Monday, July 04, 2005

Tipping points

I've been trying to broaden my blog reading recently, seeking out worthwhile Conservative and Libertarian posters to include in my blogroll.

Today I found quite an interesting post by N=1 on his/her tipping-point, a highly eloquent discussion of the choices that face socially liberal Conservatives. Do, please, go read the whole thing, a particularly quotable bit is this:
Harper and the CPC appear to be opposing SSM with a tenacity, a ferocity, that they reserve for absolutely nothing else. Not health care, property rights, war, trade, separatism, terrorism... nothing. It is easy to conclude that fighting an inevitably losing battle against allowing gay Canadians to wed one another must be the single most important thing in the CPC platform. We hear from the CPC nothing but compromise on the issues that will actually affect my personal life: compromise on taxes, compromise on medicare, compromise on fatty foods for Heaven's sake. But on a matter which will not directly affect me at all, the CPC is ready (aye, ready!) to Fight To The Death. It has become readily apparent to me that the CPC doesn't actually care about my issues at all. They evidently care about the issues of those who don't much like gay people, and who don't think homosexuality is normal. But I like gay people--at least, I like them as much as straight people, which is to say I like them as much as I like any individual. And I think homosexuality is normal--at least, it's as "normal" as any type of human predilection in which no-one is injured and in which all participants engage willingly. I accept that for millions of Canadian Christians, Jews, and Muslims, homosexuality is considered evil. They're wrong, and I no longer wish to associate with a party that acts as if it agrees with these Canadians.
The question that comes to mind, however, is why does this tipping point for N=1 come now? I hesitate to offer an explanation for someone I don't know. But it strikes me that the passage of C-38 may be the important fact. That the leader of a Conservative party might oppose changing the definition of marriage should not cause us much surprise--even if we disagree with him. But now that the law is passed, ssm is the new status quo, and Harper's promise to repeal it becomes not a conservative gesture but a radical one. The leverage has changed, and many Canadians who were neutral or tepid about ssm will very soon discover that they have tipped over into accepting it.

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