The Shotgun Blog
Friday, May 28, 2010
For the last time, Harper is not a social conservative
This is getting really tiring. Here is yet another media report warning of the ‘ultra-conservative religious right’ close connection to the Conservative Party of Canada. The evidence this time? Some Conservative MPs showed up to a dinner being hosted by Opus Dei:
MPs from all parties had been invited, it seems, but most of the 20 or so who showed up were Conservatives, with none from the NDP or the Bloc QuÈbÈcois.
I’m not sure I know exactly what ‘20 or so’ means, but for the sake of argument let us say that there was exactly 20 MPs at this dinner. There are 144 Conservative MPs, this means that Opus Dei is so important to the Conservative Party that only 14% of the caucus bothered to show up to score, what was presumably, a free meal.
But wait, not all of those 20 MPs were Conservatives. The article says that Conservatives were there but not the NDP or the BQ. It doesn’t mention any Liberals but if only ‘most’ of the 20 were Conservative then that only leaves the possibility that the remaining MPs were Liberals. So why isn’t this article about the ‘theo-conservative’ influence on the Liberal Party?
Saying that a multi-party dinner hosted by a religious group is evidence of the Conservative Party’s religious agenda is incredibly desperate. Especially when you consider that government movement on social issues has been lacking. For goodness sake, Mr. Harper himself has come out and said that he would not vote to criminalize abortions. What more do people want to hear as proof that Stephen Harper is not now nor has he ever been a social conservative?
Why don’t we ask a social conservative about what they think of Mr. Harper?
Paul Tuns at the Interim points out that social conservatives have never supported Mr. Harper in his leadership races and in 2006 The Interim gave him a ‘C’ for his social policy. Mr. Tuns considered that mark to be over generous. Mr. Harper has never enjoyed the support of social conservatism as a movement. So how exactly would anyone argue that Mr. Harper is a social conservative?
I’m not Stephen Harper’s number 1 fan. Also as someone who is politically liberal on social issues, I too would fear a religious takeover of the Conservative Party. But that takeover is just not happening. There is no credible evidence of strong religious influence on government policy. The best anyone has come up with is that a couple of Mr. Harper’s advisers go to church. At the same time there is a large amount of evidence that social conservatives have failed to influence Mr. Haper’s decisions.
All of this fear mongering seems to be about trying to shut social conservatives out of the debate for policy. And that is just despicable.
Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on May 28, 2010 | Permalink
I don't think, nor have I ever suggested that Harper was a social conservative. But he certainly relies on them as a voting block, and does what he can -- within the limits of his coalition -- to placate them.
The issue of abortion funding in foreign aid is obviously Harper playing to the socon base.
The issue of ensuring Pride events in Toronto and Montreal were de-funded, while big ol' wholesome family values events like the Calgary Stampede received funding, was obviously playing to the socon base.
Whether or not Harper is himself a dyed-in-the-wool socon is sort of irrelevant to the socially liberal person, when Harper has represented a measurable retreat from socially liberal values. Even if the retreat has been careful and measured.
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-05-28 7:07:45 AM
I agree that he makes policies specifically that will be popular with this branch of his party. But all of the policies that he has made for the sake of winning Social Conservative support has been more symbolic than substantive. It is all annoying stuff but its importance should not be exagerated.
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-05-28 7:50:20 AM
I believe, based on the evidence, Harper is just another liberal politician. They all, I believe worship power over principles.
Here is a reminder of what Harper says and does.
By Stephen J. Gray
“He [Harper] can be slippier [sic.] than a greased pig” (Paul Wells, Maclean’s Magazine, September 17, 2008).
