The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Last year, I blogged between the First and Fourth, here, about the blessings both Americans and Canadians enjoy because of the culture we hold in common. Despite some Canadians' obsessing over what makes us different -- and we are different from Americans in certain particulars -- it is certain things we have in common that makes each of our countries places for human flourishing. Here's something from one of the Fathers of Confederation, from the debate over the Quebec Resolutions in the Province of Canada, what is now Quebec and Ontario, that became the British North America Act -- now, the Constitution Act, 1867:
I cannot help feeling that the struggle of half a lifetime for constitutional reform -- the agitations in the country and the fierce contest in this chamber -- the strife and the discord and the abuse of many years -- are all compensated by the great scheme of reform which is now in your hands (Cheers). The attorney general for Upper Canada (Sir John A. Macdonald) as well as the attorney general for Lower Canada (Sir George-Etienne Cartier), in addressing the house last night, were anxious to have it understood that this scheme for uniting British America under one government is something different from "representation by population" -- is something different from "joint authority" -- but is in fact the very scheme of the government of which they were members in 1858 . . . For myself, sir, I care not who gets the credit of this scheme -- I believe it contains the best features of all the suggestions that have been made in the last ten years for the settlement of our troubles. The whole feeling in my mind now is one of joy and thankfulness that there were found men of position and influence in Canada who, at a moment of serious crisis, had nerve and patriotism enough to cast aside political partisanship, to banish personal considerations, and unite for the accomplishment of a measure so fraught with advantage to their common country. (Cheers) It was a bold step in the then existing state of public feeling for many members of the House to vote for the Constitutional Committee moved by me last session -- it was a very bold step for many of the members of that committee to speak and vote candidly upon it -- it was a still bolder thing for many to place their names to the report that emanated from that committee -- but it was an infinitely bolder step for the gentlemen who now occupy these treasury benches, to brave the misconceptions and suspicions that would certainly attach to the act, and enter the same Government. And it is not to be denied that such a Coalition demanded no ordinary justification. But who does not feel that every one of us has today ample justification and reward for all we did in the document now under discussion? (Cheers). But seven short months have passed away since the coalition government was formed, yet already are we submitting a scheme well weighed and matured for the erection of a future empire, a scheme which has been received at home and abroad with almost universal approval.
The Postcasting Tories
The Blogging Tories officially launched its podcasting site today. Go check it out!
Get your podcast on!
(you don't even need an iPod!)
The 10 Greatest Americans...
Here are the top 10 Americans, as chosen by 2.4 million viewers...
- Ronald Reagan
- Abraham Lincoln
- Martin Luther King
- George Washington
- Benjamin Franklin
- George W. Bush
- Bill Clinton
- Elvis Presley
- Oprah Winfrey
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
My god, Oprah???? Bill Clinton???? I like George Bush, but I don't think he belongs in the top 10.
Martin's legacy so far
Take a look at the following quote from Roman historian Tacitus, in which he comments on the legacy of one of Rome's emperors.
"If only he had not become the emperor, everyone would have said what an excellent emperor he would have made."
If Tacitus were alive today and living in modern day Canada, I'm pretty sure he would make a similar comment about our current leader, and it might go something like this.
"If only Paul Martin had not become Prime Minister, everyone would have said what an excellent Prime Minister he would have made."
In my opinion, that short statement sums up our Prime Minister's legacy pretty accurately so far. Does anybody else have an opinion?
crossposted to canadiancomment
Man fined $786 for an apostrophe in Quebec
Where else but in Quebec? Bob Rice, an ower of a business selling plumber and farm supplies about 80 km. north of Gantineau (next to Ottawa), was just fined $786 for having an apostrophe in his sign, "Bob's".....
This is his second fine in five years - he had previously been charged under the language law and had covered up part of his sign - the part that read "Plumbing and Farm Supplies."
His big mistake was to leave the "Bob's"....
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Conservatives and Kyoto
Conservative Party environment critic Bob Mills issued this press release today:
Official Opposition Environment Critic Bob Mills blasted the NDP, Liberal, Bloc coalition on the Environment Committee for pushing through their flawed report on Kyoto. The committee met nearly forty times since September hearing dozens of witnesses on both sides of the Kyoto issue. A first draft of the report to the committee was deemed acceptable with a few minor changes, however the Liberal, NDP, Bloc coalition found it too damaging to the government.
“Day after day MP’s sat in committee listening to dozens of witnesses point out the flaws in Canada’s commitment to Kyoto. The report the NDP, Liberal, Bloc coalition has forced through today bears almost no resemblance to the depositions we heard. This is another Liberal whitewash designed to prop up a failing coalition between the Liberals, socialists and separatists,” said Mills.
“Seeing as though the committee coalition has voted to recommend a report which calls for sending billions of dollars offshore to buy hot air, the Conservative MP’s on the committee have tabled a minority report. This report reflects much of what we heard at committee from the witnesses. It promotes a responsible plan to keep Canadian tax dollars in Canada fighting both climate change and real air pollution. Moreover it calls for the aggressive promotion of new green technologies that we can export for the betterment of everyone,” finished Mills.
It's about time the party at least alluded to the fraud the government and its political partners are misleading the country with to convince Canadians of the supposed need for the outrageously expensive and unnecessary Kyoto Protocol, but it doesn't go far enough. When my son was in Grade Seven two years ago he gave a speech on Kyoto which made three points:
1) There was inadequate scientific evidence to support global warming so the Liberals had failed to prove Kyoto was necessary;
2) If global warming was a fact, it was not necessarily a problem and even if it was it was far from clear that Canada signing onto Kyoto would address it;
3) Even if Kyoto addressed the global warming problem, it was too expensive to implement.
