Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Conservatives not endorsed by Vote Marriage

There are 124 Conservative MP-elects, 101 of whom were endorsed by Vote Marriage as supporters of 'traditional marriage'.

What are we to make of the missing 23?

Five are fairly well-known as being in favour of same-sex marriage:
  1. Garth Turner (CPC, Halton, ON).
  2. Gerald Gordon Keddy (CPC, South Shore—etc., NS)
  3. James Moore (CPC, Port Moody-etc., BC)
  4. Jim Prentice (CPC, Calgary Centre-North, Alta)
  5. John Baird (CPC, Ottawa West--Nepean, ON)
No surprise that these were left out of Vote Marriage's list: they sit on the wrong side of the question in VM's eyes.

But what happened to the rest? Here is the list from English Canada.
  1. Blaine Calkins (CPC, Wetaskiwin, Alta). Not endorsed; no mention of marriage that I can find on his website.
  2. Brian Storseth (CPC, Westlock--St. Paul, Alta) Not endorsed; no mention of marriage on website.
  3. Bruce Stanton (CPC, Simcoe North, ON) Not endorsed; no mention of marriage on website.
  4. Mike Wallace (CPC, Burlington, ON). Not endorsed; no mention of marriage that I can find on his website
  5. Pat Davidson (CPC, Sarnia--Lambton, ON) Not endorsed; no mention of marriage on website.
  6. Patrick Brown (CPC, Barrie, ON) Not endorsed; no mention of marriage on website.
  7. Rick Norlock (CPC, Northumberland--Quinte West, ON) Not endorsed; no mention of marriage on website.
  8. Jim Flaherty (CPC, Whitby--Oshawa, ON) Not endorsed; no mention of marriage in website.
I'm not sure what to make of the Flaherty omission. He has long courted the social conservative vote in Ontario, most recently in the Ontario legislature where he bucked his party by calling for a recorded vote on a revision of Ontario's laws to bring them in line with the new federal legislation and being heckled by fellow Conservative John Beard (also now elected.) Flaherty's rival in Whitby was Judy Longfield, one of the Liberals who voted against ssm, who was not endorsed by Vote Marriage either. Might they have decided to refrain from endorsing either? Or did Flaherty not want their endorsement? Or is his position more nuanced than many of us are supposing?

As for the other Ontario omissions, it is possible that these too did not want the endorsement either because they are in favor of same sex marriage (or are at least not strongly opposed to it), or perhaps because they have other priorities.

Finally, there are the new CPC MPs in Quebec, about whom I'm finding it difficult to find much:
  1. Lawrence Cannon (CPC, Pontiac, QC), who is widely reported as pro-ssm.
  2. Josèe Verner (CPC, Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC), on whom see below
  3. Christian Paradis (CPC, Mègantic—etc., QC)
  4. Daniel Petit (CPC, Charlesbourg-etc, QC)
  5. Jacques Gourde (CPC, Lotbiniëre-etc., QC)
  6. Jean-Pierre Blackburn (CPC, Jonquiëre--Alma, QC)
  7. Luc Harvey (CPC, Louis-Hèbert, QC)
  8. Steven Blaney (CPC, Lèvis--Bellechasse, QC)
  9. Sylvie Boucher (CPC, Beauport--Limoilou, QC)
On the attitude of the Quebec group, it is worth noting this Canadian Press NewsWire story from January 20, 2005:
"Harper's Quebec wing, including his unelected Quebec lieutenant, Josee Verner, openly support gay marriage, a woman's right to an abortion and other liberal-leaning positions."
To judge from this, it is possible that many if not most of these are in fact pro-ssm.

That would nicely explain why they were left out of the Vote Marriage endorsements.

So in the end we should probably assume that Vote Marriage's list of anti-ssm Conservatives is more or less complete at somewhere around 100.


Edward Ott said...

very interesting writing, living here in the USA we are going crazy about the marriage issue. of course Bush dropped the Idea of a marriage admendment right after his re-election.

Michael Fox said...

You can count about 110 of the 124 Conservative MPs as supporting the traditional definition of marriage, and 14 as supporting same-sex marriage. (Note that I use positive language to describe both sides, you should give it a shot).

Many of the Liberals who were defeated this time voted against the SSM bill, but I haven't figured out how many. I've been interesting in how the math will play out but haven't done the exact math yet.

buckets said...

Thanks, TT, for the figure of 110. Can you help me sort out which are which?

As for your choice of positive-language, if I would have thought of it, I might have tried it, and I appreciate that one should try as much as possible to use neutral language when doing an exercise like this. One advantage my system has is that we end up with the abbreviated handles pro-ssm and anti-ssm. Would anyone know what I meant if I called one side pro-ssm and the other pro-tdm? I think in this case, a little bit of political correctness can be sacrified for clarity and concision.

lecentre said...

i've come to the same conclusion, but doing the math differently. I'd say a much greater percentage of the CPC would vote pro-ssm.
i posted that in my diary here, and in my centrist blog, centrerion.blogspot.com.