Conservative leadership is the buzz word of the election campaign. And Mr. Harper is being touted as a “leader.” So let us examine what Mr. Harper the leader says and does on a number of issues:
Free Speech: “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society,” says Stephen Harper, president of the National Citizens' Coalition. “It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” 
Yet, the Harper government intervenes against free speech: Read full article at:
Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2010-05-28 9:05:58 AM
Harper can never appear too socially conservative or there's zero chance he will get a majority and little chance he'd even get a minority. The fact is the majority if this country is either in the centre or shifted slightly to the left of the political spectrum so Harper needs a lot of votes from centrist people or they'd have no chance. He's spent the last 5 years trying to convice people that he's moderate and that the current Conservative party has no influence left in it from the former Reform party.
So from a political standpoint even if he wanted to come out with very socially conservative policies it would be career suicide. The Liberal's main talking point for the last few elections is that Harper is secretly very socially conservative and he's just faking being moderate to get votes. If he comes out with something that seems to prove their point they won't hesitate to call an election and wipe the conservative MPs from everywhere East of Manitoba. Even with a poor Liberal leader and center-left votes being split between the Liberals and NDP in Ontario, and Liberals and the Bloc in Quebec, the Conservatives wouldn't stand a chance. So it doesn't really matter what he personally thinks, he can't really act on anything.
Posted by: Stu | 2010-05-28 9:15:23 AM
Stu, I agree. And I suspect all politicians have ideological views on some things (whether left or right) that are not centrist. I can't imagine being human and not having such views.
Posted by: TM | 2010-05-28 10:02:24 AM
You cannot be a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. To be a social liberal you are required to take peoples money away from them (da, rich ya know) and spend it to on abortions and PRIDE parades and the like.
Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-05-28 12:01:49 PM
social liberal as in the classical sense. I refuse to give up the word.
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-05-28 12:12:24 PM
Hugh, your article is a dishonest disgrace.
You start with the straw dog of the Opus Dei meeting. First of all, 20 members of parliament showing up at a private function is highly significant. MPs have busy and conflicting schedules. They have countless commitments and requests. For any event to attract so many Conservative MPs is significant.
Second, you state that the government has not moved on social issues. This is untrue. Despite facing an Opposition majority in both the House and Senate, the Conservatives have implemented numerous socially conservative policies, including raising the age of consent, and cracking down on marijuana users.
Third, you state that Harper said he would never vote to criminalize abortion. Because of course Harper would never lie to win votes, and then do the exact opposite once in power. (Ummm, income trusts, fixed election dates, transparency in government).
Fourth, you say there is no credible influence of strong evangelical influence on government policy. You seem to have forgotten evangelical activists like Darrel Reid who is Harper's Deputy Chief of Staff and Paul Wilson who is Harper's Director of Policy.
So yeah, aside from an evangelical activist being Director of Policy, there is no evidence that evangelicals direct policy.
Posted by: Shelley | 2010-05-28 3:49:18 PM
Is Steven Harper a social conservative? The politically knowledgeable in the United States would laugh!
1.) Has Harper come out as pro-life or really tried to push these policies? The answer is no! Meanwhile, in the United States, we have a party the Republicans that are staunchly pro-life. In fact, it looks that Republican gains in November will give the country at least 33 pro-life governors(current polls give the Republicans about 34 governorships of which 31 are pro-life and Democrat governors of Kentucky and West Virginia are pro-life). Also, polling shows that Americans lean slightly more pro-life 47%-45%, find it morally wrong by a 50%-38% margin(both gallup polls) and want it severely restricted.
2.) Is Harper bringing back the death penalty in Canada(even though the last angus reid poll showed Canadians supporting capital punishment by a 62%-29% margin)? Again, the answer is no. In the United States, both the Republican Party and most of the Democrat Party support the death penalty. Americans morally approve of the death penalty by a 40 pt margin and support is in the 70's.
3.) Will Harper force his MPs to vote against gay marriage instead of having a free vote that is rigged to fail? For the third time, the answer is no. He has accepted gay marriage. An issue where most Americans are still in opposition.
