North Western Winds

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Sleeping Dogs

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Interesting commentary from Norman Spector on SSM at The Shotgun. The Shotgun is the blog of The Western Standard and a well known internet watering hole for Canadian conservatives. Spector, for my American readers, is a well known right leaning commentator. This was in his summary of today’s papers:

Jeff Simpson [of The Globe and Mail] says Stephen Harper is misleading Canadians in refusing to say he’d have to use the notwithstanding clause to affirm the traditional definition of marriage; Simpson invokes a companion piece by Peter Hogg to buttress his view.

Aside from being a lousy political tactician, Simpson should begin by acknowledging that most pundits were wrong about how the Court would decide the case last week.

Since there are no facts in the future, no one can guarantee how the Supreme Court would rule on the traditional definition. Judges, too, read the newspapers. Even Hogg— who argued the case for Ottawa –goes no further in the piece Simpson quotes, than to write:

“the court dropped some broad hints that it agreed with the lower court decisions that the opposite-sex requirement for marriage was discriminatory and contrary to the Charter.”

Even if the Court did eventually strike down the traditional decision, no one can say now whether its decision would be well argued or patently political. No one can say now how the public would feel then about the use of the notwithstanding clause.

The important stuff is right there at the end. If the public begins to feel that it is being ignored and patronized as it was in the run up to the Charlottetown referendum, look out. Anything might happen.

The entire case for SSM is being made on the feelings and rights of adults. Very little is being said about its merits with children and the public would be stupid not to insist that the case for SSM be made – if such a case can be made – on merit.

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Written by Curt

December 15, 2004 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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