Date: 2006-04-05 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Purely symbolic: the aim of a so-called 'free vote' -- one which has already happened, as Duceppe has repeatedly reminded us -- isn't aimed at 'gay marriage'. It's a gesture to the so-called 'grassroots' who buy into the false populism of a Reform/Conservative government. The SCC has already ruled on the issue and, thus, even new legislation would fail the constitutional test. Simply, without an ammendment to the Constitution itself, Harper's plan will never come to pass. It's a gesture, a nod, and a symbol -- nothing but. An attempt to distinguish his 'Western' government from the ruling 'Central' Canada. And he's already committed himself to 'the possibility' of re-opening the Constitution vis a vis a new federal model. He'll have to drop the 'gay marriage' stuff if he ever hopes to de-federalize.

Date: 2006-04-06 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
You think he won't dare to use the nonwidthstanding clause? I think he's in for a "showdown" with the SCC on this, ending with the clause.

Date: 2006-04-06 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Notwithstanding is limited by a sunset. All it does is defer the question, essentially. He actually prefer gay marriage, he'd have to change the Constitution.

Date: 2006-04-06 05:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
All he needs it for is to win a first majority...

Date: 2006-04-06 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoria.livejournal.com
Well, for one, it takes more than a simple HoC majority to change the Constitution. And any process to make such a change would likely be stuck in courts before and after a referendum. He'd have to take it to 'the people' lest he lose his populist credentials. Not like the original vote -- the unfree one, that is -- would have made a difference either way: it was a chance to air grievances against your own part and nothing else.

Date: 2006-04-06 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
What I meant to say is that he does not need to actually overturn the law. I think Harper wants to use a new Commons vote, and even a rebtuall from the SCC, as a populist tool to whip Conservative fervour. I'm not sure it would be successful in that regard, and it might do more to bring out the liberal/NDP vote than the Conservative vote... I guess if I was to make a parallel, quite topical actually, I would use the gay marriage referenda in southern U.S. states that were used to bring out the conservative, church-going vote.

Gee, I hadn't even thought about that parallel before writing it down.

Anyway, I don't think Harper cares about SSM one way or another, except as a very potent electoral tool. He's smart enough to know that from a legal perspective, he's in the wrong, but we've already seen plenty of intellectual dishonesty from him so far to know that legality doesn't constrain his electoral rhetoric.

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