4.) Has Harper made any moves to bring back mandatory school prayer, post 10 commandment displays in schools and government buildings, or bible reading in the public schools? Once again, the answer is no! All three of these are positions that have overwhelming public support in the United States! Americans 2 to 1 support mandatory school prayer, and 70%-78%(depending on poll) a pprove of the 10 commandment display or bible reading. Many Republicans and even some Democrats support all of these measures.
5.)The only area where Harper's government has pushed an issue is gun rights. Harper's role back of the gun registry will be the first time in Canadian history that a piece of gun control legislation has been repealed. Previously, the PC government's just accepted the Libeeral's gun control measures. Yet, even there Harper has shown limits. Is Harper pushing for concealed carry, a federal castle doctrine law, or the right to carry in Canadian parks? I think not.
The truth is that Harper is not a social conservative. Believe me, I wish that he was. He seems like a social conservative to some Canadians because of how socially liberal your country is to begin with. What he has going for him is that he is ending the gun registry and is a lot more economically conservative than Obama or Ignatieff(Harper has promoted free trade, cut GST, cut corporate income taxes, and stopped cap and trade). Personally, if I was a Canadian voter I would prefer to either have the Reform Party under Preston brough back(or learn more about the Christian Heritage Party). However, I don't think Canadian economic or social conservatives will get any better than Harper on the federal stage at this point(beats Mulroney, Jean Charest and Joe Clark hands down).
Posted by: David | 2010-05-28 4:47:33 PM
Who but a social conservative *defines* conservativism in terms of freedom being "tempered" by "faith". Who but a social conservative states that conservative policies *must* ensure that people make "good choices": that freedom does not extend to the freedom to make *bad* choices?
Harper, in his own, undeniable words (Manning Centre speech, April 2009):
"I like to summarize my idea of conservatism in three Fs – freedom, family and faith.
"…freedom must be tempered by faith or, more broadly, by what faith in all its forms teaches, that there is a right and wrong beyond mere opinion or desire. Most importantly, it teaches us that freedom is not an end in itself but how freedom is exercised matters as much as freedom itself. Freedom must be used well and freedom can only be sustained if it is used well.
"Now, I know the libertarian – and I am sure there are a few in this room that define themselves that way – the libertarian says, and it's a perspective that I have a lot of sympathy for, let individuals exercise full freedom and take full responsibility for their actions.
The problem with this notion is that conservatives know from experience that people who act irresponsibly in the name of freedom are almost never willing to take responsibility for their actions. I don't speak *just* of individuals who may have ruined their lives through drugs or crimes or whatever, but look at Wall Street, the great free-enterprise financial institutions who wanted so much freedom from government regulation. They were the first in line for government support when the recession hit. And now I read, I read yesterday, that now some of them are saying they don't like that this government money may limit their freedom.
"So I say again my friends, to conservatives, it cannot be just about freedom. It must be about policies to help ensure freedom will lead to good choices, to responsible choices in the economy, to prosperous choices with wider benefits to all of us." (*emphasis* added)
Can we please stop denying that faith-based government is faith-based government. Can we stop apologizing for a man who states - frankly and clearly - that conservative policy is to "ensure" people make "good choices" according to his "faith", which "tempers" my freedom?
Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2010-05-28 5:43:37 PM
One of the most malignant things ever done in politics is credited to Karl Rove who somehow succeeded in merging the fundamentalist God fearing social conservatives of Gerry Falwell with the atheistic monetarist capitalist ultra right.
It rivals what Stephen Harper has done in merging the Reform Party with the Progressive Conservative Party.
A merger made in Hell.
Posted by: Joe Green | 2010-05-28 8:17:08 PM
A better question would be if the present government under Harper has demonstrated that it is social conservative in its policies and actions. It does not matter what politicians think they are; what matters is what they do in office. That said, it is clear that claiming present government policies are social conservative is akin to claiming that the bear does not shit in the woods.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-05-28 8:19:59 PM
I have to disagree Hugh. Harper is a bible thumper who, if he had his way, would force us all to bow to his Flying Spaghetti Monster. He just knows most of us would toss his ass out in the street if he was to come right out and admit it. So its a game of incremental creep of his religious policies. As was pointed out earlier, the people closest to him share his views. Don't forget Stockwell (the earth is 6000 years old) Day. I'm sorry, but having a leader who believes in fairy tales makes me nervous.
Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-05-29 12:26:46 AM
1) As someone who once worked in a Minister's MP office I can tell you that at this time of year most MPs have time to spare. It is a bit of a myth that all MPs are extremely busy people. Some are but for the most part they are only as busy as they want to be. Furthermore showing up to an event does not imply support for that event. They may have gone as a favor to someone, to be polite, or to get free food. You also seemed to miss the point that the event was attended by Liberal MPs as well. The actual division of that 20 between Liberals and Conservatives is a little unclear, but clearly some Liberals were in attendance.
2)There has been some moderate movement but nothing that is really of great significance. David points out some of the biggest demands of the social conservative crowd. There has been nothing like that from this government. Though I agree that the policies you list are bad policies.
3) In general I like to give politicians the benefit of the doubt. If you don't believe anything that they say then there is no bases to judge them on. For example I'm a fan of Maxime Bernier, but what if he is lying about is believes? How would I know? I have to just assume that he isn't untill I have some reason to think otherwise.
4)Two people who work for the PMO does not make a credible case. Stephen Harper has literally thousands of advisors. We have no idea on what issues Mr. Harper listens to these people on. I doubt that the government would set policy just because those two want it to.
Titles in politics do not always mean what they say. Director of Policy could mean a dozen different things depending on what the Prime Minister or Chief of Staff want it to mean. It certainly does not mean he is in charge of all the government's policies.
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-05-29 1:47:07 AM
Two people that work for him are religious. That hardly counts as 'people close to him.'
What does Mr. Day's believes have to do with Stephen Harper?
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-05-29 1:48:38 AM
I'm new to this place, but from what I have read above, there seems to be a lack of perspective. I mean, when you look at it from the left side of the equation, the huge differences you see between Stephen Harper and the socon agenda are barely visible.
We are at the opposite end of the spectrum as far as what life is all about, and I have to warn you that your view is completely outdated, unsupported by any evidence and that resistance is futile, you are outnumbered and we will never come back where you want to lead us.
«You cannot be a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. To be a social liberal you are required to take peoples money away from them (da, rich ya know) and spend it to on abortions and PRIDE parades and the like.» says Floyd Looney.
That's not the way I see it.
On the left, we share the work, and we share the results. On the right, winner takes all, nobody cares for the loosers.
So in fact it is rather the people on the right who take away money from the people and then they waste it in trivial pursuits in Dubaï or Las Vegas.
Posted by: Serge Grenier | 2010-05-29 11:18:58 AM
Its like this Hugh. They may not have meetings to formulate plans to push a "hidden" agenda, but they all come from the same "school". They all share the same core beliefs. So they all side with policies that favor these beliefs. They ignore science, and push what they think The Flying Spaghetti Monster would want them to do. Is there even one atheist minister in Harpers party? Not that I know of.
Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-05-29 12:13:37 PM
Serge, when you discuss this left ascent bit I hope that you are referring to just Canada! In the U.S. and internationally the left is in trouble.
1.)In the U.S., the people are ticked off by Obama's big spending, gigantic deficits, and job killing regulations. 63% want to oveturn his healthcare plan! A majority of the public continues to support offshore drilling! Polling shows that Americans support big cuts in government spending over tax increases. On social issues, Obama is again at odds with most Americans. Americans now lean slightly pro-life and want the process far more regulated. By 2 to 1 margins, they support Arizonia's immigration law. Obama hasn't even tried to challenge the right on issues like guns, the death penalty, corporal punishment in public schools(still exists in 21 states) or school prayer. Finally, on foreign policy, he gets mixed reviews by the public. They seem to like his policy on Afghanistan but prefer tougher line on prosecuting terrorist suspects(and want a harder line with Iran and North Korea). At this point, the only thing holding Obama up is his charm and that won't last much longer! The Republicans will control over 2/3rds of governorships and probably the House of Representatives(can't tell yet if gains will be large enough to take the Senate). Effectively, ending Obama's progressive "Camelot era after only two years. Then, watch for the pushback!
