Saturday, January 21, 2006

Dear Canadian wankers: How will we know if Stephen lied to us?


Since all of the polls suggest that Stephen Harper will probably be Canada's next prime minister, I'd like to invite Canada's wankersphere to submit hypothetical scenarios for which we can, with no fear of contradiction from said wankers, conclude that Harper lied to us. No defense based on careful parsing or semantics or fingers crossed behind his back. No, just flat-out lied. Let me explain.

As one example, CBC coverage back here reported that Harper, when quizzed on same-sex marriage, responded as follows (emphasis added):

Harper said he would never use the notwithstanding clause on that issue.

If you need more than one data point, well, you can read the first sentence here as well:

Opponents of same-sex marriage say they're unhappy but undaunted by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's promise not to use the notwithstanding clause to overturn the law -- even if he's doomed to fail without it.

So Harper's position on this seems fairly clear -- no notwithstanding clause. Which inspires the following simple and straightforward question: If, should Harper become PM, he invokes the NWC with respect to same-sex marriage, will you openly admit that he lied?

See, I feel I have to ask this question beforehand since, after the fact, you folks have a nasty habit of dodging, weaseling and tap-dancing. We might get some sort of wankery excuse like, "Well, he never said he wouldn't, he, uh ... he, um ... he just said he didn't think he'd have to. Yeah, that's it, he figured he'd never need to. But you guys forced him into it. Yeah, it's all your fault. So there."

In general, then, I'm throwing out a challenge to both ends of the Canadian blogosphere. From the progressives, I'd like to start a list of what appear to be clear and unambiguous promises made by Harper during the campaign. And from the Right, I'd like the same kinds of clear and unambiguous admissions as to which of those promises, if Harper reneges on, we can accuse him of lying and you will back us up on it.

I'll start that list with the SSM issue and Harper's claim about the NWC. Is there a single wanker who's willing to go on the record as prepared to hold Harper to that promise?

The lines are open.

BY THE WAY, if you need an example of how not to honour your on-air promises, well, Fox News bloviating blowhard and total hack Bill O'Falafel is pretty much your poster child.

Will Canadian wankers have any more integrity? Not if history is any guide but, hey, I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.

6 comments:

CathiefromCanada said...

Reminds me of a song:
What, never?
No, never!
No, never?
Well, hardly ever!

Grog said...

Harper is quite right that he won't use the NotWithStanding clause. I don't think this is a lie.

Consider that Harper has talked of reopening parts of the Constitution of this nation for several other reasons. {In particular devolving more powers to the provinces, and the favourite hobby horse of "property rights".

It's not terribly difficult to see Harper trying to slide in a small amendment that specifically defines marriage at that time.

In case you weren't aware, lovely people such as Bishop Henry would love an amendment of that nature. (and are apparently lobbying in that direction)

So technically Harper hasn't "lied" so much as omitted the truth. I'd still call it deceptive - but I'll put pretty damn good odds that his tactic on Marriage will be amendments to the constitution - with the incentive being given to the provinces in the form of greater powers being devolved to them as part of the package.

- No I'm not paranoid - I don't trust any these buggers.

babzog said...

The NWC is not required because this is a legal issue, not a charter issue. The NWC applies to charter issues.

If he does reneg, which I doubt (hell, I doubt the issue will even come up anyway; such a stupid, pointless, mundane issue, but there are those who want it mucked about with again. Sigh.) then yeah, he lied. No ifs ands or buts about it. I guess though, I care so utterly little about this issue that affects me in no way in its current, past or future forms, that I'm not really concerned what he does with it.

As for property rights; as a landowner, I'm all for it! Why on earth we didn't put property rights into the constitution like any other proper nation is completely beyond me. This is a big issue for me, but it's not part of the platform this time 'round. :(

CC said...

Keep in mind that I was using SSM and the NWC only as an example. Personally, I don't think Harper would try this since he's made his position so forcefully that I think it would be political suicide to change direction on it now.

The question was -- are there other promises Harper has made that, if he were to renege, even his loyal supporters would have to admit he lied?

cmax said...

Harper will be lieing when he makes noise from his mouth...

Grog said...

Sez Babzog:

The NWC is not required because this is a legal issue, not a charter issue. The NWC applies to charter issues.

A couple of points here:

1) The marriage challenges are strangely based around section 15 of the charter.

2) The charter forms a rather significant part of our legal foundation.

Therefore, if it is a matter of "legalities", it is similarly, bound by the charter.

(e.g. You can't legislate without giving consideration to the charter - unless you want the courts to declare your legislation unconstitutional...which, perhaps, Mr. Harper wants - who knows)