Monday, December 12, 2005

Diversionary attack

I got this from, but since it's a CP story, you'll find it anywhere, likely with the same mis-information. It's Martin trying to divert attention from Scott Reid/Income Trusts/anti-American environmental statements/handgun banning (take your pick) and put some heat onto Harper about the same-sex marriage thing:
However, Martin notes the law allowing same sex marriages in Canada cannot be reversed without using the notwithstanding clause.

Harper has been fairly quiet about his plans to repeal the same-sex marriage legislation since he was asked about it at the beginning of the campaign for the Jan. 23 election, and said a Conservative government would put an end to the practice. (emphasis mine)
Martin's scaremongering is vile, but typical. The media mis-information is also typical, but I find it much more disturbing.



Anonymous said...

I just keep wondering who asks the hot-button questions in the first place. It's either reporters who are lazy dullards, reporters who are lazy dullards with a Liberal bias, or outright Liberal plants. I'd like to know who asked Harper in the first place about SSM, and who asked Dithers again today. I smell a setup.
Of course, I was even worrying that the beer-and-popcorn 'gaffe' was intended to be a diversion itself, from the extremely dangerous (to Martin) and growing story about the income trust leaks.

valiantmauz said...

A question, Canadianna?

I actually respect Harper quite a bit for not ducking the SSM question, and in fact think the clear CPC position is preferable to the Liberals legistlate-it-but-don't-take-a-principled -stand-for-it.

One reason I won't be voting Liberal is just that. Simply taking pokes at Harper on the constitutionality of his postition is a far cry from "The Liberal Party supports same-sex marriage and will defend the legislation full stop".

So I have a clear choice: CPC or NDP, each taking a principled stand that I can choose between.

What does bother me about your post is that, for all intents and purposes, the CPC's postion is problematic. I am no constitutional scholar, but it has been pretty well established that repealing the existing law or implementing a new man-woman only definition would at some point face a Charter challenge, and would have to be sheltered by the notwithstanding clause. Even the Catholic Church recognized this point and in fact advocated for that solution when the bill was in parliament.

Yes, Martin's tactic is a diversion from his own mess, but the question is still valid.

The irony of the whole thing is, I would be voting Conservative in a hearbeat if this issue was off the table. Their positions on handguns issue, childcare, the GST, and even healthcare actually make more sense than anything else I have heard.

I don't like being a single-issue voter, but in this one case, voting Conservative is an impossible choice.

Anonymous said...


I sort of agree with you. I have mixed feelings about the SSM issue. But, it is not a deal killer for me. I will vote Conservative, and work to get them elected because they are the best option at the moment.

If you don't like the Liberals (and who does?), then the only viable choice is to vote Conservative and hope that enough of them get in to form at least a minority govenment. In places where the Conservative candidate has no chance, then look at other options like the NDP or the Bloc where they are strong.

I support about 90% of the Conservative platform, and I personally like Stephen Harper. I've had a chance to meet and talk with him several times in some informal settings. I trust him.

I do NOT trust Martin or Layton. Martin, because I believe that he is corrupt, and Layton because he supported Martin when it was obvious that Martin was corrupt, and he thought he could blackmail 4 Billion dollars out of him.

After the politicing is over, if Harper has a government, minority or otherwise, I think that most people will be pleasantly suprised with the leadership he provides.

If it turns out otherwise, I'll be the first to vote him off the island.

valiantmauz said...

Anonymous said: "If you don't like the Liberals (and who does?), then the only viable choice is to vote Conservative and hope that enough of them get in to form at least a minority govenment."

And for me, the CPC position is a deal-breaker. Even if I were 100% sure of at most a minority CPC government (and thus, a very marginal chance of SSM being overturned), I still could not morally vote CPC.

The CPC has a shot in my riding (905 belt), the Liberals have a shot, and the NDP none.

I will be voting NDP, and my conscience, on this ONE issue. My vote will probably be irrelevant given the makeup of my riding, but is the only choice that will let me sleep at night.

In any case, the CPC is openly anti-SSM, and my incumbent (Liberal) MP voted against the legislation.

Canadi-anna said...

valiantmauz - I think most people, including Harper, expect that a bill designed to return marriage to its former definition, the bill would not pass -- particularly if the conservatives were to form a minority government.

No one wants to be seen as 'taking away rights'. I suspect some who would prefer the one man/one woman definition would abstain or stay away from a vote-- but at least if one man/one woman fails on a true free vote, then even those who are against SSM can't claim the outcome is illegitimate. Harper knows this. This is a way to please the base, without changing the status quo.
If you look into Harper's personal history, he's a more libertarian than conservative. He's of the more personal freedom, less government intervention school of thought. His insistance on bringing this issue into the open and revisiting it should he form government is two-fold:
1. He must appease his voting base -- those who are traditionalist conservative and are a sizeable portion of the typical conservative vote.
2. He must fulfil the Conservative policy (written before this summer's vote) to avoid any speculation of a hidden agenda. If he had said 'no, we won't do this', but it's part of their policy written just this year, he will be accused of either high-handedness by Conservatives or lying by the Liberals.
Instead, he has chosen to follow Conservative policy, and he has come out and said what the plan is (and in spite of what Martin is saying now, Harper did.)
There are two schools of thought on the need for the notwithstanding clause on this issue, so to say 'it would definitely require' its use, is just disingenuous.