Number three is a hard sell so it is imperative that 1 & 2 are made clear to all Canadians. Unfortunately, the Conservatives seem prepared to concede 1&2 (even though they allude to it in Mills' criticism that the majority report is "flawed") and focus on cost effective alternatives to Kyoto. When I recently talked to a global warming expert he told me that few in the party were interested in publicly questioning the dubious science behind Kyoto and last year a Conservative MP told me that there is no use fighting that battle because Canadians have bought into the "fact" of global warming. Indeed, that was my son's teacher's criticism of his speech -- that he ignored the scientific facts of the issue even though my son provided ample evidence to demonstrate that there is no consensus in the scientific community about whether or not global warming is actually happening, let alone is a problem.
The party has some heavy lifting to do on this issue if they want to make it a winner, but I believe it can be a winner. With this minority report they seem to have taken a step in the right direction but I'd like to see more boldness on the part of Mills and his colleagues.
We Knew Him When
Introducing the new President Elect of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
SSM in the next election
I think that the Conservatives running against same-sex marriage in the next federal election would be wise for many reasons, most of them already stated earlier by others on this blog but I will still highlight two. The second best reason is that with the country, at worst, being evenly divided on the issue and intensity polling suggesting that those opposed to SSM are more likely to vote on the issue than those who support it, and with all the other major parties supporting SSM, there is a potential windfall for championing this cause. My guess is that many Christian Canadians who have long stopped voting because they were never adequately represented by any of the mainstream parties would vote for a Conservative Party that made marriage a major theme of their campaign.
The best reason, though, for making SSM a campaign issue is that the Liberals obviously didn't want it to be a campaign issue and that is why they rammed it through before the summer recess and therefore as long before an election call as possible. As Brent Colbert noted: "The bonus is that this is an issue that has deeply divided the Liberal caucus and an issue that they desperately did not want to campaign on. I say don’t let them get away with it."
Today is the first day of the summer recess till the House of Commons resumes sitting September 26th. For what it's worth, my advice for making a fruitful time of it is here.
At the Montreal Conservative convention last March, I had the privilege of running into a number of old friends from the Tory caucus, whom I first knew from "Reform days." Upon learning that they had decided not to seek re-election, I thanked them for their service and congratulated them on recovering their sanity!
I have the greatest respect for elected people in view of what they're willing to put themselves through, holding themselves up to public criticism and intrusion on their privacy. My standard advice to prospective candidates entails describing just how onerous the parliamentary calendar is and the tyranny of the urgent it imposes, one minute demanding one's presence and readiness to perform and the next instant asking Members to stand down and delay. Then, I generally advise them not to seek a nomination. But if I can't talk them out of it, and they still decide to do that to themselves (and their families), they will garner my deep gratitude for their decision to seek public office and the sacrifice it represents.
None is perfect. But, too often, we don't give the respect and honour to many of our finest elected officials they deserve.
So, when you see one of those crazy people who bear the burden of public service, say something nice. And if she's a Liberal, be nice, then work hard to raise enough money this summer to turn her out of office.
But I'm not partisan.
"Shotgun" blogger endorsed by Steyn
See here, toward the end of the interview. Congratulations, Kate.
Wagging the Dosanjh
So Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh held a big press conference today to make a landmark announcement about Internet pharmacy exports to the US. The entire press gallery was there.
The announcement? That the government would be paying attention to what's going on.
Sound vapid? Here's some highlights from the CTV story, trying its best to make this sound like news:
The federal government will monitor the bulk export of drugs from
Canada and stop it when necessary, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh says.
Dosanjh didn't give a specific date for when the plan would start, but the minister said he wanted to consult the Internet pharmacy industry on how to monitor drug supply within Canada.
New legislation would be introduced in the fall sitting of Parliament, he said.
A ban would only kick in when there was an anticipated shortage of supply, he said.
Dosanjh said the government would require an existing relationship between a foreign patient and a Canadian doctor. . .As to what it will mean, "you will see once the regulations are drafted," he told the reporters.
Hmmm. We're going to be watching. We may have some bills in the fall. You'll see what we're talking about then. Seems like an awful little to have a big fancy press conference about. As Craig Oliver told the anchor on NewsNet this morning: "If the minister can't even explain what he's talking about, don't expect me to."
Unexpected insight from Ottawa
I experienced one of those all-too-rare "holy crap!" moments this morning when going through my mail. The cause was the Spring 2005 edition of the Carleton University Magazine, whose surprising cover story is entitled, "Global Warming? Kyoto controversy rages in the scientific community."
What!? Could it possibly be true that a publicly funded journal, produced in the very heart of global-warming myth-land, would give serious treatment to the common-sense, scientifically solid objections of global-warming sceptics? Turning quickly to the story inside, I discovered that, yes indeed, the story lived up to its billing. Let's hope Carleton is sending a copy of the magazine to every single one of our now-vacationing MPs.
So Michael Ignatieff wants to be Prime Minister?
According to a front-page story in The Globe today, yes he does. (Type in Michael Ignatieff at news.google.ca if the story is behind the subscription wall.)
This is not too surprising, as the signs have been present for a few months now. Michael Valpy, who's very much "in" with the bien-pensant Rosedale crowd who would be behind an Ignatieff candicacy, writes:
The 58-year-old author, broadcaster and director of Harvard University's prestigious Carr Center for Human Rights Policy is on the edge of announcing his decision to run for Parliament for the Liberals in the next election.
He has met regularly with an informal group of influential Liberals in Toronto and elsewhere over recent months to discuss his political future.
He has painstakingly -- almost stealthily -- laid the foundations for his return to Canada after an absence of more than three decades.
He has been negotiating with the CBC to produce a four-part TV documentary series and companion book, reportedly exploring an academic appointment at the University of Toronto, circulating word of his availability to address influential Canadian audiences and quietly looking for Toronto accommodation.
