Saturday, November 15, 2008

Conservative Party of Canada votes overwhelmingly to repeal Section 13 of Canadian Human Rights Act

News just came in via email that the Conservative Party, in today's plenary session of their party's convention, voted overwhelmingly to support resolution P-203 calling for repeal of s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Here is what Ezra had to say about yesterday's "policy workshop" vote: Update from Winnipeg:
I received a phone call from a cabinet minister's aide who is at the Winnipeg Conervative convention. He clarifies that yesterday's vote on party resolution P-203 (to repeal s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act) passed by a margin of nine to one. He said that was in the "policy workshop", and that today it proceeds to the "convention plenary". My friend advises that the workshop session was so supportive of reform that there was a line-up to speak in favour of the resolution (including Rob Moore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, though I don't think he managed to get to the front of the line to speak). I'm also told that opponents of the resolution (people in support of s. 13) couldn't even muster enough people to fill the three guaranteed "no" speaking slots. This is very encouraging, and I'm told to expect that two more Parliamentary Secretaries are expected to speak for P-203 today. (It is unconventional for full-fledged cabinet ministers to speak for or against resolutions.) This is all encouraging to me -- and should give momentum to supporters of reform within the caucus, cabinet and PMO.


Eowyn said...


What happens next?

Not to resort to crude metaphors, but, will this aggregate have the, er, fortitude to see it through?

Blazing Cat Fur said...

It's worth a short jig, it really means very little eowyn until CPC decides to act.

It's a step forward but that is all.

Dag said...

Given the importance of this issue to many Canadians, and others abroad who will look to the success or failure of this initiative for future guidance, I would hope that those involved at an executive level will find themselves respectively rewarded concretely or condemned with concrete. Who, by name, should have not merely public praise but volunteer efforts on their behalves in terms of constituency activities or the like? And who, by name, must suffer the available punishment for disregarding this effort? What concrete punishment comes to them? What active, aggressive assault can involved people engage in to punish those who act against the will of the delegates and the people? Real, tangible reward for those who act in the name of the people as the people speak; and truly sore punishment to those who disregard the voice of the people.

Who gets paid and who gets kicked? Real, real, real. Who deserves?

truepeers said...

(Un)fortunately Dag, do or die for politicians revolves around electoral success. And if one can achieve this, then abusing your party's wishes is to some degree acceptable in the pragmatic world most people most highly value.

Thus our fight must go on; we can be encouraged in the fact that our message seems to have infiltrated the ranks of politically-interested C-conservatives. But our cause will not be won until all kinds of voters realize why we all need the freedom to make our own identities, by being for and against anything we so please, without need of unquestioning, undifferentiated paeans to diversity. When all kind of voters thus become outraged at the existence of the HRCs policing the internet and other venues, and more generally at the pc "human rights" world view that gives them license, we will be sure of winning.

Thus it is the sooner or later (hopefully not after too much heartache) inevitable need for the emergence of such people, people sure of the need for their participation in a developing form of discursive freedom, that we must focus our attentions. And to this end, we might question our own political preconceptions, including perhaps our own use of classical rhetorics that might constrain our ability to imagine the new discursive freedom, except when those rhetorics prove useful to our own development as iconic figures of the new freedom.

Dag said...

That pirate sense of humor, huh? I think you sort of had to be there to get it.

Pirates'd hold a captive and the night before his execution one of the pirates would sneak in to tell the captive that if he could come up with some delaying tactic perhaps by the next day the pirate could manage to sneak the prisoner out. The delaying tactic would be a simple matter of cutting off a limb, one not as needed as the others. And it must have worked: we read about desperate men who lopped off a hand or a foot in the hope of living and escaping next day. But next night the pirate would be back with apologies saying he couldn't manage to save the guy that day but tomorrow, if only the captive would slice off another part, out he'd go, honest and for sure, claims the pirate. Big laughs? Well, it must have been hilarious.

Promises, promises. Cut off my nose.

The resolutions are not binding on Prime Minister Stephen Harper or the Conservative caucus but do allow the party faithful to reiterate the right-of-centre polices.

"While it forms the basis of our policy discussion, it can't hamstring us from addressing the issues as they develop," MP Jay Hill, the Conservative House leader in the Commons, told The Canadian Press.

But some analysts say the social right policies being discussed at the convention are not the message Harper wants to send right now.

During his speech earlier this week, Harper called for Tories to be more pragmatic in the face of a weakened economy.

I kept hearing about the "salami technique." I had no idea what it meant till now.

truepeers said...

Well, you know me, when it comes to (pirate) humour, I am missing something...

How dare the liberal media spin freedom of speech as a "social right" policy, as they are widely doing! it is the ultimate in a centrist value.

Dag said...

And how dare Harper and company act as if they agree with them. There's no good reason for Harper to ignore the will of the people at this convention level this early in the term with the situation as it is unless he really doesn't have any concern for the people who make up the constituency.

We're being asked ot slice off a bit here and a bit there of our own selves in the false hope of later having our freedom, which is some kind of joke to them, it seems. At this rate, we'll end up in a year or two with a pale version of Obama in the Canadian White House.

truepeers said...

Does he dare? or does he cower?

When one is confused about what is or should be sacred, one can't tell the difference. Courage leads to inaction and cowardice leads to bad actions. This is how people go mad.

Unfortunately for all involved, Harper may yet have to see more of the crisis that can only be resolved by making the individual freedom of conscience and speech sacred, the inevitable crisis that will come, sooner or later, when the politics of brokering group resentments breaks down in the incompatibilities and asymmetries of different group claims and cultures. Then the free exchange necessary to an orderly society will require a rehabilitation of individual rights.

But how can we work to minimize the bad times?

Dag said...

How indeed will we lessen the impact of rage when it comes to a boil between those holding places in the Trinity of Racism, Sexism, Homophobia? Of course, "race" is the the trump, and now that Barama is president, it will unleash a frenzy of gloating and insubordination based on Der Leader's ethnicity, in turn making others in the victim pecking order resentful, as we see in homosexual orgies of rampage against society now that they feel empowered by the up-coming power of Barka. Where does it leave women? They'll likely find a place at the trough, perhaps in variations of the HRCs of Canadian style. But the power struggle among victims will continue and only when they come to blows will it come to light that it really sucks for everyone to play this ugly game. Then, as Charles predicts, we'll see a lot of disillusioned kids committing suicide. What a mess.

I'm waiting for the ruin so Sarah Palins can emerge from the wreckage.