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Tories Want Into Bedrooms of Canadians

25-Mar-09 02:01 am EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Okay – I’ve been accused of having ‘liberal’ views about many things.  (Topics under the heading ‘sex’ included.)  But while I’m not a big fan of polygamy, that attitude isn’t grounded in religious doctrine, nor in my own sexual preferences, nor really in anything that could justly be characterized as prejudice.  My concerns about polygamy are roughly the same as those I have about religious cults; the apparent risks for psychological abuse as a means of gaining money and/or power.  And this is largely the product of reports in the media and research on the subject at various points during my time in high-school and university showing relationship between polygamous groups and criminal behaviour.

Of course, there is nothing about polygamy that is inherently criminal or immoral.  Nor can I say conclusively every polygamous group (nor even most) will indulge in criminal behaviour.  And so, I have an opinion.  An opinion that could be right or wrong.  But even if my opinion is 100% right, there’s still something of a gap to be filled before claiming a solid foundation for outlawing either polygamy or aspects of a polygamous lifestyle.

This must be why Conservatives speak with such excitement and frustration with Liberals.  That gap between opinion and enacting laws doesn’t exist for them; so when suddenly Liberals are conjuring up arguments like “what about the rights of the minority?”, Conservatives simply can’t relate.  Indeed, the whole argument has to be offloaded to their “war room” for in-depth study and analysis before any coherent public debate can happen because “so what?” doesn’t make a good sound-bite.

So the idea that minorities like gays, bisexuals and even polygamists might be entitled to a lifestyle that’s not the same as the majority seems alien to contemporary conservative thinking, and thus rare in Canada’s Conservative Party.  As with gay marriage, we in Canada are yet again talking about behaviour that occurs amongst consenting adults (typically in the privacy of the bedroom) because it seems that there is a persistent and increasingly vocal group within the Conservative Party that wants to make its opinion and whimsical preference the law of the land.  All in the guise of enforcing “Canadian values”.

"Canadians of all backgrounds share some basic values, like a belief in human dignity, equality between men and women and the rule of law. It is these values that unite us as Canadians," states a note prepared for the minister [of Justice]. "The practice of polygamy represents a clear challenge to those unifying values."

              — Ottawa Citizen, March 24, 2009

In other words, a marriage or other intimate relationship involving more than 2 people is inconsistent with a belief in human dignity, gender parity and the rule of law.  The Minister calls this “clear”, which I take to mean obvious – yet it somehow escapes me how intimacy between consenting adults numbering more than two somehow threatens the rule of law in Canada (never mind women’s suffrage or abstract belief in human dignity).  Indeed, this statement from the Minister of Justice is about the closest tangible example of pure nonsense as I have yet seen or heard of.

Were I to counter with a statement like “Canadian values, most fundamentally, are derived from a notion of tolerance and individual equality without discrimination.  Among those derived values are freedom from discrimination sexual orientation or lifestyle, so long as such pursuits fall short of intrusion on the rights and freedoms of others”, I expect I’d see greater consensus than that resulting from the Minister’s own statement.  In short, very few Canadians care or want to know what’s going on in their neighbor’s bedroom – and that, more than anything yet grasped by the Minister (apparently) reflects Canadian values!

Indeed, why the Conservatives bother to set themselves up for such high-profile defeat – I just don’t know.  It’s news like this which has kept them from winning Parliamentary majorities in a country that historically is inclined to elect majority governments.  Mind you, I’d much rather they stay true to their ideals and suffer occasional embarrassment than have them form a majority government and get to enact the lengthy list of laws that would have us all conforming to their notions of dignity and values – whether we’d each want to or not – strictly on the basis that they won a majority of the votes cast in an election.

Categories: News and politics
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