My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is Harper doomed?

I really wish he hadn't brought this up. This is very disappointing and very troubling.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper launched his election campaign Tuesday by steering it straight into the electoral turbulence of gay marriage.

With the starting gun kicking off the eight-week race still echoing in the air, Harper went out of his way to reopen a politically noxious debate, pledging to restore the traditional definition of marriage - provided Parliament supports the idea in a free vote.

"It will be a genuine free vote when I'm prime minister," Harper said.
How on earth can you make it a genuine free vote? Can he force the other parties not to enforce party discipline?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was already a free vote for all Bloc members and all Liberal backbenchers.

The NDP enforced a whip and one person broke it, and that person was relieved of certain critic responsibilities - and then that person was defeated at the nomination meeting.

The difference that Harper speaks of has to do with cabinet ministers.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous bks said...

May as well get it out in the beginning because the media and Libs will bring it up for sure in the campaign.
Harper addresses it right hidden agenda here.
I thought the same thing, let sleeping dogs lie, but it was bound to be brought forward sooner or later.

6:17 PM  
Blogger ferrethouse said...

I'm sure he knows what he is doing. The Liberals were probably planning on running a scary hidden agenda style campaign so he decided to come out and bluntly state his intentions right off the bat in order to put the matter to rest early in the campaign. I'm hoping he doesn't keep this issue as a primary focus for most of the campaign. I also believe that he wanted to bring this issue up prior to Christmas - it makes sense to do it before the biggest religious holiday in Canada strategically.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are in the wrong party.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Japnaam Singh said...


Second Anonymous,

YOU'RE AN IDIOT (and probably a bigot as well).

It's people like you who make other conservatives look bad.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Dauphin said...

A Conservative victory would be hollow if we as Conservatives didn't proudly address our views on this issue.

I'm proud of Stephen Harper for standing up for Canadian values and not backing down as some cowards would have us do.

I hope Stephen Harper continues to talk about SSM, to make clear to Canadians that he is a moral and decisive person.

Now let's see if we can make abortion an issue...

7:00 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

abortion an issue? Are you really that suicidal?

7:14 PM  
Blogger Dauphin said...

If it means standing up for the truth,I'd proudly take a defeat.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The right way to bring this up would have been to declare the issue decided and settled, but dumbass Harper right after the vote in the summer said that he'd call a new vote when he formed government.

He can't escape those comments now. The Liberals will just play that on television 24/7 until the Conservatives were a smoldering wreck.

True, it's a stupid position to take, but it had already been decided, a long time ago, and so there is nothing doing about it now.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Dauphin said...

Wait! It's occured to me what the party strategy is with addressing SSM now!

Watching election analysis on CBC, a commentator described this period as a phony war, where the parties will want to keep their powder dry on their heaviest artillery.

The Conservatives are trying to get the Liberals to waste their best weapons at the beginning of the campaign in order to get voter fatigue on this issue, and make it seem like the Liberals are desperate.

While it may bolster the Liberals for now, it will be a good strategy in the long term.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dauphin, that would make sense if the electorate thought the same sex marriage issue was irrelevant, but it's a such a strong wedge issue that it actually is the deciding factor in many of the ridings in play.

It's an urban vs. rural wedge issue in a country with 80% urbanization. Stupid.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Dauphin said...

Because it's a deciding factor in the ridings in play, it should be dispensed with now to have its effects neutralized.

This is entirely about the "bogeyman" characterization and has nothing to with what you believe about same-sex marriage. Pollsters have made it clear very few Canadians will decide their vote based on gay marriage, and it is only a contributing factor to the "bogeyman". What this does it neutralize that factor.

If we can force the Liberals to waste their arguments now, it will HELP in the swing ridings.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Scott Tribe said...

Oh brother Dauphin.. worse rationalization I've seen for this yet.

Can you seriously tell me Harper expects to win votes in the urban centres and in the battlegrounds of Ontario and BC with that particular message?

He might be tying to rev up the base.. but when the base is only about 30%, that isnt going to win an election.

Not that I mind of course.. I want Harper away from the Prime Minister's Residence as far as possible, and making this the opening salvo wont get Harper any closer.

11:04 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

dauphin: Yes, you are right - canadians won't make their vote on gay marriage. But, what Harper has done is more than that to many people - he has re-opened a rights issue, and many people (gay and straight) don't like what that implies (myself included). People get suspicious - afterall, if harper can't respect gay people, who else can't he respect.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Road Hammer said...

Fred, it seems you are suggesting that one's views on C-38 are a litmus test for whether one respects minorities more generally, i.e. if you don't support gay marriage, you must not like immigrants, Jews, etc.

I think it's VERY possible to think that the title of marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman while still being able to respect people of a different colour/gender/culture/faith/sexual orientation.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Nicol DuMoulin said...

Gay and Right,

Of course the flip side of the argument is obvious here. Look at the case against the Knights of Columbus.

If some gay activists (but not all) can't respect religious freedom, what other freedoms can't they respect?

Do you actually believe that the Knights weren't targeted? That continued religious freedoms will not be eroded? Sadly, all of the reasons for hue and cry by religious groups is coming to fruition and I have no reason to believe it will stop.

You are obviously a smart man; you and I both know which way the courts will rule on future cases. With the charter, everyone is equal but some are just a little bit more equal than others.

If you passionately agree with this issue, why don't more gay rights activists stand up vocally for the rights of people to disagree? Why not have the head of Egale say the ruling against the Knights was wrong? If they did this, it would go a long way to alleviating the fears of many people who are as of now being proven right.

I disagree with you on this point obviously, but I do like your writing. Keep up the good work.

10:40 AM  
Blogger ALW said...


I'm sympathetic to your argument and share your view on SSM, but as a Conservative I can't really see that Harper had any choice on this. Most of the party opposes SSM, and that's that. The thing that makes me okay with the party having that stance is the fact it is prepared (a) to have a free vote on it and (b) respect the outcome.

I don't buy the "this issue is settled" argument. The process which "settled" it was a sham. So it's only reasonable to re-hold the vote.

Finally, I don't think we need to worry about the outcome: with a Tory minority gov't, SSM won't be repealed. The votes aren't there.

12:59 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

Actually, I believe that the Knights won their case - at least that's how I read today's Globe & Mail. and that they are free to discriminate against gay people. However, the other party was injured by them accepting a deposit and not cancelling until much later. Overall, it appears to be a good decision.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Road Hammer said...

As a sidenote, I would think that even for those pro C-38 folks who don't want to force the Church to change its stance on gay marriage, it's difficult to look at this case separately from the Vatican's recent pronouncements on gay ordination.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing I find humourous, as "red tory", is the way Harper is driving off the more socially progressive segments of the Conservatives with his fumbling. Where do you think they will go?

10:36 AM  

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