2.)Also, the european left is for the most part actually coming out worse in the financial crisis. In Spain, the center-right Popular Party(the opposition) is now the most popular political party. The governing Socialist Party is running into major conflict with its union base(which could defect enmass). What we are seeing there is a possible realignment of a country that has leaned left since the dictator Franco's death in 1975. The same thing on a smaller scale seems to be happening in Portugal. It also looks like center-right governments will perform even better in Italy and the Netherlands. Also, the center-right Swedish government has improved its numbers and looks set to be reelected in the fall(let's not forget Britain). The center-right coalition governments in Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and Finland seem to have majority support. Since the financial crisis, center-right parties have won reelection in eastern european countries like Czech Republic, Romania, and Czech Republic(in Poland the battle for political control is between two center-right parties while the left has trouble breaking into double digits). They have also won power overwhelmingly in Hungary and Bulgaria. The only countries in europe where the left seems to making any gains so far are France and Germany. Merkel's government is polling poorly because of the bailout she gave Greece. In France, the problem isn't so much the right but Sarkozy. he polls poorly but yet it looks like his number 2 could probably win the presidency for the center-right.
3.) In the Pacific rim, the center-right New Zealand government looks secure for reelection. Meanwhile, it looks like the center-right will regain control of Australia this year now that the Liberal/National center-right group polls ahead of the Labour Party(thank the Liberals new leader who is both an economic and social conservative). Also, Japan's new center-left government poll numbers are already cratering and they are now considered vulnerable.
4.) Look at Latin and South America. Since the crisis, the right has won in Chile, Panama, and Honduras. The left-wing governments are polling behind in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Brazil is a tossup. It looks like Peru will pick another center or center-right government. Too bad we can't get any real polls in Venezuela or Ecuador(leftist dictatorships eh!).
The point is that 2008 and 2009 marked the high water mark of the left internationally. They used Bush to attack American and conservative policy. They used the banking scandals and Wall Street issues to attack the free market system. Now, people have gotten a taste of the left's policies and are spitting it out! Most people prefer capitalism to socialism! More people are finding out that the international green movement is a fraud! Most people realize that killing terrorists(or Somali pirates) is a more effective method than either appeasing or ignoring them. More people are realizing that getting tough on criminals instead of tying the hands of law abiding citizens(through ridiculous gun control measures) is what reduces crime. Modern technology is making people in the U.S. realize what they have long known in most of the western hemisphere that a fetus is a being and not a piece of playdoh(How do you get a living being either man or animal from a non-living being?). The international left is in deep trouble and is going to get hit in these next few years by a 1980's style storm!
Posted by: David | 2010-05-29 2:30:14 PM
David, you paint a very depressing picture of the situation. And you are probably right on many counts. But the fact that the right wing people win elections and control most of the world doesn't make their ideas any better.
Long time ago, we looked up to americans for guidance, but now they seem to have lost it. By force they are still ruling, but in fact they have no clue what it means to be part of humanity.
When I said you were outnumbered, I meant more and more people are neither right or left because both have failed them. They are just minding their own business and won't be bottered by any of that political stuff.
In the end this will play against conservative ideas. It is just a matter of time and we are very patient.
Posted by: Serge Grenier | 2010-05-29 11:46:47 PM
Alain wrote: "A better question would be if the present government under Harper has demonstrated that it is social conservative in its policies and actions....it is clear that claiming present government policies are social conservative is akin to claiming that the bear does not shit in the woods."
(a) Stephen Harper is not only "in office", he is the Prime Minister.
