Friday, June 11, 2004

A Welcome Refuge

With all the worshipful coverage of the funeral for Ronald Reagan, it is so nice to be able to turn to something like CBC Radio Two for good classical music and news on the hour that isn’t about the the latest movement of the Reagan casket.

By the way, they’re having an election in Canada on June 28, and it looks like PM Paul Martin’s Liberal government might be in trouble. Plagued by an influence-peddling scandal, Martin has had a rough time since he took over the party leadership last winter. Conservative leader Stephen Harper has his own troubles; he’s dogged by questions on same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and deficit spending.

Mr. Harper dodged repeated questions on Charter rights for homosexuals, saying at one campaign stop that the issue “is not part of my election campaign.

“What consenting adults do is their own business, and it’s not up to me to comment on it one way or another, and it’s not what people want from government officials.” When he was pushed on the issue at a press conference, a crowd of Conservative supporters jeered the reporters.

Mr. Harper also refused to answer a question on whether he would recognize the Supreme Court’s power to interpret sexual orientation as a right under the Charter.

“I think courts should apply the law that Parliament passes, the Charter of Rights as passed by Parliament; I think that legal protection should be provided…courts should act within their authority.”

The Conservatives will be hit Friday by a new study warning that the party’s platform would run up costs beyond Ottawa’s means.[The Globe and Mail]

The Canadians do it right: they can call an election whenever they want and have it over and done within six weeks. But then again, if we did it their way, the leader of the party with the most seats in Congress would be the head of the government, and I’m not ready for Prime Minister Dennis Hastert.