Same sex Marriage Bill Passes Commons
After using sharp parliamentary maneuvers last week to force an extra-ordinary summer sitting of parliament and then repeating the maneuver late last night to shut down opposition debate on the same-sex marriage bill, the Liberal government got what it wanted.
Tonight late last the House of Commons passed the same-sex marriage bill. It now goes to the Senate for passage, after which it will receive Royal Assent and be proclaimed as the law of the land. We will be the third country in the world to do so.
Only the Conservative Party of Canada allowed its members a truly free vote on this bill. The NDP and BLOC Quebecois whipped their members en mass and the Liberals required Cabinet ministers to vote for it. About a quarter of the liberal caucus (backbenchers all) were expected to vote against it. I haven't seen the tally yet, so I don't know who voted how. The prime minister, of course, made some typically banal and silly comments.
How do we know it is a right? Because the unelected and unaccountable judiciary decided that gay rights were protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Don't go looking for the wording in the Charter. Parliament expressed its will on the matter when they crafted and voted on the document in 1983. They made a conscious decision to exclude these "rights" from the Charter. Not deterred by this awkward point, the Supremes demonstrated their supremacy by "reading in" gay rights to the Charter anyway in the late 1990's.
"(This) is about the Charter of Rights,'' Prime Minister Paul Martin said earlier Tuesday.
"We are a nation of minorities. And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights.
"A right is a right and that is what this vote tonight is all about."
The next step was a legal cakewalk. Having watched the Supreme Court unilaterally impose gay rights on the Charter against the will of parliament, the lower courts of the land set about striking down the ancient common law definition of marriage on the on the basis of the newly minted "read in" rights.
After that Paul Martin understood his destiny. He must abandon his Catholic faith in order to give legislative sanction to this judicially created right. "A right is a right" after all, even when it is a brand spanking new model created from nothing in an act of unparalleled judicial arrogance. How could mere parliamentarians oppose such a constitutional right?
Well, by using their constitutional authority to invoke the "notwithstanding" clause of the Charter, that's how. The clause was the safeguard given to us by the Charter framers to ensure that parliament, not the courts had the final say. Letting the elected representatives have the ultimate say is called democracy. (Okay, representative democracy, but why quibble.)
But Mister Martin said he would never ever invoke the notwithstanding clause to deny rights. What right? The one created by the judges. But the clause is in the Charter for these very circumstances, oui? My head hurts. For a second I thought I had vertigo because I saw everything spinning, but I just realize it is only Mr. Martin's circular argument in action.
I know the he sees himself as a champion of the underdog, but when I close my eyes I see him as an apostate bootlick of the courts. You may say that as a Catholic I ought not to judge another Catholic's faithfulness in so harsh a manner; that he may in fact be the deeply devout man as he says he is.
Fine. I recognize my lack of authority to pronounce sentence on him on matters of faith and morals. I accept he may not be an apostate. But, Great Caesar's ghost, he sure acts like one. As for the charge of judicial bootlick; that one stands. I'm also a citizen and any citizen worth beans can spot a bootlick from a mile away.
The justice minister reacted strongly to Stephen Harper's comment that the matter is not dead and will be revisited if he forms a government.
Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said Harper is going to have to come clean and acknowledge that he would have to invoke the constitutional notwithstanding clause to override the new law.Override the rule of law!!! Irwin Cotler is clearly not a bootlick. He is a liar. The notwithstanding clause is a legitimate component of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By invoking it, one does not override the Charter, just a specific interpretation of it.
"They're going to have to acknowledge that they want to override the (Charter of Rights); override constitutional-law decisions in nine jurisdictions in this country; override a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada; override the rule of law in this country," Cotler said.
And the Supreme Court of Canada refused to answer the government's referred question whether the current common law definition is constitutional; a refusal which itself breached the court's enabling legislation, by the way. How you ask does the Supreme Court of Canada get away with breaking the law they are sworn and paid to uphold? Well, they run the joint, with the help of guys like Irwin Cotler. (Why do I see a Supreme Court appointment in his future?)