The SSM debate Is Back...

And is likely to fail. Unfortunately, that's just the sad truth.

I have never really understood the almost unreasonable belief that many in the "Trad Marriage" movement in this country have that somehow they will win a vote in the commons with the make up of the house as is.

The vote was a close vote but no cigar once before. Looking at the number of "Yays" and "Nays" in terms of MPs not much has changed this time. Strategically, you would figure it would be better for the cause to stall for another election and organize to topple MPs in select ridings to change the power balance in the house to get a pro-Traditional marriage vote to pass.

It's like they can't add. I'm sure they can, but for whatever reason they're plowing ahead - and I think mainly due to political inexperience.


  1. Anonymous5:27 PM

    They're plowing ahead because if they don't do anything, we're CERTAIN to fail, but if they ATTEMPT something there is the possibility of success.

    You can't just give up simply because the road is steep.

  2. One thing that I've never understood about Conservatives is incompatibility between seeking less government interference in the every-day private lives of citizens, and insisting that the government interfere in the most private areas of the lives of homosexuals. There is something horribly wrong with the Cons' priorities when they are outraged at having to fill out some paperwork in order to own an assualt rifle, but not at all bothered by the idea that the state should get to decide who I can or cannot marry.

  3. Forget the "cause." Holding this vote and losing it will be good for country. At least the law will now have some legitimacy.

    Those in favour of traditional marriage will have to find another way to "exclude" same-sex couples to restore meaning to opposite-sex marriage. Church weddings (outside of the United Church) are likely to come back in fashion. I'm sure people will also think of other ways to differentiate their vows from same-sex couplings.

    All they have done is co-opted a word. It is up to couples to give their marriages real meaning. It's not the end of the world.

  4. "You can't just give up simply because the road is steep."

    Suzanne it isn't about giving up? Who's saying we should give up? I'm just saying we should be smart, not rash.

    I wish you would have read more carefully what I wrote.

    I suggested that they stall. Right now I don't see how they plan to win things in the house with the numbers as is. This is politics. You make strategic decisions at the right time and right place or else the other guys win.

    I think Trad Marriage activists in the US have a better idea about this. But unfortunately I think that their Canadian counterparts have a lot to learn.

    I hope I'm wrong, but that's the ways I sees it. It makes little difference anyways, because the vote is going forward in any event.

    I'll do whatever I can to support the push in the battle , I just disagree with the Generals.

  5. "One thing that I've never understood about Conservatives is incompatibility between seeking less government interference in the every-day private lives of citizens, and insisting that the government interfere in the most private areas of the lives of homosexuals."

    One thing that I've never understood about people that claim there is an incompatibility in Conservatives standing up against same sex marriage when they are against government interference is:
    a) They assume that somehow standing up for the traditional definition of marriage means interfering in the lives of homosexuals somehow,
    and b) They completely forget that those that believe in Traditional Marriage have just as much a say as anyone else in what their government defines as a "marriage."

  6. "Those in favour of traditional marriage will have to find another way to "exclude" same-sex couples to restore meaning to opposite-sex marriage."

    That's right. Because years ago when they first defined what a marriage is in law, the idea of excluding same sex couples was prime on the agenda...

  7. Here's the thing. I don't agree with same-sex marriage, but we have a far greater crisis. We have to stand together against the threat of a jihad which would take away gay rights and everyone else's. Think about it.

  8. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Not all so-cons are ideologically conservative. Just like not all conservatives are socially conservatives.

    Social conservatives are about upholding the natural law as the basis of society. Sometimes that means more government, sometimes less.

  9. why take rights away from people? if you don't want same sex marriage, don't have one? i miss the conservatives who used to stand up for individual liberty and decry government interference in the lives of citizens. what happened to them?

  10. I think the votes to revisit are there for the getting.

    The result will probably be decided by maybe 2-3 votes. Could go either way.

    Back in 1999, more than 2/3rds of MPs voted to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman; they passed a resolution that supported the constitutionality of that criterion of marital status.

    I think that vote (266 MPs in favor) is the proper benchmark for a future vote on revisiting the issue. It reflects the views of Canadians on the issue of merging "gay union" with marriage.

    Last summer the vote on C-38 was not really a free vote. I think that Liberals are as divided as the country and if they were free to vote their consciences -- or on the basis of the advice of their constituents, I think at least half, maybe more, would vote Yes to revisit. The Conservatives are mostly in favor of revisiting. The Bloc and NDP MPs would almost all go the other way either in a free vote or if their party leaders enforced party solidarity.

