Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Now we're down a Liberal...

On the one hand, I suppose you have to admire Pat O'Brien, the (now ex-) Liberal MP for London-Fanshawe. After all, he stood up for what he believes in--traditional marriage--and forfeited his party and possibly his career to prove it.
On the other hand, you can just as easily argue his gesture was pointless and immature, since his leaving will in no way impede the passage of the same-sex marriage bill and he certainly didn't make any effort to explain himself.
Oh, he said that the government was moving too fast. FAST? Gays have been getting married in Ontario since January 14, 2001. If that's fast action on behalf of the government, I'd hate to see slow.
Moreover, O'Brien didn't say anything--at least not that I've seen--as to why he feels denying marriage to a segment of the population is so important.
I make an effort to see more than one side to any issue. Here, I can't find the other side with both hands and a flashlight. Call me a Liberal elitist if you want: I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, traditional marriage needs no "defense", is not "under attack", and has not suffered one iota in the nearly four and a half years since the first registered same-sex union in Canada.

The Sun chain is saying that the O'Brien defection proves once again how pro-Liberal our media in Canada are. After all, nobody's saying that Martin should have done anything possible--or indeed, anything at all--to keep O'Brien onside, the way they argued Stronach's defection was a failure on Stephen Harper's part.
I concede the media in Canada are predominantly Liberal--if Stephen Harper nabbed a murderer, the Toronto Star would surely editorialize that he did it solely for the reward money--but in this case the Sun's missing something.

Martin doesn't need his social conservatives the way Harper needs social moderates. Sure, there are about 30 MPs on the Liberal team who, to varying degrees, oppose same-sex marriage, but it's unlikely any more of them will quit over it; the Liberals appear safe for the time being. Whereas Harper will never gain power without, at the very least, the convincing appearance of a move to the social center.

O'Brien, as an Independent, may well be re-elected. London is a notoriously socially conservative city, and I'm sure his move brought a groundswell of support. But he's soon apt to discover that he's cast himself into the political wilderness.

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