How perfect: the CBC will give him a nice fat taxpayer-funded budget to produce a TV series, U of T will give him a plum teaching post and he'll charge $10,000 to give speeches to the Canadian Association of Hotel Owners for a while. He'll be running the place in no time!
And talk about carpet-bagging! He leaves the country for 30 years and thinks he can just come back and take over the place?
Where's the outrage?
Finally, some conservative policies?
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will roll out parts of his election platform as he tours Canada in a van this summer, months before an expected federal election.
Often accused of being tight-lipped on changes he wants to bring to the country, Harper says he'll be forthcoming this summer. He spent months leading a daily barrage in the Commons against Liberal corruption but it appeared not to have much effect. The Tories still lag in the polls.
Harper said Tuesday he'll adopt a new strategy: explaining how a Harper-led government would be different from the Liberals.
"It seemed a good idea to start to get some of our ideas out now and to contrast those with some of the priorities of the Liberals," Harper said as he kicked off his summer tour with a partisan barbecue.
"Our primary role in Parliament is to hold the government accountable. But when Parliament isn't sitting, I think, obviously we have to start talking about some of our own policies."
He suggested in a speech to supporters that his summer tour will be more than what some have dismissed as just a surface image makeover.
There'll be new ideas for health care, the environment, child care, Canadian federalism, immigration and rebuilding rural economies. But he offered few new, concrete details.
I hope this report is correct. I haven't seen a ton of ideas in the platform from the Conservative Party Convention....so, I hope his policy people have been working overtime.
A big economic opportunity for Canada
Yes, I sure hope that Canada becomes a mecca for Marriage For Gays! I hope every province and the Federal Government put in some money for a coherent advertising campaign. What better way to celebrate a gay wedding than a romantic holiday in Montreal, or Quebec City, or Whistler, or yes...Banff.
Yes, Bill C-38 is good economically for Canada!
My try at the C-38 predictions game.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Does the Attorney General know the law?
Young Ottawa philosopher Clement Ng posted the following in the comments to my cross-post, here, on a news story about Attorney General of Canada Irwin Cotler, the minister responsible for the Charter, and his comments, today, following the C-38 vote:
From our Justice Minister, here . . .
"[The Conservatives are] going to have to acknowledge that they want to override the (Charter of Rights), override constitutional-law decisions in nine jurisdictions in this country, override a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, override the rule of law in this country."
Well he seems to have forgotten that the SCC, in its reference case, did not declare the common law definition of marriage unconstitutional. They only ruled that the expanded definition of marriage is consistent with the Charter and here they merely re-affirmed the lower court precedents.
But it's the last part of the minister's comment that shows he's way off the mark: how could invoking the notwithstanding clause be tantamount to "overriding the rule of law" if the clause itself is a part of the law (indeed, it is part of the Charter)?
In the Quebec Succession Reference case, the SOC outlined three components to the rule of law - 1) the supremacy of law over acts of government and individuals, 2) the maintenance of civil order through the enforcement of positive law, and 3) the normative grounding of political power in legal rules.
Again, how could invoking the notwithstanding clause amount to a usurpation of legal authority if the enactment of the clause itself was achieved by the same legal authority?
Our Justice Minister is surely confused (and he's a law professor!). We are governed by all of the Charter, not just s.15 of it!
Clement lives in Ottawa . . . someone give the guy a job doing legislative and policy analysis.
Here We Go
Nothing like same-sex marriage to turn the Shotgun into a free-for-all. With all due respect to my fellow Gunners, I think this post is, at best, unfortunate: it is inflammatory and insulting to those same-sex couples who wish to enter into marriage as a public expression of their love for one another. It's also a non sequitur: it's unclear whether the bondage gear is the "offensive" aspect of the couple photographed (if not, why choose that photo?), but if so, does that mean that heterosexual couples who engage in that particular activity are somehow invalidly married as well?
In any event, it is now important for the Conservatives (and anti-SSM conservatives) to decide whether to make repealing Bill C-38 a priority and one of the central planks in their electoral platform. Stephen Harper today confirmed that he intends to do so. Kevin Libin has argued that doing so will reap electoral profits. I have expressed my doubts about that strategy, but it's not an issue over which I'd leave the party (to borrow a phrase from Damian Penny, "I'll still vote for the Conservatives because of, well, pretty much every issue except same-sex marriage" - well, except for their lukewarm support of tax cuts, their abandonment of the principle of private involvement in healthcare delivery, their inability to articulate a free-market, strong-democracy, smaller-government, rights-and-responsibilities vision for Canada... oh, look, just trust me, I'll vote for them over the Liberals, okay?). But here's some questions Conservatives will need to answer if they intend to repeal same-sex marriage legislation:
What will happen to same-sex marriages which have already been consecrated? Will they be retroactively "annulled" by the federal government? How?
What about churches (like, say, the United Church) which consecrate same-sex marriages? Does the Conservative commitment to religious freedom and pluralism include respect for the fact that some religions are comfortable with SSM? Or is someone prepared to argue that those religious beliefs (at least on this point) are somehow illegitimate?
If today's vote in Parliament is deemed by the Conservatives an insufficiently binding decision on the issue of SSM, what are the criteria for determining when a sufficiently binding decision has been made? If the CPC wins a majority in the next election, and the result of a free vote in the Commons is the rejection of the repealing of Bill C-38, will the CPC let the issue fall away? How will the CPC ensure that a vote under a CPC majority is actually "free"? What will make it different from today's vote (after all, the only people for whom today's vote was not free was the NDP, who are unlikely to adopt different rules on a future vote, and the Liberal Cabinet - but how many of them would change their vote?)?
If the CPC is prepared to make a commitment to the electorate that they will hold a free vote on (or repeal) Bill C-38, on what other issues are they prepared to make such a commitment? What other issues are as important for the CPC? Or is this the single issue on which they are prepared to take such a decisive stand?
