Thursday, July 21, 2005

Please remember that I want us to live

On the matter of Conservative policy and same-sex marriage in relation to its final assent, I have two words: somewhat better. For the first time, Mr. Toews signalled the Conservative party is set to modify its strategy now [C-38] has passed. Contrary to earlier statements by leader Stephen Harper, who said he would introduce legislation to re-establish traditional marriage if he becomes prime minister, Mr. Toews said a Conservative government should first introduce a simple motion asking MPs if they would support a law once again limiting civil marriage to only one and one woman. Following that, should the motion pass, the new Conservative government should then introduce legislation repealing the same-sex marriage law and send it directly to the Supreme Court of Canada for a ruling on its constitutionality, Mr. Toews said. This still isn't perfect - I'd be happier, and I think Tory electoral prospects would increase substantially, if not a single word was spoken on the subject during the next campaign, in favour of expending the capital of media attention on more popular policies - but it's a start; it defuses the automatic trigger of the promise somewhat, implying another preliminary round (grueling though it might be) of MPs consulting directly with constituents before making any real decisions. Promise that it'll be a free vote, with no whipping, even for the cabinet (I know that's likely, but emphasizing the fact wouldn't hurt) and showcase that the party does have some internal differences of opinion on the matter, and this modified policy premise might actually be a net benefit. Or, at least, not the sucking chest wound of a self-inflicted injury that flat-out promises of immediate repeal would likely amount to. (Interestingly buried lede via The Shotgun.)

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