Personally, I don't think it should be revisited, even though I'm against SSM.
I hope you can trust your fellow Canadians. I believe most wouldn't insist their MP vote to change it back-- in fact, I think many would insist the opposite in order not to revoke an already established right.
If this is you real worry about the Conservatives, I think it's a red herring.

valiantmauz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
valiantmauz said...

Hi Canadianna (forgot which right-wing nutbar I was talking to there *smiile*) - just to let you know I always appreciate your reasonable and respectful approach to dealing with opposing viewpoints.

Every election year the din, the misinformation, the spin, and the negativity get to me.

Just this once - I am making a choice, selfishly, maybe, to vote my conscience on an issue that is important to me. In the past I have voted strategically, out of fear of those red-herrings - meaning I voted Liberal in the last election.

This time, I am giving my vote, unequivocally, to the one party that I feel represents me and hold the courage of their convictions on this point. I am doing that even though it is very possible that the Conservative candidate will win in my riding, and very likely by the slimmest of margins.

I am giving my fellow Canadians the benefit of the doubt by not sucumbing to the fear tactics.

I am not voting Conservative, because all things being equal, their position on this one issue is diametrically opposed to what I feel is right and moral. The fact that a reversal is unlikely does not make the plank any more palatable.

I am not voting Liberal because of their arrogance, complacency, corruption, fear-mongering and overall vileness.

If the Conservative party wins Mississauga-Streestville by one vote over the Liberals - that one vote that I choose to give to a distant third-party candidate - then so be it.

I am not voting to block a Conservative vote as I have done in the past.

Hope that helps explain my position

Canadi-anna said...

valiantmauz -- I certainly understand your POV.
The NDP speaks to your concerns on an issue of intimate importance to you, and you have to vote your conscience on that. You don't have to explain.

I wouldn't vote NDP, but I believe that most people who do, and who run for the NDP, do so out of real belief in their stand. I can respect that.
In my opinion, in this election, any vote that isn't Liberal is a good one. Even if the Liberals win by one vote in your riding -- every non-Liberal vote is a message to them.

PR said...

What is Harper going to invoke the notwithstanding clause against? The Supreme Court has never found a right to gay marriage within the Charter.

I don't know who is more dumb: Martin for articulating this garbage or the media for buying it without qualification.

Canadi-anna said...

It's all that 'if' stuff, Peter. Hypotheticals are a big headache, but should Harper answer wrong, or refuse to answer, it will make big political hay.
Shouldn't but will.

Peter Thurley said...

valiantmauz: you bring up a good point. While Martin may trying to divert from Reid's comments, Harper's lack of clear-cut direction on the SSM issue could be problematic for him. Canadianna, you make a good point: no one wants to be seen as taking away rights. Constitutionally, this would require use of the notwithstanding clause, to overturn a change to the Charter. That is, the government would have to 'take away entrenched rights'. Does Harper want to come out and say that? That would be suicide.

I don't think that it is Martin trying to divert as much as Martin pressing Harper to clarify his position and call it for what it is - the stripping of an entrenched right from the Charter. That is serious business, whether you agree with SSM or not.

Peter, you are right - there have been no court cases about the specific changes to the charter. But the Supreme Court decision made last year counts as precedent on the SSM issue. That ruling allowed the parliament to make the decision about whether to include it in the Charter. Once it has done so and it becomes entrenched in the Charter, the notwithstanding clause would be required to get it out of the charter. At least that is my understanding of the situation. I'm not exactly an expert on these things though.

davey said...

I snet this quote to Peter Kent who has challenged the MSM to be less biased.
To those of you who still beileive this is a "Charter Right", look for the SUpreme Court response to Qusetion #4. Oh, yeah. they didn't answer. They are bound by law to advise the gov't if there this is truly unconstitutional.
Tha said, Canadianna, you are correct. Even a free vote is unlikely to change the stauts quo. It will however silence the objectioners somewhat and probably needs to be done once and for all.

Canadi-anna said...

Peter Thurley -- The reason I believe this is Martin's attempt to divert attention is the timing. Harper came out and said his intentions at the beginning of the campaign; Martin waited to address this until his own party was in damage control.

Raging Ranter said...

The way the media distorts things makes me sick. Yesterday, I read in the Globe & Mail that Canadians seem to prefer Martin's plan to "slash" income taxes compared to Harper's plan to "shave" one percent off the GST.

I see. When Dithers announces an income tax cut of 1 percent to take place in 2010, he's "slashing" income taxes. But when Harper announces an immediate 1 point cut to the GST, with another 1 point within 5 years, he's just "shaving" 1 point off the GST. How can they write that shit without blushing? Mind you, so many voters are actually dumb enough to get hoodwinked by that kind of talk.