Still, Harper has earned a place in the history books for his efforts this week. Harper became the first post-war Prime Minister to ask the Commons to consider taking away the rights of a Canadian minority.That he failed to garner sufficient support to press on with the plan does not mitigate the fact that he was willing to ask.
But in asking he was only fullfilling his Election committment. One he should never have made, but had too. And after breaking at least two he had to keep this one. As Don Martin points out;
One contrast is worth noting. Harper, who went on for 7,500 words to defend traditional marriage to the exclusion of gay/lesbian couplings in February, 2005, didn't bother to debate yesterday.
His views are already known, shrugged an aide. Given that his pre-election views on income- trust taxes and Quebec's nationhood were also well known, perhaps a confirmation was in order.
But the fight has gone out of Harper. He's an ideologue with a pragmatic streak. He knows when to fight and when to surrender. This was time to wave the white flag. In the Prime Minister's place, Nicholson could muster only bland excuses for the resurrection of the divisive debate. It was an election promise. It deserved a free vote. Let's move along.See
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