Friday, January 21, 2005

Now That’s Leadership

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said he is willing to put his political career on the line over the right for Canadians to have same-sex marriage.

Martin told reporters in Beijing that he wasn’t keen to hold an election, but said he was willing to go to the polls over the issue.

The prime minister’s remarks followed Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s allegation on Thursday that the Liberals’ support for same-sex marriage could evolve one day into support for polygamy.

“It’s not my intention to go into an election,” Martin told reporters in French. “We want to govern. Am I ready to go into an election to uphold the Charter of Rights against those who would attack it? The answer is certainly yes.”

Conservative member of Parliament Monte Solberg told CBC News Friday that Martin “better be careful what he wishes for.” He said there were a lot of traditional Liberal supporters, particularly “ethnic” groups, who may “not be with him on same-sex.” [CBC]

Not that I doubt for a minute that Mr. Martin hasn’t done the research and the polling to be sure that the Liberals would win in an election, but I still think it takes a lot of guts to take this kind of stand. We know all too well that Mr. Bush and the Republicans were more than willing to stand for election by being against same-sex marriage – after all, it’s easy to be against something – but do you think any American leader would be willing to go to the mat in favor of it? That will happen about the same time chickens start using dental floss.