Actually, Russ....I'm in for $1,000 to any member of the clergy who has to fight a case for refusing to perform a gay marriage.
I will put my money where my keyboard it
Russ has challenged me.
Will you put up the dough to defend the very next member of the clergy, church, religious organization, or marriage commissioner of faith who is dragged before a human rights tribunal, into a court, or forced to resign a commission to solemnize marriages?
Since I am Jewish, I will donate $1,000 to the next Rabbi who has trouble under this act.
Why Fred Litwin is not right, but wrong
Fred Litwin made a number of assertions. I'll cite them and see if they stand up, one by one, as he gave them:
"1. Marriage for Gays has been fully debated."
Not so. Witness lists were skewed so as to give the pretense of balance with respect to the numbers of witnesses asking to appear on both sides of the debate. Further, on the op-ed pages, some of those making the strongest cases against gay marriage who have not previously had difficulty getting published were kept off the pages. In other words, there was editorial censorship;
"2. Parliament voted to support it."
The commitment was to a free vote. There was no free vote as not only cabinet ministers but parliamentary secretaries were required to support the government on the bill.
"3. This issue should not become an albatross around the neck of the Conservatives."
Kevin Libin makes a good case, here, that opposing gay marriage is a vote winner that could allow Conservatives to take flight into power. This accords with the folks I go to church with in a multi-ethnic congregation who are far less understanding of the brand of liberalism that thinks gay marriage should be legally recognized. So, "good luck with that."
"4. Marriage has now been strengthened."
Um, not so. This further undermines the standing of an institution responsible for procreating and rearing the next generation of Canadians and attempts to reduce it merely to a right instead of an institution worthy of support.
"5. Religious Freedom will not be harmed."
Okay -- put your money where your, um, keyboard is. Will you put up the dough to defend the very next member of the clergy, church, religious organization, or marriage commissioner of faith who is dragged before a human rights tribunal, into a court, or forced to resign a commission to solemnize marriages?
Canada Day will never be the same
THIS IS NOW CONSIDERED A CANADIAN MARRIAGE
Canada's Liberal government passed a law to legalize homosexual marriage by changing the definition from "union between one man and one woman" to "two persons." The majority of Canadians oppose this change but the Liberals implemented "closure" in parliament in order to fast-track passage of this bill and cut off debate. The Bloc Quebecois want to separate from Canada but, through their support of this, they will leave this as a parting gift for the rest of Canada before they separate.
While ordinary Canadians struggle to pay their bills and to raise their kids, this, my friends, is the Canadian government's top priority.
The revolutionaries of the Upper and Lower Canada Rebellion and the founding fathers of Confederation are turning in their graves. Happy Canada Day indeed.
It's a very gay day for Canada!
Finally, parliament has voted, and marriage for gays has passed. This is a very good day for Canada, and a good day for libertarians who realize that gay people deserve the full dignity other Canadians have.
I personally believe this is good for the Conservative Party. The issue has now been settled, and the Conservatives can now move on. I hope that Stephen Harper decides that there are far more important issues.
Should the Conservatives decide this should, once again, be an election issue, it will hurt them. Canadians do NOT want this issue to be re-debated. We've had two years of debate, and further debate is not going to clarify anything.
Keith, marriage for gays is a vote loser for the Conservatives. You can talk all you want to the muslims, they still won't vote for the Conservatives - they aren't a one issue community and, for them, there are other bigger issues. I would dare say issues that they don't trust the Conservatives on.
Let me recap:
1. Marriage for Gays has been fully debated.
2. Parliament voted to support it.
3. This issue should not become an albatross around the neck of the Conservatives.
4. Marriage has now been strengthened.
5. Religious Freedom will not be harmed
I challenge all Conservatives to move on.....but, for those of you who cannot...please write down your predictions of the harm this bill will cause. I would like to see it on the record.
They're Here, They're Queer, We're Finished
So ends the institution of marriage in Canada. I've been married just under four years.
Marriage - alas, we hardly knew ye.
What liberalism hath wrought . . .
On the amendment that C-38 be sent back to a reconstituted legislative committee for the hearing of witnesses: Yeas - 127; Nays - 158:
On the main motion that C-38 do pass: Yeas - 158: Nays - 133.
Now, C-38 goes to the Senate, and should it pass the Senate, receive Royal Assent, and be proclaimed, the legal definition of marriage pursuant to Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Civil Marriage Act shall be:
Marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.
What hath liberalism wrought?
An Act of Conscience
Joe Comuzzi has resigned from cabinet over the same-sex marriage bill. He swore to his constituents that he would uphold the traditional definition of marriage, and since Paul Martin won't let his ministers vote their conscience, Mr. Comuzzi followed his conscience right out the door, and onto the back bench.
The CBC had the unmitigated gall to say "You would think this would be big news across Canada, but it's not."
And whose fault is that, Mr. Hannomansing? Could it be the fact that the MSM has buried it? After all, it doesn't jibe with our ideals of the perfect Canada, where people of the same sex copulate with each other on the streets of Toronto at what is ostensibly a family-friendly celebration of diversity.
My friend, whose husband works for the CBC, remarked to me one night "The CBC, where same sex marriage isn't just encouraged - it's mandatory!"
C-43 passed in the Senate
Deputy Speaker Chuck Strahl (can a Speaker be called "Chuck?") just read a message from the Senate that C-43, the Budget Implementation Act, has been passed. So, the natural resources deal for Atlantic Canada has been passed.
Now, how soon will royal assent be given and the Act proclaimed in the Canada Gazette in order to become the law of the land?
"Over to you, Mr. Dithers, er Prime Minister."
