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Americans do not realize the extent to which gender-neutral marriage remains controversial in Canada, having been fed a steady diet of harangues by the Left and the media about Canada's easy acceptance of the practice. In fact, the issue carries such controversy that the party that championed it had dozens of MPs so unhappy about its spread that they briefly considered bringing down their own government to stop it:
Last Thursday morning in an office in the historic East Block, a dozen Liberal MPs opposed to the same-sex marriage bill met to plot its demise, and for a fleeting instant spoke about killing their own government as a means to an end.
It was an extraordinary meeting in which the MPs discussed strategy, talked of ways to stall the bill and tossed out various scenarios. They even spoke about the possibility of supporting the Conservatives on a no-confidence motion to bring down the government, which would, in effect, kill the marriage bill.
The suggestion didn't last long; the quick consensus was that the next government would still likely pass the bill, and the delay would have gained them nothing except another election. However, at least one of the MPs attending this caucus felt otherwise. Pat O'Brien took his leave of the Liberals as a result, claiming that his concerns had not been addressed and that promises for more debate had been broken by PM Paul Martin.
O'Brien's defection has left the Commons equally split, considering the alliances between the parties. The Tories/BQ faction has 152 seats, the same as the ruling Liberal/NDP bloc, with now four independents, including O'Brien. O'Brien indicated that he would consider voting against the government on the next confidence motion that gets tabled, which would split the independents and leave the decision once again to the Speaker, a result which would save Martin. However, if another member of that mini-caucus opposing gender-neutral marriage takes a walk to join O'Brien, Martin is in serious trouble -- and playing Let's Make A Deal, post-Grewal, probably isn't in the cards.
A summer election may still happen. Stay tuned.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Liberal MP Pat O’Brien announces at a news conference in Ottawa on Monday that he is quitting the Liberal party to sit as an independent. Canadian Liberal Party members met last Thursday to plan strategy and to plot the ultimate demise of a sa... [Read More]
Tracked on June 7, 2005 11:50 AM
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