Monday, November 28, 2005

Early Mud Season in Canada

Canadian Tories seem determined to bring their country down to the level of the United States, at least politically. Anti-same-sex marriage MPs are joining with private groups to make gay marriage a rallying point for efforts to get voters and topple the government.

After a long run, with profound social improvements, the Liberals are likely to lose a vote today, forcing an election in January. Both side are preparing mud slinging campaigns to vilify the other.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper apparently figures SSM is a sure bet to rally the troops. His side is even willing to overrule the famous and virtuous Charter of Rights and Freedoms to get back in office. The government has never invoked the notwithstanding clause for any purpose. This would be similar to the U.S. Congress voting to shelve our Bill of Rights to rescind some law, like permitting interracial marriage.

It promises to be a nasty and protracted fight. On the other hand, it should get the cards on the table.

The press on it started the day before our Thanksgiving. The Canadian Press profiled the Conservative allies. The background on the no-confidence bill motion appears here. The ex-Liberal MP Pat O'Brien's role is here.

Canada's reputation for freedoms and respect for each other will certainly be on the line, and maybe in the voting booth.

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