Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Same Old Same Sex

Stephen Harper has re-iterated his promise to hold a free vote on Same Sex marriage should he get elected as Prime Minister.

I can sort of see what Harper is trying to do here. Announce it on day 1 and you get the troops fired up - the people door knocking in minus thirty need a reason to go door knocking. Media pundits often forget about the ground war and, with the cold weather, mobilizing volunteers is going to be harder than ever.

But, geez. This is an issue that's better off staying dead. And I'm not just saying that because I'm in support of SSM. The fact is, the law has been passed and it's time to move on. A lot of people who were against SSM have seen that the sky hasn't fallen and it just looks petty when Harper won't accept the will of Parliament on this one. Even if 2 or 3 Liberal Cabinet Ministers were forced to vote against their conscience, the vote still passed and Harper should just move on.

More troubling for Harper is the fact that this election will be fought in Ontario and British Columbia. I can't for the life of me see how this will get Harper any votes in either of those two provinces. Any time the talk turns to social issues, the Conservatives get hurt. Harper looked good this morning talking about change, crime, and cleaning up government - talking about social issues is just stupid.

15 Comments:

  • social justice issues are completely wrong to campaign on, i agree. with harper especially, they are doomed.

    By Blogger rabsteen, at 10:00 PM  

  • I do believe that the question was posed to Mr. Harper. The media knows Mr. Harper's views on SSM so asking the question is not going to make a Woodward outta someone. His dilemma is that he can be honest and restate his position which is the right move, or he could try and dibble dabble around it and play into the hidden agenda farce. I do agree with you that the media is fickle and will soon tire of the story, so it is wise to get it out now. Those who are against SSM will remember in January, while those who are for it realize that a minority Conservative government would have no chance of touching it. It's a non-issue for the most part IMO.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 10:40 PM  

  • we'll see how this plays out tomorrow on the news. When I first heard it I had a sinking feeling that here we go again. But maybe getting this out early will cause it to be buried later. As for the I love Canada, remember Patriotism is the last bastion of a scoundrel (sp). I seem recall that the people who support the liberal party are the first one to complain when americans talk lovingly of their country. Now they scream that the Concervative hate their country because the leader did not fall to his knees with tears in his eyes wailing about the love of his country.
    Cripes get a life!

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 10:53 PM  

  • Revving up the base isnt a good plan when the base is only about 30%.

    This isnt 50-50 America, so Harper starts already from a disadvantage.. and saying stuff like this doesnt increase the base where he needs to.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 11:07 PM  

  • I think the impact of this statement will be directly proportional to the amount of media attention it gets.

    Bart, you are correct to note that Harper looked good, positive and pushing the change button all over the place. For those who care about this issue passionately this will solidify their opposition or support of Harper accordingly.

    If, it could be done, a group of protesters dogging Harper at every turn on the SSM issue would help keep the issue at the fore-front.

    If someone would pay me 2 months worth of salary, I would do it.

    A.Liberal
    www.lastcanadianexit.blogspot.com

    By Blogger A.L., at 11:21 PM  

  • My initial reaction was:Oh No, not again! On reflection it's perhaps best to restate his position honestly early on. Better now than in the last week of the campaign!
    The most interesting thing today was the Global/Canwest poll which showed the Liberals and Conservatives starting the campaign neck and neck at 31% each.

    By Blogger cardinal47, at 11:22 PM  

  • I can't figure it out. I read that Harper was unprompted. Regardless, he would have lost nothing by saying "I will not introduce any such legislation", and responding to hypotheticals by saying "whoa, probably not, but that assumes too much and I don't feel comfortable going out on a limb".

    By Blogger matt, at 11:39 PM  

  • "The fact is, the law has been passed and it's time to move on. ...it just looks petty when Harper won't accept the will of Parliament on this one."

    No issue is ever closed in a democracy. If a Tory-dominated Parliament outlaws SSM, then that will be the will of Parliament. In that case, will you advise those who support SSM to "just move on"? I'm not opposed to SSM myself, but Harper has every right to try to revisit the issue. Whether it's a wise move politically is another matter.

