Monday, July 18, 2005

Not in Kansas Anymore 

I read the Canadian news today, oh boy:
Same-sex marriage bill must stand, majority say
In wake of Tory vow to repeal legislation, poll suggests 55 per cent want it untouched

Ottawa — Canadians do not want their political leaders to undo historic legislation allowing gays to legally marry in the wake of a pledge from the Conservatives that they would do just that if elected.

In a new poll conducted for The Globe and Mail/CTV, 55 per cent of Canadians surveyed say the next government should let same-sex legislation stand, while 39 per cent would like to see an attempt made to repeal it. A further 6 per cent said they did not know.

The results appear to bolster Prime Minister Paul Martin's remarks two weeks ago that Canadians do not want to revisit the issue, despite a promise by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper that he would rescind the law if he becomes prime minister in an election expected next winter.

"The Liberals have been successful in defining same-sex as an issue of rights, not as a moral issue" said Tim Woolstencroft, managing partner of polling firm the Strategic Counsel.

"And that prevails. Rights will also win over other issues."
(via Globe and Mail)

Try to imagine the above quote in the mouth of any American political strategist. The idea of a polity largely separating its personal views from the issue of elementary human rights--why, it's almost fiendish in its pragmatism.

Pinching myself, I read on:

Pollsters said Mr. Harper's promise to repeal the legislation may be helping to consolidate Liberal support. For example, Canadians who are undecided on whether to support the Liberals or the NDP may find themselves opting for the Liberals if they fear Mr. Harper would follow through. Pollsters said they also found that while Conservative supporters are the most likely to favour an attempt to repeal the legislation, "potential" Conservative voters are more likely to prefer that the current legislation stand.

Mr. Harper's position may only consolidate his Conservative base, they said, and not expand his support to other groups.

A world where wedge issues backfire: When will the nightmare end?
He also said the issue has found surprising resonance with Canadians, who mentioned it as the second-most notable achievement of Mr. Martin's minority government since it took office in June of 2004. The health-care accord that promises billions of dollars in new cash to the provinces was first.

When offered a list of options, 19 per cent chose same-sex marriage as the most notable achievement; 28 per cent picked the health-care accord. The tsunami relief effort was next at 14 per cent, while a series of preliminary daycare deals was chosen by 10 per cent of respondents.

Daycare. Daycare. My guess is that "Staying clear of the clusterfuck in Iraq" wasn't on the list of options. I wonder what Americans would identify as their Administration's most notable achievements?

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