BT ANNOUNCE: Get the CPC noticed and get yourself noticed too!

Last week, just after the launch of the Conservative.ca RSS feeds we launched our value-added packaging of these feeds for facilitated intergration with any blog.

To get this ball rolling just a bit faster, I will bold any Blogging Tory in the blogroll for a week if they integrate a Conservative.ca RSS feed into their blog.

Bolded Tories in the ‘roll get more attention and therefore more hits!

Promote Conservatism and yourself at the same time!

Click here to get instructions on how to integrate the RSS feeds

Put your info in the comments section to let me know when you’ve integrated the feed or if you have any questions.

UPDATE: Bolding will likely start tonight or tomorrow.

My views on same-sex marriage

I’ve thought about this issue, in much depth, and I’ve considered both positions and have wavered between them as the issue has been debated before Parliament and before much of this country in the many coffee shops and by the many water coolers from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Bill C-38 (the Civil Marriage Act) is to be voted upon in Parliament tomorrow and I wanted to express my views on this bill before it faces the votes cast by the Members of Parliament.

I am in favour of bill C-38 as it is currently written (I hope that even if you disagree, that you will continue to read this post)

The title of the bill is:

An Act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes

“Marriage” in my opinion, was erroneously written into the law of the land to confer benefits and rights to those in such a partnership. Marriage is a cultural institution that originated before Canada existed. To write it into the law and to manipulate it, goes beyond the jurisdiction of the government, or of any organization. “Marriage” cannot be defined wholly by either the Roman Catholic church (ie. Muslims get married too, and are not bound to the definition of the RC church), or by the Canadian government. “Marriage” is, and always shall be a cultural institution no matter what organized group of people (whether your friends, or the government of Canada) does to try and “redefine” it. Analogously, Mexico could declare that Polo is the national sport of Canada. However, their “redefinition” of our culture doesn’t make it so.

Further, when the constitution was written, the word “marriage” was used for convenience even though it extended beyond the jurisdiction of the state to define it. The truth is that, by definition, the state only has the ability to define “civil” unions, whatever they may be… and the state is completely within its bounds to do so.

This being said, short of a constitutional amendment, the government is stuck with using the word “marriage” when it means “civil union”.

It expresses this restriction within C-38:

WHEREAS the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that the Parliament of Canada has legislative jurisdiction over marriage but does not have the jurisdiction to establish an institution other than marriage for couples of the same sex;

Thus the government has written a bill that describes “marriage for civil purposes“. This seems to be grant the government the ability to define “marriage” within its scope (ie. for civil purposes)

But, what about any perceived violations to one’s religious beliefs, expression of those beliefs, or expression of one’s disagreement with the Civil Marriage Act?

Bill C-38 states unambiguously:

WHEREAS everyone has the freedom of conscience and religion under section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

WHEREAS nothing in this Act affects the guarantee of freedom of conscience and religion and, in particular, the freedom of members of religious groups to hold and declare their religious beliefs and the freedom of officials of religious groups to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs;

WHEREAS it is not against the public interest to hold and publicly express diverse views on marriage;

It is recognized that officials of religious groups are free to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs.

For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom.

Religious freedoms are protected and the right to have a dissenting opinion on this issue does not label one as a criminal. (The bolded sections are amendments to the first reading). I believe that these amendments should alleviate any worry that one can be arrested or censured for one’s religious (or even personal) views on same-sex marriage. As the legislation currently stands, I cannot see any rational reason to oppose it.

I believe that the state exists to serve the individual, not the individual the state. Thus, rights exist at birth, and are not “granted” by any organization. I also believe in personal liberty and this is at the core of my support for C-38. I can now support the legislation because religious freedoms, freedom of dissention, and the rights of equality of gays and lesbians are now all guaranteed.

