Thursday, December 07, 2006

kicking a dead horse

After today, hopefully, mercifully, the same-sex marriage issue can finally be put to rest.

I often completely disagree with the opinion stuff the Globe and Mail prints, but I find myself agreeing with today's editorial on the vote, A vote Harper doesn't want to win. Specifically the following:

The Conservative election theory is that wooing hard [read: social] conservatives by promoting issues close to their hearts will get them to come out to vote in large numbers. But in the recent U.S. mid-term elections and the London by-election, the strategy may have offended centrists who might have otherwise voted Conservative. Ms. Haskett ended up with 25 per cent of the vote -- a five-point drop.

There were a number of possible explanations for moderate Tories' departure, including the argument that the party didn't appeal enough to the hard right or that the Greens bled off a lot of Conservatives. But it might also be that resurrecting the same-sex issue sheared off the moderate supporters that Ms. Haskett needed to win.
(Emphasis and square-bracket comment are mine.)

While I don't think SSM was the only thing that caused Haskett to lose the by-election, (the lack of the field organization that we see a push for by so many party organizers was really disappointing) I definitely think targeting so-cons alone is not going to help us out any.

Politics is, like it or not (I choose not to), a game of concessions, and so-cons' opinions are valid and need to be considered when governing the country, regardless of who is in power. Besides, we need them to win. Similarly, though, there are concessions made to appease red tories and even, occasionally (hopefully), libertarians. While these things might be something we disagree with, we understand that there is a segment of the population that it's important to and we support the party's efforts to address these concerns.

But if the tories keep pushing fighting SSM as a priority (and a secretly major issue during election campaigns) after the vote today fails - and it looks like it's going to - there are going to be some Conservatives wondering when the concessions stop so that we can get some of the things we work for the party to get. Like, oh, I don't know, an income tax cut.

Matt over at Playing Calvinball put it particularily well:
This is soon to be dead, dead, dead. Please, let it die with dignity. If our government is pre-occupied with this issue we will lose, and we will deserve to lose. Not because we are anti-SSM, but because there are so many issues that need to be addressed. Broadbased tax-relief, the hopelessly outdated CRTC, the Wheatboard and a little train wreck we like to call the Canadian Healthcare system come to mind.


wilson61 said...

Who says the SSM issue is a Conservative priority?

Liberals, Dippers and MSM.
The only reason there is this 'perception' is because it is one of the left's talking points.

mostlyfree said...

We promised to address it in the last campaign by holding this vote. If promising to address it doesn't make it a priority, what does?

I'll be happy when, after today, it's no longer a Conservative priority... unless you're Vic Toews.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break--Harper announced this was a major issue during the campaign--the people knew this and still voted for's an important issue that needs to be dealt with properly.

It's not a dead horse--that's another left-wing talking point, hoping that we'll cave in and think marriage doesn't matter--it does. Take out a screw and the house won't cave, but remove the foundation and the house will fall.

Jon Whitelaw said...

Little to no debate took place on the issue and even with the majority of Canadians against the Liberal definition of "marriage", the bill scraped through the House of Commons and was quickly confirmed by the very Liberal senate. Nobody was given the opportunity to propose other ideas such as other 1st world, progressive nations. The UK implemented Civil Unions for same-sex couples and France eliminated the term "marriage" from government jurisdiction and left marriage as a religious ceremony. Does this mean Canada is more progressive than France and every other country in the world? Hardly; all it means is Canada didn't understand the issue and pushed a bill through parliament utilizing undemocratic means.

Anonymous said...

someone pls explain how you can support same-sex marriage and still discriminate against polygamists.

ten years ago the thought of two men having sex would have curdled most people's milk... yet we are trying to say polygamy, which is enshrined in, for example, the muslim religion will not be permitted.

who's zoomin' who?

mostlyfree said...

neo conservative,

I'm actually not a fan of the law as it is now - I don't think the government should define marriage at all, but rather help to enforce contracts on how to divide up benefits and property, and then let churches decide who can be married. I think this would address all of the problems with SSM in as objective a way as possible.

Based on how the government is doing SSM now, I think it is really hard for it to take a principled stand against polygamy, but because I'm opposed to the government enforcing religion, and because the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is a religious definition, I support SSM as it is as the least crappy (imo) of the two options that were on the table.

Jon Whitelaw said...


I agree. The government has no business in certifying marriage; hell even if you aren't married they will assume common law and consider you married. For me this is not a religious issue but an authoritarian issue. While only two options were on the table, there were many ways to go with this issue (most implemented in other nations) and none were discussed.

You are currently in Windsor? Chatham here. :)