(b) While in office, he has said that "to conservatives, it cannot be just about freedom. It must be about policies to help ensure freedom will lead to good choices...".
(c) In 2007, Harper launched his "anti-drug strategy" in which he said that what his government was against was "a culture", that has not opposed the use of drugs and sometimes romanticizes their use.
(d) His government has, *three times*, attempted to pass what is now Bill s-10: a bill that punishes individuals not for hurting anyone, but for making what Harper regards to be a bad choice. Asked on YouTube in April 2010 why he would not legalize *marijuana* (not "drugs" in general, but marijuana), Harper replied that "Drugs are illegal because they're bad".
By his words and actions, while in office, Harper has demonstrated that he holds a religiously-founded philosophy *for governing* and that he *acts* on it. Indeed, he has even prorogued parliament and stacked the Senate with more loyal Conservatives, so that his Justice Minister could reintroduce legislation that had not passed in its original, oppressive form, so that it will be passed in its original, oppressive form (S-10). In other words: he is *zealously* doing whatever he can, with a minority, to achieve religiously-motivated, social conservative policy.
Finally: a conclusion founded on a poopy joke doesn't help ones case in a debate.
Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2010-05-30 5:49:30 AM
So the one concrete policy in which Harper has promoted his "secret agenda" is not to legalize (some) drugs?
Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2010-05-30 9:28:46 AM
Serge, you are doing the same thing as those you accuse. You would force your will on others and also make them pay for it. Your way would not eliminate corruption, nor would it stop the unholy alliance between government and business. The left and right result in the same thing even if they go about it differently.
Posted by: TM | 2010-05-30 9:55:59 AM
' I get high with a little help from my friends.'
Fan of the Flying Spahghetti Monster/ Old White Guy in the Sky.
Can you feel the Rapture?
Posted by: jeff franklin | 2010-05-30 12:02:12 PM
TM, can you explain to me how you go from :
«When I said you were outnumbered, I meant more and more people are neither right or left because both have failed them. They are just minding their own business and won't be bottered by any of that political stuff.»
«Serge, you are doing the same thing as those you accuse. You would force your will on others and also make them pay for it. Your way would not eliminate corruption, nor would it stop the unholy alliance between government and business. The left and right result in the same thing even if they go about it differently.»
First, «minding their own business» is not «forcing your will on others» and second «more people are neither right or left because both have failed them» is pretty much the same as saying : «The left and right result in the same thing».
I am not corrupted because I fear God or because I fear the police, I am not corrupted because I'm a good person. If it worked for me, it could work for others.
I think being good is something that comes from the inside, it is not something you can force upon someone. Since I was young, being a bad ass has been presented as the right thing to do, hence I'm not surprised that so many grown ups ended up being bad.
So I still think that if adults shared the workload and the wealth and managed to live in harmony, that would give a good example to the kids and eventually society would become a better place.
Posted by: Serge Grenier | 2010-05-30 3:09:00 PM
Prime Minister Stephen Harper basically still is just another lieberal opportunist who often still lets his power hungry ethics slide down and also the Harper Conservatives hate women by not paying them equal salary to the men still too.
When Stephen Harper’s Conservatives came to power in 2006, they took to calling themselves Canada’s better New Government, claiming to signal a break from the discredited Liberal way of running the country. Now accountability, openness and ethics would prevail in government. HA HA HA, and that did not last long.
Now Harper Conservatives government has been stone walling the security documents from the eyes of Parliament, and citizens, stone walling the auditor general’s request to audit MP's expenses and falsely refusing to allow ministers’ aides to testify before committees. We even have Tony Clement, the Industry Minister, flogging products to China on behalf of a private company over needs of the citizens who elected him? Looked at the phone, internet, gas price gouging prices lately? Mr. Clement he dos not have a clear political interest in being seen to help any constituent or the citizens?