I am happy to endorse the equal recognition of the formalized union between two people, regardless of gender (to the exclusion of all others), under the jurisdiction of the state. The rights of “Marriage, for civil purposes” to gay couples has too long been withheld. I also believe that “Marriage for cultural purposes” is still preserved and that, again, no group or state can remove this by legislation. Irregardless, there is even a guarantee in C-38.

Ideally, the government wouldn’t have its hands on a cultural institution at all and would instead be defining for civil purposes, a legally and secularly discrete term for all people regardless of sexual orientation. However, we must deal in the reality that exists.

Instead of opposing C-38, Conservative members should have rallied to remove “marriage” from the constitution by amendment. This, however, would have been quite difficult and nearly impossible. But it would have been right, for everyone.

I’d also like to express that the Liberals have abused their power by ending debate on C-38 prematurely and should respect those that disagree. This is a minority Parliament and debate, under these conditions and regarding such a contentious bill, should be respected.

From an “ethics in Parliament” perspective, I also believe that the Conservative Party of Canada has been the only party to approach this issue with maturity, allowing its members to vote their consciences.

Well, that wasn’t too painful. Hopefully there are still some Conservatives out there who still believe in such things as fiscal sanity, government accountability, tax relief, criminal justice, healthcare sustainability, improved bilateral Canada-US relations, choice in childcare, provincial jurisdiction, international responsibility via military commitment and humanitarian aid, and personal liberties.

Comments and discussion are encouraged.

Canadian Brainwashing Corporation

I’ve decided to have some fun while holed up in my hotel in downtown Detroit. The conference is over for another day and I thought that I’d mix my penchants for graphical design and slagging on the CBC into one afternoon commercial endeavor.

I’ve set up an account over at cafepress.com, where you can design your own t-shirts. I’ve made one that is sure to be a must have for any Conservative convention or summer BBQ leader’s tour.

cbc-shirt.jpg

Buy one for yourself, buy some for your friends…

Also available in simple T, women’s tank top and a mug.

Click here to buy

Money, money, money – and Liberal corruption

This post is all about money. It’s about those who print it, those who control it and those who donate it to the Liberal Party of Canada. In the spirit of my previous posts concerning the Board of Directors of the CBC, Via Rail, and Canada Post, I present two more Crown corporations which are headed by Liberal-friendly donors. Of course, the executive boards of these corporations are appointed by the Liberal cabinet, so this should come as no surprise in this country. But to those outside of this country… yes, this goes on, and yes, you’re right… it’s called “corruption”.

I present the proportion of donations from the current board of directors of the Royal Canadian Mint by recipient party:

royal-canadian-mint-board-of-directors.jpg

These are the ladies and gentlemen that print our money. Kids, take note… if you want to be a leader in the public sector in Canada, make that cheque out to the Liberal Party. You might just get lucky! Jobs based on merit? Only true if you’re a Liberal.

Let’s move on to those that control the money, the chaps that run the Bank of Canada. Yes, these money managers managed to donate a hefty chunk of change to the Liberal Party of Canada. In fact, out of every $100 donated to political parties by the current board of directors of the Bank of Canada, $99 went to the Liberal Party. How does the government reward these outstanding individuals? Give them a seat at on the board. Here’s a graphical representation:

bank-of-canada-board-of-directors.jpg

This is outrageous! Is anyone aware of the incredible partisan-based appointment of directors at our nation’s crown corporations? Tell your friends! Email them this post. I can only think of a handful of corrupt nations in which one party (or family) controls the money supply. I didn’t think that Canada was one of them. This is what is scary about politics in Canada.

Detroit and Quebec on my mind

On this Saturday afternoon, I find myself among scientists and colleagues in the Motor City. I’m here at a conference participating in science-related stuff (and I’m doing the tourist thing too). We’ve been put up in a fairly swanky hotel (for grad students) and we’re taking full advantage of our per diems too.