One less war criminal
The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the voice behind the Rwandan massacres, Leon Mugesera, must leave Canada immediately. It rejected the silly 2003 ruling of a federal court of appeals ruled that Mugesera was not guilty of inciting Hutus to massacres Tutsis—even though his videotaped speeches show him telling more than 1,000 of his fellow party members that they should kill Tutsi "cockroaches" and dump their bodies in the river.
Watch for Mugesera's Canadian lawyer, Guy Bertrand, to argue that he will be killed if he goes back to Rwanda and that Ottawa must seek assurances that he won't face the death penalty if he is to be returned home.
Right. Canada wouldn't want anyone to get killed over something like this.
Paul Martin hears from the boss
Personally, I would be freaking out if I found out my boss was bad-mouthing me in public.
C-38, the Civil Marriage Act
C-38, the Civil Marriage Act, here, being considered at Third Reading, today, in the House of Commons is likely to pass in the House, tonight. C-38 proposes to:
- Give statutory definition to marriage. In Canada to
date, the definition of marriage has depended on the 1866 ruling of
Lord Penzance on Hyde v. Hyde and Woodmansee.
Judicial rulings overturning this definition of marriage as the legal
union of one man and one woman have been predicated on the Section 15 equality rights provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- Radically individualize marriage by making it an equality right -- not an institution -- that is accessible by any two "persons," not limited to the union of one man and one woman;
both natural parental rights, and parental rights under legal adoption,
by imputing parental rights by virtue of civil marriage; and
- Undermine the religious freedom of individuals, associations, and institutions. C-38 provides a pretext for anyone refused solemnization of marriage (or access to facilities for the purposes of solemnizing or celebrating a marriage) to bring action in the courts or human rights tribunals against any individual, association, or institution refusing.
For those, um, who really wanna know what I think (ugh!) and the arguments of others that I've posted, I've blogged here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here (see "bullet point" from Monte Solberg), here, here, here, here, and here about SSM. Contrary to the impression this might leave, I'm not a one-issue blogger or political activist. But, after all, this issue has been put up for public debate by the PM and AdScam party. By putting up C-38, they called for debate, so I've debated.
Failing a severe stab of conscience before the vote at Third Reading, C-38 will pass the House of Commons. For the reasons I've already given, that's not a good thing.
Let's All Wake Up, Con't
A commentor at my own site dropped the following in the comments, in response to a earlier post on the military rumblings of China that I crossposted here. Joe writes;
Re acid rain in China. As a resident of Guangzhou, I can confirm that it stings like crazy if it gets into your eyes. The Southern China landscape now is nothing more than a hot, hazy, pollution-filled, area full of factories and brothels.
Re the nationalist side of China, I've witnessed the rise of this during the last 12 years and, yes, it has already surpassed the nationalism of what we read was evident in pre-war Germany, Italy, Japan etc.
The "us" and "them" mentality(i.e. we Chinese and you foreigners led by America) is staggering in China. And the expectation that China will directly challenge the US one day isn't debated over here, it's seen as an inevitable fact.
The govt here encourages a victim mentality complex and a sense of aggrieved history among the population (as in the recent anti-Japan riots) as well as teching all schoolchildren that The Middle Kingdom ruled the world for millenia before, several hundred years ago, the industrialised west stole it's technology like gunpowder etc. and usurped China's rightful place in the world. China incurred a HUGE loss of face and now China has started on the road to re-claiming it's rightful place in the world. Conflict with the US/allies is inevitable and welcome as it will be the herald of a new era of unrivalled dominance for China.
Also, don't expect China to start lobbing missiles anytime soon, it's not her style. Sun Zu's 36 Directives on waging war are almost all concerned with deception (1 spy is worth more than 1,000 soldiers, sometimes a war can be lost before it has even began etc.). Therefore, China will work behind the scenes, quietly, not attracting attention, undermining economies, cyber-war, propaganda war, building spy networks and maybe 10,000 other things that none of us here could even guess at.
I'm not saying we should all run to our nuclear shelters just yet but if anyone believes all that talk about China's peaceful rise and how China will never seek hegemony or use aggression against others, then they are a fool.
There's more at simonworld.mu.nu.
Guantanamo Bay Is One Happenin' Place
Torture by Harry Potter, topless female interrogators and "99 Ways To Desecrate The Koran!"
Where do those infidel Americans find the time?
Monday, June 27, 2005
Live blogging C-38 at Report Stage
Okay -- a quick primer on how a bill passes the House of Commons:
- "First Reading" -- This is the introduction of a bill by its sponsor whether a private member or a Minister of the Crown. The motion for first reading is "deemed adopted" once the bill is introduced;
- "Second Reading" -- This is consideration as to the principles of the bill. Once the time for debate at second reading expires or the debate collapses, there's a vote -- by voice, "on division" -- meaning it passes with a register of dissent, or with a recorded division -- a standing vote of MPs;
- Committee -- Once it passes second reading, the bill is sent to committee for the hearing of witnesses on the bill and "clause by clause consideration" of the bill which requires that every clause of the bill and the title be voted on either individually or as an aggregate. Then the committee "reports" the bill back to the chamber amended or unamended;
- "Report Stage" -- MPs may propose amendments to the bill such that similar amendments may be grouped into votes by the Speaker, allowing for debate and votes on the groups;
- "Third Reading" -- The last kick at the can -- debate on any and all aspects of the bill as amended in committee or at report stage. A vote is held once time for debate expires or debate collapses, and it's sent to the Senate if the bill didn't originate in the Senate.
The votes at Report Stage on C-38:
- That clause one be deleted: Yeas - 109; Nays - 163;
- That clause two be deleted: Yeas - 121; Nays - 152;
- That clause seven be deleted: Yeas - 103 ; Nays - 169;
- That clause fifteen be deleted: Yeas - 102; Nays - 169;
- That clause 3.1 be amended: Yeas - 102; Nays - 169;
- That clause 3.1 be amended: Yeas - 102; Nays - 169; and
- That C-38 be adopted at Report Stage: Yeas - 154; Nays - 124.
