Sunday, May 29, 2005

Do socon nominees matter?

Over at Flash Point Canada an important question is raised: so what?
These people are right out front with their beliefs that I find abhorrent, it's not hidden. They oppose same-sex marriage. They oppose pro-choice causes. That's fine, I know it, everyone will know if an election comes.
FPC is raising in the context of the alleged hidden agenda of the CPC and points out that here are people whose agenda is clearly not hidden. I agree with this completely ... almost.

But there is another point here that needs to be raised. The Reform party changed conservative politics in many important ways. One of them was an emphasis on freely-voting MPs, an emphasis that was taken over by the Alliance and now the Conservative Party. Does the party have a hidden agenda on (say) abortion? Not at all. The party's position is quite clear. It has no position. Its MPs can vote freely.

Having freely-voting MPs puts an additional burden on us voters, since we do not merely have to look at the party platform and leadership when we make our decisions. We now also have to look at the personal positions of the MPs, something that Canadians have not had to do previously. Otherwise we run the risk--at least in theory--that the next parliament has (say) an anti-abortion majority, even though abortion itself did not come up during the election.

So, who are these socons? and is there any threat that their influence in Parliament might grow larger than that in the population as a whole?

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