OTTAWA — The head of a national pro-family organization [Institute of Marriage and Family Canada] says it’s time to ditch the fight against gay marriage and push instead for tax breaks and other incentives to make marriage and child rearing more attractive options
A win for Progressives, obviously, because if main the players on one side abandon the issue, then SSM rights are in the bag for a generation. As Mr. David Quist notes:
“No political party is likely to put that (restoring traditional marriage) as part of their platform, their agenda right now. I’m not even asking for that as an institute,” he said in an interview. “We have to pick our battles and where we are going to spend our time and energy.”
But, on the other hand, the battlefield now shifts and the proper strategy and tactics have yet to be articulated. Because lets face it, SSM was very very good for progressives. The political Right pushed a weak case, and did it will ill grace. In the new landscape, things are not so clear. For one thing, we have moved from a matter of civil rights to a matter of playing around with the tax code. What are the points of common cause, what are the points of disagreement? As a progressive, what is one's position to be?
You have to give Mr. Harper a certain amount of credit for this; he has advanced the Conservative cause by retreating. And, his political base has responded not by abandoning him, but by swallowing a few of their principles and moving on. Grown up behavior all around.
And I think the same dynamic is currently at work with the Liberal Party in Quebec. Put aside the internal bun fight for a moment. The deeper problem is: since the old policy stuff (fighting Separatists) doesn't work anymore, what can the party offer Quebec that is new and different, and will this new stuff involve (for example) rethinking Liberal views on Federalism? The answer is not yet clear.