I expect that blogging should be light during the extended weekend, depending on what Detroit has to offer. If it lives up to its billing, I’ll be blogging a lot. And, if I’m actually surprised by the charm of the city, posts may be intermittent but might even find themselves part of a sort-of mini tourist blog. However, I’m here to, uh, do lots of work and present the lab’s scientific poster and research, so blogging should be sparse.

I’m a day late on this but I’d also like to wish a belated “happy St. Jean Baptiste day” to my friends in Quebec and in the rest of Canada. Quebecois Blogging Tories also wish everyone a happy St-Jean Baptiste day and do it better than I could hope to accomplish. We accept the Quebec question as a sort of national past-time, however, in Quebec it is their obsession.

Qu’est-ce qu’on veut, au juste?

Moi, si j’étais Charest, je ferais comme Lucien Bouchard: “Adios amigos, et démerdez-vous avec vos contradictions. Elisez un gouvernement de gauche, puis plaignez-vous que l’Etat occupe trop de place. Ou élisez le PQ, et votez contre l’indépendance. Bref, amusez-vous… Moi, je vais jouer au golf.”

Conservative.ca gets RSS

Well, I’ve been harping on the webmasters at Conservative.ca to get RSS for a while and they’ve finally done it! Hopefully, I haven’t alienated too many staffers/strategists with my emails and other discussions… (ahem, good job guys)

Craig (my Blogging Tories co-conspirator) and I are working on a value-added packaging of the Conservative.ca RSS features for the Blogging Tories community so stay tuned.

Blogging Tories + Conservative.ca RSS = One sophisticated political machine

From the dept. of irony

The Rotary Club of Chatham is giving away a Hummer H2 in order to raise $100,000 for the French Fort Cove Eco-Centre.

hummer-h2-fundraiser.jpg
Thumbs up for the environment!

The Rotary Club of Chatham believes the Eco Center, will be informative and educational for youth through interactive and fun displays. This will be an excellent tool for teaching about our flora & fauna, inland waterways, environmental concerns, heritage, and historic events. Imagine learning about the Miramichi Fire of 1825 in a room where you can feel the heat, smell the smoke, hear the crackling of the flames and feel as if you are running alongside the survivors to plunge into the river!

Once the goal is reached to support the French Fort Cove Eco-Centre, additional monies will go towards other worthwhile projects on the Miramichi.

(via Fark)

Paul Martin’s sons to testify

The Quebec daily newspaper, Le Soleil is reporting this morning that Paul Martin’s sons will be called to testify before the Standing Commitee on Finance this October.

Their involvement in Martin’s company, Canadian Steamship Lines is being called into question, specifically the profitability of using Barbados as a tax haven.

CSL has been the greatest source of Paul Martin’s significant wealth and we’ve always known that our Prime Minister pays his corporate taxes to a foreign country, at a tax rate of about 2%, to avoid paying into social programs as a corporate citizen. Now his sons, which hold the company in a “blind trust” have been called before the committee to answer questions its questions concerning CSL.

CTV watch – bias

Watch CTV news tonight with Lloyd Robertson and you’ll see a story concerning a confidence vote coming next week on the NDP budget C-48.

Craig Oliver said that Conservatives are upset on the Liberals reneging on promising to delay the SSM bill C-38 in exchange for support for the budget bills.

This is dishonest

The Conservatives said that they would allow C-48 to come to a vote before the summer break in exchange for delay on a vote on the SSM bill. Conservatives have never said that they would support C-48. Craig Oliver should know this detail. He’s on the Hill each and every day and sure pays more attention to these kinds of things than I do.

Another point of bias comes when Oliver and Robertson muse that the Conservatives believe they have a better chance now at electoral success than after Gomery, because they believe that Martin will be found to have no connection to Adscam, which “many Canadians believe”. How dishonest.

Finally, Robertson echoes a Liberal talking point when he underlines that the Conservatives are inconveniencing everyone by potentially defeating the government next week.

“There goes our summer vacation”, Robertson laments as he closes the report.