I haven’t commented on the election that’s going on here in Canada for some time. However, two things have really been gnawing at me for the last couple of days.
The first was Paul Martin’s promise, during the debate, to amend Canada’s Constitution to prohibit the use of the notwithstanding clause. Liberal party staffers subsequently clarified that to state that he would prohibit the use of the notwithstanding clause federally, but not provincially. “Prohibit” is the key word here. Martin is not proposing to amend the Constitution at all, because otherwise he would simply remove the clause. Amending the Constitution, however, requires the support of 7 of the provinces, representing more than 2/3 of the population of the country. As Brian Mulroney discovered, that’s not easy to get.
What Martin is really proposing to do is simply pass a bill in parliament tying the Federal Government’s hand. And, just as any parliamentary bill can be overturned, so could this. So, ultimately it’s meaningless. It’s also unbelievably hypocritical. Just a few months ago, Martin promised Canada’s church leaders that he would use the notwithstanding clause to protect their freedom to choose not to marry gay people, if a Supreme Court decision forced them to do so. Is he now abandoning that promise?
The second of my beefs has to do with the new Liberal attack ads. So far, this has been a pretty civil campaign. Not now. Harper has made a lot of mistakes in the past, but he’s also a smart guy who appears to have learned from them. The campaign he has run has been, for the most part, a very centrist campaign. It’s been full of ideas, policy, and vision. The Liberals, devoid of any new thought, have turned to propaganda as the means to sway the public. Goebbels would have been proud, Mr. Martin.
Interestingly enough, the Liberal’s latest antics have finally cemented in my mind how I will vote. I had been strongly considering a Green vote because of my opposition to the Conservative position on same sex marriage. However, on Friday I’ll be at the advance poll voting Conservative. I don’t want to see another Liberal parliament.