Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Have Canadians Had Enough of Deconstructing Marriage?

Yesterday Canadian voters turned out the Liberal Party, which has ruled for more than a decade, and elected a Conservative government.

Last year, the Canadian Supreme Court threw out the marriage laws of all the provinces at a stroke and legislated same-sex marriage for the whole country.

Last Thursday the Canadian Justice Department recommended abolishing the ban on polygamy across the country.

The chief author of the study, Queens University professor Martha Bailey, said ``in light of the fact that we have a fairly permissive society, why are we singling out that particular form of behaviour for criminalization?''

The election was close, and the Conservative Party will not have a majority in Parliament. There are not likely to be huge changes in Canadian law. But the drift toward imposing an “anything goes” marriage standard from Ottawa may have been stopped.

At a time when South American electorates are taking a significant step to the left, it is striking that all three North American countries have elected conservative governments. Germany, which has been in the forefront of privatizing marriage, also elected a conservative government recently in a squeaker.

The main reason governments get elected, year in and year out, is “the economy, stupid.” Still, when governments deconstruct family, that most basic of institutions, even the most permissive of societies react.


Anonymous said...

A strong, and increasing, majority of Canadians still support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. They don't, however, support Paul Martin's party's corruption. Same-sex marriage isn't going anywhere in Canada.

Gruntled said...

Perhaps. On the other hand, there wasn't a pro-life movement in this country until Roe v. Wade. Judicial fiat and surprise legislation sticks in the craw of many people, even if they weren't all that worked up about the substance of the issue beforehand.

Anonymous said...

The majority of Canadians do not support enacting SSM as if it was marriage. That has not changed since the question was asked in 2003.

There is no strong and growing majority on the side of SSM. Some people are getting fed up with the way the SSMers poisoned the well, but that does not mean they are in favor of the SSM argument.

SSM is not "equal marriage". It is a nonmarital alternative. The way that Martin's government pushed and rushed its SSM legislation through last summer is part and parcel of the Liberal government's corruption. It is not something that can easily be separated.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to mention that the Supreme Court decision last year did not directly affect Provincial legislation. In Canada, the definition of marriage id maintained in federal legislation while the registration of marriage is a provincial matter.
The Supreme Court decision re-wrote the federal definition of marriage which had a cascading effect on the provinces in the sense that their rules changed a bit.