    By Blogger Aeolus, at 1:18 AM  

  • Don't forget he got nailed in the English debate in 2004 for dancing on the issue. You can't weasel on this when your Achilles hill is the 'hidden agenda.'

    At least with a clear, objective measure of success, we all know what will be done and then we can assess whether it will pass.

    Perhaps one part of this strategy is wedging people from the Liberal party to the NDP. If pressed, he will point out that a third of the Liberals voted against the bill too, and only the NDP and the Bloc voted for it. That could backfire though as the Liberals did whip their members into voting.

    Fuck, I hate Paul Martin. When we ran against his leadership campaign in 2003, the entire Martinite crew were so happy to dump on the gays, whom they *hate* *hate* *hate*.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:26 AM  

  • Gay marriage was never supported by a majority of the members of the house. It was a whipped vote, period. And if anyone disputes that in the next house a majority of members won't support gay marriage then fine, let's have a free vote. And don't "expidite" the nomination process like Chretien did to Dan McCash in Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993.

    -Prior to the passage of Bill C-38 gay marriage was never supported by a majority of Canadians. It was not even supported by a najority of young Canadians. From "Missing the Message: Young Adults and the Election Issues", Electoral Insight Magazine, Jan. 2005 by Gidengil, Blais, Everitt, Fournier, and Nevitte:

    "Today's young adults have also grown up in a society that increasingly accepts diverse lifestyles and sexual orientations. This is reflected in their significantly higher levels of support for same-sex marriage. Fully half (try "only half"! - Anon.) of 18- to 29-year-olds declared themselves to be in favour, compared with only 14% of those aged 60 and up."

    Here is a good chart: http://tinypic.com/i1ma2e.jpg

    (article at http://www.elections.ca/eca/eim/article_search/article.asp?id=122〈=e&frmPageSize=5&textonly=false)

    -Given the oodles of evidence any Google search will tell you I argue that to deny that - prior to the passage of Bill C-38 - gay marriage was *not* supported by a majority of Canadians fact is getting into historical revisionism territory. So let's proceed from there.

    -Shortly after the passage of bill C-38 at least one poll was released showing that opposition to gay marriage had dropped sharply - down to 38% if I recall correctly. Don't kid yourself, it's not like 20% of Canadians automagically changed their minds on the matter; it's just that the Liberals had by that point rammed through legislation that was opposed by a majority of the members of the house and a majority of Canadians. Poor form.

    -Support and opposiotion to gay marriage varies between regions, sexes, ages, etc. and it is entirely likely that some propellor heads at CPC HQ have found some counterintuitive data which strongly supports the idea that the CPC should make a free vote their policy on the matter.

    -I think there is an excellent opportunity for Harper to make inroads into the Muslim, Sikh, Rastafarian, Catholic, and Buddhist communities among others on the gay marriage issue, as leaders in each of those communities have spoken out on gay marriage to one degree or another. There are eighty million evangelican Christians in China. Many Chinese evangelican Christians have come to Canada.

    -All in all it is painful to watch people not "get" this issue. And as one who has visited the CPC press release page daily for 6 months watching the CPC build up the foundation of their platform piece by piece it's equally painful to see people give Harper grief over not rolling out his election platform, um, before the election.

    Anyhoo, this gay marriage thingie will not be the defining issue of the campaign anyway so I don't sweat it. But I'd ask the skeptics to consider the possiblity that Harper and his team are sitting on a pantload of data - that you don't have - which tells them that campaigning on an issue that a majority of Canadians agree with may not be such a bad idea.

    Just for some perspective: at least 70% of Canadians oppose the "War on Terror" and I'd say and equal amount don't like George Bush. So it's a little rich to see some Tories cheer and defend a war and a government that is very unpopular with a large majority of the Canadian population while so caustically opposing our leader and our team's position on gay marriage, a position that is *not* opposed by a strong majority of Canadians.

    I for one think Harper and his team have nailed their read on the issue. Now let's move on to some issues and themes that actually *were* mentioned in Stephen Harper's (expletive) awesome speech last night:

    "Justice Gomery looked into the past: where the money went, who stole it. And who benefited from it. We are looking to the future. We want to move forward and address the priorities of ordinary Canadians.
    ...
    Across this great country, millions of Canadians are counting on us, parents, working families, seniors, young Canadians, farmers, fishermen, miners, loggers, small business owners, immigrants and veterans. People like you.