    So the result could be a win for a revisit.

    Consider the following.

    On C-38, about 40% of backbenchers voted No. About 25% of parliamentary secretaries voted no -- despite the stand of Martin who insisted that leadership required a yes vote. And, of course, 100% of cabinet ministers voted yes because they were forced to by Martin -- although probably half would have voted No if they had had a choice. It would have added up to a defeat of C-38.

    If the Liberal MPs now vote more like regular MPs did on C-38, the Yes would win easily. If they mostly voted like some mix of regular MPs and parliamentary secretarires, the Yes would win by a thin majority.

    I think any Liberal leadership candidate would have to respect the divisions in the party's rank and file. Maybe the winner will find some way to avoid committing to a free vote, but a promise to free MPs to vote their conscience -- or to reflect the advice of their constituents -- would kick the can down the road and avoid a problem in uniting the party.

    So I think there may be more strategic thinking going on with the timing than might at first appear to be the case.

    Also, Harper and his team have been pretty good, so far, in finding temporary accomodations on an issue-by-issue basis. They may have some bridges that would make sending this issue to committee work pretty attractive for MPs who want to encourage free votes and MP empowerment.

    Stuff happens, of course, and it is possible that an election could come sooner than the vote. Also, the resolution to revisit may be more winnable than the hypothetical that the pro-C38 side discusses at present. For instance, revisiting might entail at least reconsidering the conflict with religious liberties. I'm not making a case for revisiting, but for the probability of a very close vote based on the particular resolution and the current climate in the House.

    Of course, another unrelated crisis could push this vote farther down the legislative agenda.

    But overall, the timing could be right for a win for the Yes side.

    That would not necessarily mean a win for a vote to repeal C-38 which could only come later, after revisiting the issue. And probably after another election.


  11. Freedomgirl8:59 AM

    Canuckistan, you "miss conservatives who used to stand up for individual liberty", eh? Well, who will stand up for the liberty of parents to have the say what their childen are taught at school regarding the gay curriculum in B.C.? Who will stand up for their liberty to withdraw their children when they don't agree with a lifestyle that is being glorified as being normal and natural to kindergartners? Who will stand up for commissioners who are given the ultimatum to either marry homosexuals or lose their job? Who will stand up for the liberty of pastors and churches who will lose their non-profit status? (Churches are the main people in the trenches helping sick AIDS victims.)

  12. Freedomgirl, good questions.

    A point of clarification: C-38 went further than enacting in law that the one-sex arrangement, presumptively homosexed, as "normal and natural." C-38 went further than tolerance and protection. I think you are right about "glorified" but the immediate harm is in the flattening of marital status. This, too, will reach into schools.

    C-38 abolished the marriage idea and replaced it with the new fangled ideal that is based on the limitations of the one-sex relationship.

    The marrige idea is the core of the social institution that society, through the authority of the state, grants a preferential status. The institution is not created by the state authority; it is recognized by the state authority.

    The social institution combines the integration of the sexes with responsible procreation. This is extrinsic to the one-sexed arrangement which is sex-segregative and could attain children only through either adoption (which is not procreation) or third party procreation (which is extramarital). Marriage is not based on adoption and third party procreation.

    However, that is the inverse of the one-sexed arrangement and the ideal that has been granted preferential status with passage of C38.

    "Gay" union contradicts the marriage idea to the extent that the core of marriage is sidelined and the secondary, or tertiary, features of marriage are moved to the center.

    Also, society is correct to treat marriage preferentially.

    The one-sexed arrangement -- homosexualized or not -- is probably worthy of tolerance and also of protection. But not preferential treatment.

    Marriage is unique. Merging it with the nonmarital one-sexed alternative means that marital status is superseded and the law will eventually reflect this directly. This means that instead of a preferential status, marriage is now on par with the tolerated and the merely protected relationship types.

    The upshot: C38 abolished recognition of something that is good for all of society; it replaced marriage with something that may be benefit a very small portion of society.

    SSM is practiced on the fringes of the adult homosexual population; participation rates in all forms one same-sex householding is very low -- wherever there are susch alternativers recognized by the government.

    Instead of merging SSM with marriage, some form of reciprocral beneficiaries would have solved the need to protect one-sexed arrangements. This alternative is for protection and is based on the trust relationship attined through affidavit. This is the solution for the problem of tolerance, as well. And it leaves marriage with its unique, and unmerged, status which affords preferential treatment.