Under Harper the RCMP is just as bad as under the Lieberals too
"The longer they remain in power, the more the Conservatives have let their moral standards slide. Favoured treatment for friends of the party. Seats in the Senate for big donors. An easy ride for cabinet members who are favoured by the Prime Minister" for they are not any different from the Liberals they replaced! Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/05/29/harper-lets-the-ethics-slide/#ixzz0pUxTsvEF
Posted by: thenonconformer | 2010-05-31 3:48:00 AM
So I still think that if adults shared the workload and the wealth and managed to live in harmony, that would give a good example to the kids and eventually society would become a better place.
Posted by: Serge Grenier | 2010-05-30 3:09:00 PM
Serge, I have no problem with you believing this. If you also believe this should be enforced in any way, then I totally disagree.
Regarding the other disgussion we are having I am not sure I am understanding you. I guess I sensed an underlying belief that the people who will be outnumbered are the Right, and the people who will do the outnumbering are not. That indicates a political position. However, if I am wrong about that I am OK with it.
Posted by: TM | 2010-06-01 1:23:32 PM
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper basically still is just another lieberal opportunist who often still lets his power hungry ethics slide down and also the Harper Conservatives hate women by not paying them equal salary to the men still too."
Posted by: thenonconformer | 2010-05-31 3:48:00 AM
He is indeed an opportunist and I will not vote for him. Hate women though? Common, that one is so old. I have never met anyone who actually hate women.
Regarding equal salary to do the work of men, I assume you mean that he should enforce legislation that says women should be paid equally for equal work. I disagree with enforcing this. In some cases they are worth more than men for the same work and therefore will get paid more in the marketplace. In some cases they are not worth as much and will therfore get paid less in the marketplace. I know that sounds sexist but it is not if you are open minded and think it through. This concept is very hard to explain in this blog.
One example is sports. More people will pay more money to watch men playing sports than they will women. This is acceptable. You or I may not think it is right but it is not immoral at all.
Another example is the porn industry (I refer only to those adults who are in it by their own choice). Women are much more in demand and as a result get paid much more than men.
Please don't bring up sexism or anything like that, as I am not saying porn is right. I am only referring to the legal demands of the market in two simple examples. Many more examples for men and women abound.
Posted by: TM | 2010-06-01 1:37:48 PM
thenonconformer, one other thing. The market never wants to pay anyone, regardless of color or race or gender or anytihng else, a dime more than they have to. If the market could get away with paying men less they would. One's value in the market cannot ever be properly determined by the government, no matter how we feel about it.
Posted by: TM | 2010-06-01 1:47:09 PM
I meant never, not ever.
Posted by: TM | 2010-06-01 1:48:07 PM
Regarding what I meant by «outnumber».
I was basically answering David's post :
«Is Steven Harper a social conservative? The politically knowledgeable in the United States would laugh!
1.) Has Harper come out as pro-life?
2.) Is Harper bringing back the death penalty?
3.) Is Harper against gay marriage?
4.) Will Harper bring back mandatory school prayer?
5.) Harper is Ok with Gun rights»
I'm 58 now, when I was 18, most of the people I knew would have agreed with all of the above. Forty years later, I couldn't think of anyone I know who would agree with all of the above.
Therefore I say, before people who think as David outnumbered us, but nowadays, we outnumber them.
Posted by: Serge Grenier | 2010-06-10 11:49:58 AM
Regarding what I what I think about «the market».
Scratch any military conflict that happened on this planet, and below the surface you will find a commercial conflict.
We're talking about big business here, since sending thousands of soldiers to combat costs a lot of money.
So, globally, the army, not the market has the last word on prices.
Considering the equal salary issue, the reality is that women are generally better at what they do than men, and they are paid less. This has been going on for a long time, and if the market could solve this problem, it should have solved it by now. Obviously, salaries are completely arbitrary and follow no particular logic.
As far as the porn industry is concerned, there again women make most of the work, and men end up with most of the money!
Posted by: Serge Grenier | 2010-06-10 12:07:28 PM
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