Thursday, June 01, 2006

FIGHT! Fight? Forget it.

Ottawa seems to have lost its lust for abusing gay couples. Whether it be political pragmatism or just a viral common sense, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ministers are shying away from reconsideration of same-sex marriage.

As in Massachusetts, Canadians have begun getting used to the triple undeniables: 1) same-sex marriage is really no one's concern other than couples who marry, 2) same-sex marriage hurts no one and infantile claims of doom are laughable, and 3) the public, a.k.a. voters, would like their officials get onto meaningful business instead.

The last factor is almost certainly the big one. Why should politicians make grand gestures for dwindling minorities of constituents?

There is that embarrassing artifact. Harper campaigned on the bluster of calling a quick vote on reconsidering same-sex marriage....even though it was the law of the land, even though the nation's highest court (as well as provincial courts and legislatures) said it was law and required by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and even though the parliamentary votes and public polls did not favor reconsideration. In addition, Canadians are understandably not interested in messing with their seminal Charter to amuse the most conservative Conservatives.

Word is now that Tory leaders, including but not limited to Ministers, don't want anything to do with this issue. Over at The Globe and Mail, the headline is Tories shy away from same-sex quagmire. The Ministers say:
  • If it ain't broke... — David Emerson, Trade
  • It certainly isn't in line with the five priorities we've set out. — Peter MacKay, Foreign Affairs.
  • Once you've reached the optimum, nobody is really happy, but it its' the best that you can do, then it's probably best to just leave it alone. — Loyola Hearn, Fisheries
  • I wish it would just go away. — Minister wanting anonymity
Numerous MPs had similar feelings. Also previous anti-SSM Ministers are no longer promising to vote to reverse the law. For example, Health Miniter Tony Clement said, "I'd have to see what the motion read at the time and consult with my constituency."

Perhaps summing the new pragmatism best was Conservative MP Gerald Keddy, who put it:
Now, people have moved on, it's just not an issue. It is for a very small minority of people.

At the end of the day Canadians are much more interested in how the federal government is going to tax them, what our stance is on the increasing crime on our streets, what's the role of the military ... and not same-gender marriage.

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