About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

...And Then I Had to Defend John Baird

It's probably a terribly kept secret that a lot of my own personal political views don't line-up with those of the Conservative Party of Canada, or many of it's members, including those who currently serve in the Government of Canada. But today, I want to come to the defense of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who had the audacity earlier this week to be vocal in his condemnation of new anti-gay laws that recently came into effect in Russia. So first of all, thanks to REAL Women of Canada for sponsoring this moment of bipartisanship.
I tried to find the original statement on the REAL Women website, but they've apparently reached their bandwidth limit for the month. (Wonder why, I ask myself sarcastically.) REAL Women of Canada, in case you've never of it, works to promote tradition family values, meaning that families are nuclear and straight. In their release, REAL Women said that Baird's condemnation of Russia was “highly offensive to conservative taxpayers.”
“He argues that homosexual rights are a ‘Canadian value’, but this applies only to himself and his fellow activists and the left-wing elitists,” it adds.
First of all that's probably the first time that Baird's been lumped in "left-wing elites," but even now when conservative politicians in the United States are doing their part to spread the issue of equality, can one still really be called an activist if you believe that gay people are entitled to that same rights as those who are straight. “He has certainly been an activist in Canada and abroad on this issue. He’s just put it out front and foremost,” Gwendolyn Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women, said in an interview with the Toronto Star.
Yeah, it's hard to believe that the Foreign Affairs minister would promote the popular opinion of the majority of the citizens of his country, and desite what REAL Women want us to think, the peopular opinion of Canadian acceptance of people who identify as homosexual is going nowhere but up. In poll after poll, less than 10 per cent of those surveyed have a storng negative opinion of gay marriage, or of gay politicans holding office, and that number keeps getting smaller by the year. “According to Mr. Baird it’s a protection of human rights but it’s not universally accepted. It’s not a Canadian value,” Landolt added, standing proudly with an increasingly miniscule percentage of ignorant Canadians.
“Canada believes that the criminalization of homosexuality is wrong,” Baird’s press secretary, Rick Roth, said in an email to the National Post. “This is a position that is supported by a vast majority of Canadians.”
That's unlikely to desuade REAL Women, who are so real that their name must be capitalized, because to them that majority is either a manufatured lie, or the majority is just plain wrong. However, the issue regarding Russia and how it might pertain to the Sochi Winter Olympics is slightly more complicated.
First of all, despite all the proposals and petitions, there's no chance of the Olympics being boycotted, or even moved to a secondary location. The Olympics are a business now, a corporation, and not only that, but there are dozens of other corporations that have millions of dolalrs tied to the Olympics, and whose profits depend on a games going off as planned, and without too many external complications, like stringent anti-gay legislation in the host country. If China's human rights abuses didn't keep Beijing 2008 from going off without a hitch, Russia's issues aren't going to impact Sochi 2014.
As for Baird, he certainly deserves credit for speaking outright and eloquently on behalf of not just gay Canadians, but gay people the world over. And if the REAL Women of Canada think they're going to shame Baird into shutting up by attacking his conservative accumens, then their crazy because Baird is going to make more political capital on this than by being bullied into not speaking on the subject at all. Politically, the vast majority of the country to more progressive than people like REAL Women and others want it to be, and that's not going to change because they say so. In fact, it's going to keep changing in the opposition direction in spite of them.

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