Thursday, August 24, 2006

Positive Sign

This story on today sounds good to us:

Bloc opts for united front against reopening same-sex marriage debate

Sylvain Larocque
Canadian Press

Thursday, August 24, 2006

ORFORD, Que. (CP) - The Bloc Quebecois has opted to present a united front against the reopening of the same-sex marriage debate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe put the matter to a vote at a party caucus meeting and asked members to respect the party line, Bloc MP Real Menard said in an interview Thursday.

The Bloc plans to oppose any attempts by the Conservatives to revisit the issue when Parliament returns in the fall. Five Bloc members voted against the redifinition of marriage last summer and Menard said he does not believe they have changed their minds on the issue.

"It is simply believed that the debate has taken place and it is not relevant to start it again," he said.

The New Democratic Party made support of same-sex marriage a party position and as a result its 29 MPs will vote against any motion to reopen the debate.

The Liberal caucus, meeting this week in Vancouver, has not considered the issue.

During the last federal election campaign, Harper promised to hold a free vote on the definition of marriage but hasn't pushed it since the Tories took power.

Menard cited the voting record of the previous Canadian Alliance and Reform Party, which merged to become the Conservative party, and said they generally voted against gay and lesbian rights.

"I think it is necessary to make the public understand the government is homophobic," Menard said.

"When, since 1993, you vote each time you can against gay rights, I think it should be concluded that they (the Conservatives) are homophobic," Menard said.

"If the Bloc had voted nine times against women, natives or any other specific groups in the country, I think the necessary conclusions would have been drawn."

Menard predicted any homophobia on the Conservatives part will hurt them in Quebec where gay rights are generally supported.

An Environics poll released in May indicated that 62 per cent of Canadians do not want to see the debate on same-sex marriage revived.

© The Canadian Press 2006


Tom said...

That is good news. I need to look up the voting record of the Liberal party on SSM.

The more I learn about the NDP, the more I like about them. They are very close to a majority in Nova Scotia.

West End Bob said...


Thanks to Jo at "The Canadian Way", here's the scoop:

Parliament goes back to work in early September:

Conservatives - 124
Liberals - 103
Bloc - 51
NDP - 29
Ind - 1
TOTAL: 308

So, if all of the Bloc votes against bringing up the Same Sex Marriage issue there are 51 votes against.

We are pretty sure NDP - 29 (will also vote against bringing it up)

Liberals - 103 (I feel certain most of these will vote against bringing it up)

That only leaves Conservatives and they are SUPPOSED to be able to vote their conscience this time around - 124 is the most that could vote the other way.

So, this is looking better and better that the issue will be laid to rest.



laura k said...

Many members of Harper's own party don't even want the issue reopened.

He's wrong in doing this, of course, but no one really thinks it will change anything. Even if they did have the votes in the HoC (which they do not), there's a little detail of a Supreme Court ruling to deal with.

Relax. It's a political sideshow, not serious opposition.

West End Bob said...

Oh, I get it: Sort of like how bush/rove get their "base" excited about issues and then proceed to do absolutely nothing constructive . . . . Once a politician, always a politician I guess.

West End Bob said...

Here's a site that breaks down the probable marriage vote supplied by Jo at "The Canadian Way" - Thanks, Jo!

barefoot hiker said...

Harper promised the people who elected him he'd do this. It's a cynical nod to a bunch of bigots to whom he owes his seat; nothing more. Even if they vote to re-open the debate, they're just re-opening the debate. To overrule the courts, they'd need to evoke the notwithstanding clause, and they and/or every government elected after them would have to renew it every five years until Kingdom Come. It's highly unlikely Canadian governments into the unending future would be willing to overrule the courts on a matter of the Constitution forever. I my opinion, it's a mug's game.

West End Bob said...

Thanks for checking in, LP . . . I hope you're right.