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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tory policy specificity

Look what's buried at the bottom of the National Post's front-page story on gay marriage today:

For the first time, Mr. [Vic] Toews signalled the Conservative party is set to modify its strategy now the law 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.

I don't think this qualifies as the Tories backing away from their earlier pledge to introduce legislation to repeal the same-sex-marriage law, but it certainly suggests the Tories have now concluded they will move cautiously in this area, and are thinking ahead to the next election. If they had to campaign under their old policy, the Tories would likely have had to constantly defend their repeal-the-bill position against Liberal and NDP attacks that it is unconstitutional. Now, they can say that they are planning to do nothing unconstitutional; rather, they would ascertain Parliament's will, and then ask the Court's opinion on the constitutionality of a repeal. 

Posted by Terry O'Neill on July 21, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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I think the Tories should absolutely drop this issue as soon as possible. The Liberals would do back flips if the Cons make this part of their platform during the next election - why give them ammunition they can use against you. The Liberals have successfully convinced the public that the Cons are "angry and mean spirited". If the Cons make C-38 part of their election platform, they will be playing right into the Liberal's hands (if your opponent has a passion for hitting you in the head with blunt objects, why give them a hammer?)

Instead I think the Conservatives should make protection of religious beliefs a central part of their platform. Promise to calirfy and strengthen protection of those who hold opposing views. This forces the Liberals into one of the following positions:

(1) Try to convince the public you will protect religious beliefs (with recent court challenges, we all know the Libs are weak on this position)

(2) Steal from the Conservatives platform (as usual) and offer more protection - bad for the Conservatives, but good for the public.

(3) Do nothing and risk giving the Cons something to use against you.

Once the Conservatives accept C-38 as a done deal, they take the ammunition out of the Liberals (and CBC's) guns.

Posted by: John Brown | 2005-07-21 9:23:16 AM

B.S. If something is bad, have the balls to stand up for it...if the voters don't like it, then screw them and Alberta can set up our own government with laws that are more traditional !

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2005-07-21 9:41:10 AM

The conservatives won't win any extra seats in Parliament on this issue. They need to realize that same-sex marriage is here to stay, and that they need to move on as well.

Posted by: Fred Litwin | 2005-07-21 11:21:58 AM

I don't really think it matters what stance the CPC takes on SSM going into the next election. The Liberals and NDP will say their against equal rights for the stance they've already taken (even though what the CPC objected to did not violate anyone's rights). Conservative policy, for the most part, is pretty clear and most rational people know, or have a pretty good idea of, what they'll do. Harper needs to stop defending what he'll do and attack what Martin has done and convince Canadians that Martin doesn't deserve another chance. Anyone who thinks that American-style attacks don't work in Canada did not watch the Liberals in the last election.

Posted by: Alex | 2005-07-21 11:35:47 AM

EBT has a good point. ssm needs be given a rest.
Harper must concentrate mainstream media's right brain on Liberal corruption and the apparent complicity by MSM in allowing the corruption to have festered for ten years. If FOX news were in Canada they would have outed the Liberal corruption within months let alone endorse them before another election as did the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, and London Free Press for examples.
The conservative blogging community needs to focus the publics attention to the cosy relationship of the rot at the centre of Canada's governing party and MSM.

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2005-07-21 12:12:07 PM

Good luck with that strategy. The Tories will now more then ever not get the majority.
Can't they read polls and public opinion on the subject. It is law, people are fed up and they don't care if Bruce and Steve want to share a Bungalo next door.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-07-21 1:25:42 PM

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