And the House adjourned for the day . . .
Not getting over it
The same-sex marriage bill may indeed pass this week, but who says the Tories are going to move past it? In fact, in the current issue of the Western Standard, senior writer Terry O'Neill asks the very important question, what will the Conservatives do once same-sex marriage is law? Will they go so far as to actually fight to have it repealed? After all, it's one thing to oppose the granting of a "right" in the first place. It's a touch more extreme a position to actually advocate stripping people of those "rights". Are the Tories really willing to go that far?
In a word: Yes.
The Tories say they plan to continue to campaign against same-sex marriage until they successfully repeal it. To people who love the Tories but hate their same-sex stance, and wish they'd get over it already, that's bad news. But the Conservatives know that same-sex is their winningest issue in a long time.
No matter how we personally feel about same-sex marriage, polls show that Canadians are, at best, ambivalent about it. Just a slim majority are against, but you can bet that they're going to be the sort that will be more likely to walk five miles through a snowstorm to get to the polls to make their voices heard. Most of the 48 per cent that favour gay marriage are likely doing it in the spirit of "yeah, I guess it's only fair." But will it swing their vote? Outside of progressive hotbeds—the Annex, Edmonton Centre, etc.— I think not. And those folks are just as likely to pick one of the other three federal parties that back same-sex marriage as they are the Liberals (I'm counting the Greens, here).
As our resident traditional marriage pit bull, Ted Byfield, put it in a recent column, the Liberals have finally emerged from the bubble they've been living in and realized they're on the wrong side of this issue, politically:
If an Ottawa rally held last month is any indication . . .The RCMP put the size of the crowd at 15,000, making it the biggest demonstration on Parliament Hill in living memory. Moreover, it included not only Protestant and Catholic Christians, but Jews, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus in the hundreds.
Yet what no doubt really shook the Liberal MPs was this: the two national newspapers ignored the whole event, one of them even covering pro-gay rallies of one or two hundred people elsewhere in the country that same weekend. In short, Martin must have been deluded by the pro-gay media into totally underestimating the lethal potential of the gay-marriage issue. It will hit the Liberals much harder than he imagined, especially in the heavily ethnic urban constituencies upon which they so urgently depend.
When even 40 Liberals are against it, it's clear that this is an issue that Grits really don't want to face when knocking on doors in the next campaign. That's why, as even the staunchest same-sex supporters can see, Paul Martin is so desperate to ram this bill through before his deal with the NDP ends and he's back to facing an election threat again. You don't hear him defending it tooth and nail, the way you did in February, talking tough about it being a human right. He's backed off. He thought he had a winning issue and what he's got on his hands now is a piece of political dynamite.
In the meantime, Stephen Harper knows that this issue opens up whole new constituencies for his party. Check the meeting with 35,000 Muslims this weekend. Most of them will be voting Conservative next time around thanks to this issue. Conservative Muslims voting en masse for the party that is supposedly aligned ideologically with George W. Bush? That never would have seemed possible this time last year. Now add Italians, Greeks, Portugese—all the ethnic groups that have been Liberal since they immigrated here, are now back in play.
The Tories are in the business of getting elected—not "getting over" things. They've found their winning issue. Passage or no passage, they're going to exploit this issue for as long as they can. Bet on it.
The papers that matter
"Despite what Toronto elites would have us believe, it is the CP wire and not the Globe and Mail that is the most important outlet to get good coverage in. CP stories are used to fill pages by nearly every small town newspaper in Canada. These publications don't have (because they cannot afford) their own reporters outside of the local beats. So this article probably found its way into a whole slew of Peterborough Examiner-type broadsheets this morning."
Daifallah makes an excellent point and one that Tory-leaning bloggers will ignore at the peril of their party. Most open-minded voters in Ontario cities such as Peterborough, Orillia, Kitchener, Woodstock, Chatham, Belleville and St. Catharines don't read the Globe and Mail (or the National Post). They trust their local paper even when the copy comes from another source such as CP. It is important that the bloggers hold the CP as accountable for their political coverage as they do the rancid columnists and politically biased Ottawa reporters of the large dailies and just as important that those who have a way with words send their best blog posts as letters to the editor of their local papers. The next election will be won and lost in Ontario outside the GTA were CP-dependent papers are the most important source of political news.
TheTyee.ca, B.C.'s left-leaning Internet news site, has published an excerpt from John Ralston Saul's latest tome, The Collapse of Globalism. Included in the piece is this gem in which Canada's very own philosopher king attempts to describe the current state of world affairs: "It is like being in a vacuum, except that this is a chaotic vacuum, one filled with dense disorder and contradictory tendencies." In other words, it's like being in a place where nothing exists, only that something confusing actually does exist.
Needless to say, I'll not be going out of my way to read any more of such hilarious gobbledygook.
What about the dignity of people of faith?
Why are you so intent on setting a stage for a full-on attack against churches, clergy, religious organizations, and marriage commissioners of faith? How are they supposed to get over that as people who insist on defending their "dignity" haul people before human rights commissions and into the courts? This isn't over by a long shot.
It's not about dignity. It's about running people of faith into the ground and grinding them into dust.
Now that's odious.
But it's alright. I get it. Really.
Yes, I do get it...do you?
Russ: I'm glad you get it.
The real question conservatives should be debating is how to move forward. Marriage for gays is legal in 8 provinces, and soon will be legal across the country.
Finally, gays will have the dignity they deserve. The world will not come to an end, and my prediction is that there will be enough protection for religious institutions.
Should the conservatives want to fight the next election on this issue, they will lose. Pure and simple.
