Thursday, February 02, 2006

Harper Brinkmanship


We have become convinced that new Canadian PM Stephen Harper is as cynical as U.S. politicians. He is willing to press quickly for a Commons vote on rolling back same-sex marriage.

He campaigned on the possibility of stripping homosexuals of marriage rights. That sucked many conservatives into voting for him, and not only in the more conservative Western provinces. Despite NDP and BQ calls to keep the marriage rights and stay true to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, even some Quebec and Ontario ridings for MPs went his way.

Yet in the end, it appears the vote will be at least 156 to keep SSM and at most 136 to reverse it, according to an MP poll by the Globe and Mail. Even if that were reversed, the courts would likely invalidate such a vote.

It appears Harper wants to be able to say, "I tried to keep my promise, but those lousy Liberals and their libertine friends beat us." It's possible that Conservatives and their friends are naive enough to buy into that, as we are as a nation to believe George the Lesser's assertions.
The Globe and Mail reports that despite claims by anti-SSM forces that they had won tremendous victories because 30 Liberal MPs lost in recent elections, they have said nothing about pro-SSM MPs replacing nearly every seat. In addition, some of the strongest anti-SSM candidates lost badly.

The votes aren't there, but rescinding SSM rights doesn't appear to be any more than posturing for Harper.

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