Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Liberals need to clean house in Toronto

First off, I'm thrilled that the Conservative motion to re-open the same-sex marriage debate was soundly defeated, by a margin of 175 to 123.

I am less happy about the fact that 14 Liberals voted in favour of the Conservative motion. I am horrified that 8 of these MPs represent Toronto ridings: John Cannis, Roy Cullen, Jim Karygiannis, Derek Lee, John McKay, Dan McTeague, Alan Tonks and Tom Wappel. Aren't Canada's cities supposed to be the bastions of progressive voters? These are easy Liberal seats, and yet the party continues to allow these conservative troglodytes to run there under their party's banner.

It's time for some house-cleaning, M. Dion. MPs who can't be counted upon to support Charter rights have no business running for your party, if you're serious about having the Liberals be the party of the Charter.

Finally, kudos to the Conservative MPs who broke party ranks to support equal rights for all Canadians!

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At 4:27 pm, Blogger Munro said...

It is shocking that many of the libs who voted in favour are Toronto lib MPs... however I'm not sure there is much that can be done about forcing them out - Dion can refuse to sign their nomination papers but most are pretty popular in their ridings and would not go without a fight.

At 1:21 am, Blogger Charlie Barnard said...

These guys wouldn't win reelection under the conservative banner, that's for sure. I for one wouldn't shed a tear to see them go.

At 3:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Liberal bastion known as Toronto can be readily understood by its diverse cultural demographics. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and a healthy number of other new Canadiansincluding the Canadian Caribbean community are not exactly enthused by the latest trendiness that runs counter to their beliefs and customs. Changing marriage would be to most, like walking away from their faith.

Your "progressive" rant is irrelevant.These MP's are actually representing a significant number of Liberal supporters who believe you don't change something so fundamental to society and which they hold dear.

Given the political interference by Chretien to circumvent the Supreme Court from overturning the McMurtry ruling, its unlikely many were conned into believing SSM was a genuine Charter right.For you new members of the Liberal Party who have found SSM as being the only issue on which you define Liberalism, can you explain to all how the vote against SSM by almost all Liberals in 1999, does not earn others your ill-informed scorn ? What changed ?

Liberal fact checker

At 9:38 am, Blogger Matt said...

Liberal fact checker,

My first membership in the Liberal party was taken out more than a decade ago - and actually predates my coming out of the closet. So be careful before you make wild assumptions.

The Liberal MPs who have made progress since the 1999 vote (which was an act of crass political expediency) don't earn my scorn, because they've moved on, and recognized (at least in their voting patterns) the error of their past ways.

Chalking the aforementioned Toronto MP votes up to their constituents is hilarious, by the way. If you have listened to any of their public statements on this issue - particularly those of McTeague, Wappel, and McKay - it is clear that their position is rooted in nothing more than their own personal beliefs - and none of them are "new Canadians". You could easily replace any of these MPs with candidates who support same-sex marriage, and still win those seats for the Liberal party.

The main thrust of my observation is that it is traditionally cities where public support for SSM runs highest in public opinion polls, and yet it is MPs representing these same cities in the Liberal party - not their rural MPs - who voted against it.

And finally, what the government has done with regards to SSM has nothing to do with how religious organizations conduct their marriage ceremonies, or how their religious organizations deal with who can get married in their houses of worship. This is about the relationship between gay couples and the state. It is also very significant that many religions in Canada - including the United Church - do recognize same-sex marriage. Canada's religions are not uniformly opposed to equal marriage, despite what its opponents may say.


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