People - it's time to get over it.
What is legal in eight provinces
It's now legal in eight provinces to require marriage commissioners of faith to go against conscience or resign their commissions.
It's now legal in eight provinces to bring a suit against a religious organization that as a matter of conscience won't rent a venue for the purpose of celebrating a SSM.
With C-38, it will be legal in every province and territory to do this.
Further, C-38 provides a pretext for going after ANYONE legally qualified to solemnize marriages who refuses to solemnize SSM. And, it provides a pretext for going after churches who officiate marriages for refusing to allow a SSM to be officiated in their chapels.
It has the potential to subordinate the rights of natural parents to parental rights acquired by civil marriage without benefit of legal adoption.
And, and, and.
But you want SSM to go forward regardless of any of this.
Really -- I get it.
Let's Face it..Stephen Harper Sunk Low...
What Stephen Harper said is odious. The votes of the bloc count like any other party. No one argues that we need a majority of 'federalist' votes to pass legislation...and that is what he's impying. Pure and simple.
I make no comments about dealing with the bloc. If the government had fallen that fateful night - Stephen Harper would have been happy. He would not have cared about the percentage of federalist votes.
The institution of marriage has indeed changed. It is legal now in 8 provinces. You claim to be very concerned about Provincial Human Rights Commissions - but with marriage for gays legal NOW....how would Bill C-38 affect your concerns. It can only alleviate them.....certainly not make them worse.
But, I will still ask the main question....Can conservatives GET OVER THIS....and move on.
Getting it done, no matter what the costs
In your post, below, or here, you castigated Stephen Harper in this blog based on reports that Mr. Harper argued, today, that C-38 can only pass the House of Commons this week because the Liberals did a deal with the separatists (the Bloc). Then, you suggested there was no difference between the Tories and Bloc voting together (without a deal) and the Grits providing a written commitment to bring C-38 to a vote this week in return for Bloc support in extending the parliamentary calendar.
I blogged, here, about the difference between voting together as the Tories and Bloc did, and the Grits' making a written agreement to spend $4.6 B in C-48 in return for the N-Dippers propping up the Gov't till C-43 and C-48 are passed, and the Grits doing their deal with the separatists on the parliamentary calendar and C-38.
You wrote: "No one made the argument about how many federalist votes supported the government or the Tories." Contrary to what you suggest, at least half the Parliamentary Press Gallery and every talking head the Grits could shove onto TV were suggesting the Tories were "in bed with the separatists." Yet there was no deal between Tories and the Bloc. There was not one, there were two deals done in writing by the Grits with the socialists and another with the separatists.
Liberal Sarnia-Lambton MP Roger Gallaway made a strong argument, here, against re-jigging the parliamentary calendar -- a re-jigging that means Parliament is sitting this week when it would otherwise have already recessed for the summer.
Now, I understand there are some who think nothing should stand in the way of overturning an institution that pre-dates every state and is likely the first institution -- marriage. That's what the Civil Marriage Act proposes to do: to overturn the institution of marriage understood as the legal union of one man and one woman. And, it's being done with an appeal to individual, equality rights without taking account of the institutional character of marriage. I get that you think that even concerns about the how C-38's passage will seriously call into question religious freedom and the institutional church should not impeded passage, this week. Yet any commitments the federal government makes to protect religious freedoms and religious institutions are meaningless, as Calgary's RC Bishop Henry argued, here. The federal government can't tie the hands of provincial human rights commissions -- that would require a federal-provincial agreement to the effect that C-38 would not compel ministers or marriage commissioners to solemnize SSM. Marriage commissioners across the country have been instructed by provincial governments that they are required to solemnize irrespective of their consciences. And those of faith are resigning their commissions in order to avoid solemnizing SSM. A provincial human rights commission is prosecuting a Knights of Columbus chapter for refusing their hall for the "wedding" reception of two women, even though the KCs offered to pay for an alternative hall and reimburse for the costs associated with changing venue.
I understand you think none of this should stand in the way of passing C-38 this week.
I get it.
"Nothing Comes Between Me And Your Bordens"
Dear Dr. Mann
The Committee on Energy and Commerce is interested in the global warming "hockey stick".
Maybe more interested than the researchers expected.
How low can Stephen Harper Go?
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper raised hackles in the House of Commons Monday after saying Canadians won't feel the same-sex marriage law is legitimate because it will only pass with the support of a separatist party.
Members of Parliament began final debate on Bill C-38 on Monday, the start of what is expected to be the final week before the House of Commons breaks for the summer.
With support expected from the NDP, Bloc Québécois and most Liberals, the bill establishing the Civil Marriage Act could pass before the weekend.
The Tory leader said Monday that the bill will pass only because the Liberals made a deal with the Bloc.
"I think it will lack legitimacy for a lot of Canadians," said Harper. "The truth is, most federalist MPs will oppose this legislation."
He had no problem with trying the defeat the government with bloc votes. No one made the argument about how many federalist votes supported the government or the Tories.
Insufficiently grateful to his captors
[originally posted, in slightly different form, to Daimnation! Man, it's been way too long since I posted here...]
I would say the Australian left has hit rock bottom, except that I'm sure they'll find some way to sink lower than this:
[Andrew] Jaspan is editor-in-chief of The Age, Australia's most Left-wing daily newspaper, and on ABC radio on Wednesday said how "boorish" and "coarse" Wood was at his press conference this week when he called his captors "a---holes".
You might wonder whether Jaspan, the Englishman whose paper on that same day published a big picture on page one of naked girls from Big Brother, has the right to call anyone else "coarse".
But far more shocking was his apparent demand that Wood be more grateful to the men who'd snatched him, kicked him in the head, kept him blindfolded and bound for 47 days, shaved him bald, killed two of his colleagues, made him beg for his life, and -- says a fellow hostage from Sweden -- shot several other prisoners in front of him.