    They’re counting on us to stand up for them. Not just to address their cares and concerns:

    But more than that: they need us to speak to their hopes and their dreams."

    By Blogger v, at 1:45 AM  

  • Agreed.

    The Tories should avoid this issue like the plague

    By Anonymous Brandon, at 3:30 AM  

  • The only ones who want to avoid this issue are the Lieberals who shoved the legislation down our throats in the first place.

    What kind of people OPPOSE a free vote on something? - Socialists.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 AM  

  • Yaaaaaaawn.... ssm is not an issue to most Canadians one way or the other. If same sex couples want to make the mistake of getting married and ruining a perfectly good relationship then so be it. Personally I advise against it as it hasn't been working out so well for not-same sex couples...

    Harper is smart to bring it out into the open before the Libs accuse him of having a hidden agenda. He is smarter still to make it a "free vote" issue, where as the Liberals rebuttal regarding the "not-withstanding clause" is a real non-starter. People get "free-vote" but how many avg cdns understand what the friggin "notwithstandingclausenschubel" thingy is?

    Media issue NOT a public issue.

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 11:33 AM  

  • I'd point out that in the media commentary today, most suggested that the Liberal war room took about a second and a half to jump on Harper over this "gaffe". Well, it would have taken about the same amount of time for them to do the same to some no-name candidate who spouted off a position on marriage that WASN'T the party policy, so you might as well have them go nuts on the ACTUAL party policy, from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

    Others have already pointed out the futility, in a likely minority situation, of trying to pass a motion (NOTE: not a bill, as some would have you believe) asking if the House wanted to revisit the issue. Harper is simply pointing out to the large social conservative contingent of the party that he hasn't forgotten about them, knowing full well that what he proposes is doomed to failure (an outcome with which I presume he is more than content). Conservatives have basically told any so-con in the party that marriage is the only issue that they're allowed to talk about, so Harper has to wave the flag for them at least once. Best do it now, and it'll be old news by January 23.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:49 PM  

  • When we are born our brains are like empty computers waiting to be fed information. As we grow our peers act as our programmers, they supply us with the knowledge which we channel through the conscious mind into the subconscious (our hard drive). The subconscious mind is the biggest hard drive ever developed - it stores everything we come in contact with and by no means is all of this information of a positive nature.
    All that we have heard, touched, smelt, tasted and seen are stored in the recesses of our minds. The subconscious mind holds on to this information until we need to recall it. For example when you were young your curiosity lead you to investigate your surroundings. When you approached a substance that was dangerous, such as fire, your parents or guardians would most likely have rebuked or scolded you if you ventured too near the flame. Perhaps you may even recall an incident when you were physically burned. Your subconscious mind then began to relate scolding (or pain) with the intense heat of the fire and would therefore feed the feelings of the scolding incident back to you whenever you got too close to fire again, thus acting as an early warning system.
    This is the mechanism used by our brains to learn. It is also the same method employed by the mind in every situation. The subconscious mind has a tendency to emulate what it sees - it tends to replicate its environment. This is why so many people find themselves in similar relationships and situations that they saw their parents in while they were growing up. Most people also hold very strongly or similar views of their parents.
    Think of a time when you gave yourself praise. What words did you use? Do you use the same words that your parents or peers used when they were praising you? The same is applicable when you scold yourself.

    Watch your internal dialogue. Look at it closely. It takes diligence to change the way you think. When you notice yourself thinking a negative chose to think the opposite. This way you neutralise the negative thought. Now the think the positive thought again! You have just reversed the negative thinking in that moment and remember you only have this moment. No other time exists!
    Daydream about what might be. Imagine things they way you wish them to be. If you catch yourself thinking "this is just a daydream - a fantasy" then stop! Think the opposite. It is not a daydream it is your reality. Now think it again.

    By doing this simple procedure you will begin to retrain your subconscious mind to think positively and you will ultimately begin to consciously create a life that dreams are made of! personal development

    By Blogger cylon, at 4:27 AM  

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