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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

6/14/2004

Like he Said

From the valuable Nick Packwood:
Mr. Harper's problem as leader of a political party seeking power is a bit different. He has to paper over differences between socons and those neocons who are libertarian-leaning on social issues. But on black and white issues such as the legality of gay sex or abortion I see little room for compromise. If I thought there were any prospect of a Conservative majority I would be concerned at the prospect of that government thinking to use the notwithstanding clause on this or this bit of possible legislation. As it stands I am no more troubled by the socon Evangelicals of a Conservative government than I already am by the right wing Catholics of the Liberal backbench over the last ten years. On some issues of conscience it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. There is also the important point that people with views that are not in vogue at the CBC space fortress on Front Street should also have those views represented in a democracy. There is a sad irony in the fact a government lead by Mr. Harper may offer more opportunity for Liberal socons to express those views than a Liberal majority ever did.
ghost of a flea
I rather hope for a narrow Conservative majority; but for exactly the reasons Nick outlines in his post I would be just as happy to see a minority.

The divide between socons and libertarians is likely more real than the divide between fiscally responsible Liberals and their Conservative counterparts. it comes down to a question of to what degree do you want the state to regulate morals.

I prefer a state which gets on with the tasks of road repair, fighting crime, conducting a responsible foreign policy and providing the wherewithal to finance a basic social safety net and decent healthcare. Beyond that I prefer the government to avoid trying to imporve or supervise its citizens.

No doubt there is a place for social conservatives; but I am pretty certain it is not in government. By all means go out and try to save souls from same sex marriage, abortion and whatever else - pot, cigarette smoking, demon rum, fast food, GMOs, nanotechnology, internet pornography - is being decried at the moment from whatever pulpit the socon sits beneath; but don't use the state to inflict your beliefs on the rest of us.