Let's run the tape.
Said Jaspan: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.
"The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive." The ingrate.
I haven't heard much lately more perverse. If what Wood went through is Jaspan's idea of being "treated well", I finally understand why The Age seems so dismayed by the fall of nice Saddam Hussein, who similarly treated his victims so well that more than 300,000 have been found in mass graves. They must have been simply tickled to death to be there.
Everyone at Guantanamo Bay has been fed every day, too, but I don't think that's enough to satisfy the likes of Jaspan. Of course, at Gitmo, prisoners don't get the privilege of hearing their fellow captives summarily executed next door, either.
An editorial in The Australian contrasts the chattering classes' treatment of Wood with that of "Australian Taliban" David Hicks:
If Douglas Wood had emerged from captivity and blamed John Howard, Tony Blair and George W. Bush for his troubles, he would have become an instant hero in some circles. By now he would be have been offered a Chair in Middle Eastern Studies at one of our major universities, and ABC Radio National would have been renamed Radio Doug in his honour. Instead, Mr Wood had the temerity to disparage his captors, praise his liberators and declare our Iraq mission worthwhile. His name has been mud ever since.
Since Mr Wood was deprived of his livelihood by his abductors, and has done nothing wrong, it is hard to see why his decision to sell his story arouses such ire. After all, if there were no interest in that story, he would not receive $400,000 for it. That, coincidentally, is about how much taxpayers were forced to kick in to a fawning and unwatched SBS documentary about Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks. Instructively, Mr Wood's support for the US alliance disqualified him from the sympathy of some commentators, while Mr Hicks's avowed anti-Semitism, along with the fact he trained with al-Qa'ida, flowed off them like water off a duck. Ackland hints darkly that a man like Mr Wood must have had nefarious reasons for being in Iraq. His earlier judgement on Mr Hicks was that he is a "woebegone idealist". Sorry?
Placed in context, the vilification of Mr Wood is the latest in a series of bad calls made on the Left since September 11, 2001. While the leaders of the social-democratic parties in Australia, Britain and the US made the principled decision following 9/11 - to support democracy and civilised values against religious fascism - for many on the Left the idea the US could be the victim rather than the perpetrator of evil was a head-spin. At every step along the road since then, their strategy has been to appease the fascists and castigate the US and its allies. In this upside-down world picture, nobody is too discredited to be fashioned into a hero and nobody too blameless to be set up as a villain.
Get your indoctrination kit...
Climate change fits in all subject areas. Whether it's through science, social studies or geography, students can learn about climate change and take action!
In elementary school, you can incorporate climate change into lessons on observing weather, the water cycle or nature habitats. At the intermediate level, you can integrate it into science classes on the atmosphere or into Canadian geography courses. In high school, climate change can be part of the curriculum of physics, chemistry, biology and general science courses, as well as discussions on citizenship and leadership in civics courses, and studies of Canada's ecozones in geography classes. And those are just a few ideas!
I'd send him back to Syria...
Hassan Almrei, one of five Muslim men jailed in Canada for alleged connections to terrorism, had some high-profile support at a bail hearing in Toronto Monday.
Almrei has been held for more than 3½ years on a security certificate, under which a detainee can be held indefinitely without a trial. The government is also allowed to keep the evidence a secret.
Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau has offered a $5,000 bond, saying in an affidavit to Federal Court that he is concerned about the Syrian national's lengthy detention in solitary confinement.
The son of the former prime minister also wrote that he believed Almrei would honour the conditions of his release.
Canadian writers and journalists Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and Heather Malik also supported Almrei's release with bonds totalling $300.
Anti-globalization activists Lewis and Klein said they had not met Almrei but were aware of his plight due to a fundraiser earlier this year for people being held under security certificates. It attracted other supporters such as writers Stuart McLean and Linda McQuaig.
Almrei and his lawyers have not been allowed to see much of the evidence used by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to have him arrested nor has he been charged or given a trial.
CSIS alleges that Almrei is connected to al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and is a threat to Canadian security.
Almrei, who denies the allegations, has admitted to working for a Saudi honey company accused of funnelling money to the terrorist network. He also admits he entered Canada on a false passport and knows an alleged al-Qaeda operative now being held in the U.S. in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
He came here on a fake passport - let's just quickly send him back.
Kiwi Kyoto: "It's a huge stuff-up."
Via It Comes In Pints?;
Kyoto bill creates $1 billion deficit
Taxpayers will be at least $1 billion worse off under revised Government estimates of the costs of the Kyoto treaty to combat global warming.
National's environment spokesman, Nick Smith, says the party, if elected, will consider pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, despite the cost to New Zealand's international reputation, given the "hammering" the economy will take under the latest numbers. "It's a huge stuff-up."
The rest at the New Zealand Herald
The RCMP and unintended consequences
In order to meet gender and racial hiring goals, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have skewed the application system:
Just to get an interview, white males needed a score of 115 on the police aptitude test, women needed a 96 and visible minority candidates an 86.
So of course, I have to conclude that if a female Mountie or a Mountie from a visible minority is investigating a crime, that officer is more likely to make mistakes that might jeopardize a prosecution, is more likely to make poor decisions in high risk situations and thus endangering herself or himself, fellow officers, and the public at large, and is more likely to suffer from character flaws, making that officer more susceptible to corrupting influences.
And the corollary is now true: in my mind, the hiring policy has made it so I look at any white male Mountie as being made from far better material than his female or minority peers, and I am more likely to overlook or dismiss evidence of problems with his discharge of his duties should any come to light.
How to acquire an instant library
In view of the "meme" that's been making the rounds of the blogosphere, see this offer from Penguin via Amazon to acquire the Penguin Library of 1082 titles in paperback, here.