Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Exciting Canadian Politics!

DP and I went to get our residency permits renewed today--the current ones expire at the end of December, so we thought we'd be ahead of the game and have plenty of time, just in case we didn't have the right paperwork or something, right? Nope. We were told to come back when it was closer to the expiration date, that they couldn't issue them yet. For once I thought I was ahead of the game, and I really wasn't, after all. The worst of it is that I was nervous about it all day, couldn't focus very well on anything (I had office hours today), and then--pfffft! It all goes flat, like my souffles. Ah, well, at least we know we have all the right paperwork--the clerk did check it over for us, while we were there!

The government was dissolved yesterday. I'm trying to get used to the idea of a government that doesn't exist, but continues to function... Although you'd think I would be, actually, having lived in Washington Dee Cee for many years--after all, the government functions between elections. On the other hand, there's always some carryover from one sitting of Congress to the next, and of course the Pres is the Pres until the new one is inaugurated. Anyway, here in Canada (where our South is North of the USA's North--aka Quit whining, North Dakota, eh?), we have no Parliament now. We do have a governor general, our provincial governments, and many many many civil servants ("and the civil servants you shall have always with you"), some of whom are close personal friends. No word yet on when the elections will be, but no one is keen on a campaign in the holidays. I saw my first campaign sign today though! And for the candidate I would support if I could vote!

Anyway, the significance of the new government to me and mine is that if the Conservatives take over, they will probably try to revoke the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Or at least suspend same-sex marriages while they thrash it out in the courts. They'll have a hard time repealing it, because the bill was based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and they would have to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause--which says that even though civil rights would be violated, a greater cause calls for those civil rights to be violated... It's never been invoked, for obvious reasons, and I don't honestly think they would get much support for it. Minorities of all kinds supported Bill C-38 (the same-sex marriage), because they recognized that depriving ANY minority of their civil rights threatens ALL minority groups (whether based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.). But nonetheless, it's exciting times here in Canada, if you're a political junkie like I am!

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