Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Prentice and Marriage

Jim Prentice, member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, came out with a remarkable statement in support of gay marriage. It's remarkable for two reasons: For one, he's a member of the Conservative Party, and Stephen Harper has taken out ads opposing same sex marriage recently. He's making the difference of opinion within the Party obvious. For two, the language of the statement is surprisingly libertarian.

Prentice quotes John Stuart Mill, for instance: "Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign." (Taken from On Liberty) He uses that as partial justification for this: "Each of us has the right to fashion our own life to suit our own character without impediment from others, providing we harm no one else and providing we accept the consequences of our own decisions." I wonder if Prentice realises that this is the argument made by libertarians against the war on drugs and for legalising prostitution. But whatever.

This resulted in a lot of press and attention. Most recently, however, the Concerned Christians Canada (yes, my American friends, Concerned Christians Canada...) have come out with a full campaign attempting to get Conservatives to oust Prentice. They give five reasons for this, including this, the fifth and final reason:
Jim Prentice has shown that he can't be trusted on his campaign promises, is not conservative, but merely a progressive. Conservatives are not for same-sex marriage. Jim Prentice belongs in the Liberal Party. The new Conservative Party is going through purging pains at the moment but needs to ensure that the Conservative party represents truly conservative views. Those who want to vote liberally, need to vote for any of; the Liberal party, the NDP party, the Green party, the Marajuana party, or the Communist party of Canada. The Conservative party is for conservatives. Liberals need to leave and go where they belong.

Yeah: "purging pains." That's what they said.


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