NDP amendment, what next?) c) it makes the conservatives look principleless (Liberal lite).
    Not that I'll vote for Paul Martin, but this was a dumb move.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:26 PM  

  • Everyone, stop thinking one-dimentionally one this one. The conservatives oppose both bills, but know that BOTH could easily pass votes unless they use parlimentary procedures to hold the NDP budget up first, hopefully waiting out the SSM bill for this session.

    CG makes a funny, but not politically tactical point (I suppect he likely knew that when he wrote it), but the idea that this strategy is flawed is ridiculous.

    I'm watching Libby Davis and Tony Valeri fight over c-38 right now because of the Tory strategy. I say if the strategy is hurting or straining the NDP/Liberal partnership, then it's a good call in my books.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 2:50 PM  

  • hack; In the short term, I don't think this is a very smart move since it implies that the social agenda is more important than the economic one. But, let's be honest, appart from political buffs, the general public isn't going to remember this.

    So, the end result is that Same Sex is still an issue next fall and the NDP budget isn't. Given that the NDP budget is fairly popular and Same Sex is likely a bigger headache for the Libs than the CPC, it's likely a good tactical move in that sense.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:09 PM  

  • Stephen Harper "The truth of the matter is that the real agenda and the defining issues have shifted from economic issues to social values, so conservatives must do the same."

    There are a lot of fiscal Conservatives who are shocked by this. However, stressing social conservative values over everything else is the direction Harper wants to take. In Harper's mind where one stands vis-via "legislated social liberalism" is what separtes Conservatives from Martin supporters. "If conservatives accept all legislated social liberalism with balanced budgets and corporate grants - as do some in the business community - then there really are no differences between a conservative and a Paul Martin."

    So called Harper liberals are in a state of "bad faith".

    By Anonymous koby, at 3:33 PM  

  • That's essentially what I was *trying* to get at as well. Tactically this is a great long term move.

    As you said, CG - the budget is fairly popular, and so tories showing 'support' for it is to their advantage. Furthermore, what it shows is that the CPC is no longer a party of absolutes, but willing to comprimise... to a degree...

    -Kirk Schmidt

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 PM  

  • Are the Conservatives going stand down and not vote against the budget. No. You are right to put support in scare quotes. All they have promised to do is say they will not fillbuster and delay the budget's passing. Delay the SSM vote and will not go through the motions on the budget. Are the Conservatives trying to provide the Liberals a justification for closing debate down early on the budget?

    By Anonymous koby, at 4:43 PM  

  • CG,

    The other thing I forgot to add here (but added to my comments over at Bound By Gravity), is that there's a popular theory going around that the government will proroge Parliment in the fall, and not return until delivering a throne speech in the Winter.

    Which means that the Bill might not see the light of day until we're in the heart of Gomery-related debates and procedures, maybe even an election.

    I'm a SSM-marriage supporter, but obviously not too choked about it since I'm a Tory as well. (I figure enough jurisdictions already allow a same-sex marriage, so we're really having a debate for the sake of a debate anyhow.)

    But if I was a prononent group of the legislation that was really pushing the government on the issue, I would be getting downright pissed at them. When Tory House Leader Jay Hill asked Liberal House Leader Tony Valeri what the government's priority Bills were for the next little while, we got one bill I can't remember, then the NDP Budget Bill, and those were the "top priorities" according to Valeri.

    *Then* if those were dealt with, would C-38 (Same Sex Marriage) come forward.

    Eventually, proponents are going to start hammering the Liberals on their dithering, and if the Bill gets pushed off til winter, sobeit.

    The Liberals will wear it more than we will. On SSM, we've made it clear we WANT the public to know exactly where we stand.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 5:47 PM  

  • As some commentors have alluded to this seems more like a pragmatic tactical move than a re-defining of priorities.

    As I see it the benefits of this move are:
    1. Once the NDP budget passes the deal is off (or, at least, less formalised) between them and the Liberals.
    2. We know that there definitely will be an election before the NDP deal takes effect and therefore the damage done by its foolish spending will still be avoidable even if the bill passes.
    3. Right now the Tories probably don't have the votes to win either vote. The NDP and the Liberals have said that Parliament will sit until the budget bills pass so their is no point filibustering there.
    4. It is abundantly clear that the biggest divide amongst Liberal caucus members is over SSM. It seems to me that maintaining this fissure as long as possible can only help the CPC.

    By Blogger Rhetoric, at 5:59 PM  

  • I think the list of most upsetting items has a glaring omission - shouldn't 'parliament extending into summer break' be #1?

    By Blogger Declan, at 7:49 PM  

  • Hack; You're right that some SSM supporters will hammer the Libs for their dithering on same sex marriage. Jammey Heath was livid on Politics this afternoon towards the Liberals and there's really no reason this thing shouldn't have been rammed through long ago. The courts have already rulled and Martin himself has said it's a "human rights issue".

    And as long as the Liberals are up in the polls, it's really not in their interest to turn this into a campaign issue. That's probably why Harper is so keen so keep it around as an issue.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:49 AM  

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