The problem, Steve, is that we know what your promises are worth these days (emphasis added):
During the election campaign, Harper promised to hold a free vote in the Commons on whether Parliament should revisit the [same-sex marriage] issue. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he is willing to abide by a decision by the Commons to let the current law stand.
So does that mean that, if this free vote fails, Steve is prepared to let the matter drop permanently? Because, say the Tories (God help us all) win a majority in the next election. Will Steve look at that majority and think, "Hey, a majority. I'll bet it'll work this time."
Or can someone pin him down and ask him point-blank whether, if this free vote fails, he's done with it. For good and forever.
Of course, he could make a promise but, as I've already pointed out, we all know what those are worth.
SLIGHTLY CONFUSED AFTERTHOUGHTS: I'm puzzled by PMS's position that, while he's going to hold a free vote on SSM, "he is willing to abide by a decision by the Commons to let the current law stand."
I find this odd. I'm not really used to the image of the Prime Minister of Canada announcing a free vote on a topic on which he allegedly has no opinion. What is the point of holding such a free vote when you've already announced ahead of time that you're just fine with the situation the way it is? This would seem to be a particularly unproductive exercise for Canada's Parliament.
More to the point, what is Harper's position on SSM? I'm assuming all you're going to get out of him is that he promised a free vote on the subject so he's going to hold one. (You know, like he promised he wasn't going to fuck with income trusts and, sure enough, ... um, wait ... bad example. Never mind.)
So will any journalist have the cojones to ask PMS to his face how he wants SSM to be resolved? Yes, I'm sure he's going to be as uninformative as possible and just say he's allowing a vote but, theoretically, if it was entirely within Harper's power to overturn SSM, would he choose to do that? I don't think that's an unfair question.
If Harper is going to waste everyone's time re-opening this debate, I think he owes everyone at least his personal opinion on the subject.