Friday, March 17, 2006

Resuming the Chatter

Resuming the Chatter
Okay, it's been a while and time's a wasting.
our time in canada is drawing to a close. My wife and I are preparing to move to London, UK because we just can't spend enough money over here. But since she broke her wrist at New year's it's been an ongoing battle.
K. has been doing physiotherapy for the Sudek's Atrophy ( she developed while in her cast. And we moved in with my parents for a month to allow us to stay in Canada while I finish working and she does here therapy.
And somewhere in all of this Stephen Harper became Prime Minister in order to drop off the political scene completely. The guy's keeping a lower profile than Sammy Davis Jr at a Klan meeting. The guy shows up in Afghanistan for a couple of minutes (a la Bush) and everyone asks him, "Who are you again?"
What a time.
I've wondered about the political scene in Canada for a while but I don't really follow it much any more. I lost my taste for it in Japan, where keeping track of the political factions is a full time job, with the interest potential of a Rheto-Romansch reading of A la Recherce du Temps Perdu.
Yeah, anyway.
During the campaign, Harper called for a re-opening of the gay marriage debate. Without using the Not-withstanding Clause. He would just open the debate up in Parliament, and if the House passed a law that marriage is hetro-only then the courts would have to respect that. If the law was deemed illegal it would still hold as it was passed as the will of the people.
I seem to recall the words "majority," "of," "the," and "tyrrany" showing up in a phrase that best fits this description of the law.
What I love and hate about constitutions is the same thing. If the people want something it has to fit into a previously agreed framework. With a constitution your rights are a line in the sand decreeing "This far and no farther;" without a constitution, they're a castle in the sand. I hate to keep coming back to the UK, but as they piss away their freedoms by bits and pieces, our constitution is used to protect people from unequal treatment.
What's happening now in the States is a cautionary tale for people who want Harper's logic to hold. It's what happens when you have a constitution but ignore it. And that's wrong.

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