Monday, October 17, 2011

Gruending In the Hill Times

A nice interview occasioned by the publication of his new book , Pulpit and Politics (which doesn't seem to be up on Amazon with his other stuff yet). The Hill Times interview is fairly substantive. In my favorite bit, he talks about the influence of the Religious Right in Canadian politics:

Well, they believe they have much more traction with the Harper government than they had with the Liberals. I have seen a number of statements to this effect. But they win some and they lose some on the issues. The Institute of Marriage and the Family provides research and strategic advice for conservative causes and lobbied hard on the issue of same sex marriage, but they lost that one.

“They did win, however, on having the Conservatives ditch the public childcare initiative negotiated by Paul Martin with the provinces and territories, replacing it with a tax credit to middle class and wealthier families. REAL Women lobbied the Conservatives to have the Court Challenges Program eliminated and it was. They also wanted the Status of Women offices shut down. The Conservatives did not eliminate Status of Women entirely but they did cut them back severely and weakened their mandate. Religious conservatives seem to be getting pretty well everything they want on crime and Canadian support for Israel.

“But they should be careful. They have cast their lot with the Mr. Harper but he is playing a game with them. He wants them to think he is solidly on their side but he can’t give them everything that they want because that would turn off a majority of Canadians who want nothing to do with religious conservatives or with their agenda. Mr. Harper has disappointed religious conservatives on both the same-sex marriage and abortion issues. Some of them are beginning to believe that he is taking them for granted.”

Which is pretty much in line with my own thinking on the matter, and perhaps less in line with the more alarmist views expressed by Marci McDonald in her  The Armageddon Factor.

1 comment:

Holly Stick said...

The thing is, Harper joined a church that his wife did not belong to, which makes me think he may actually believe what that church teaches, although he knows better than to talk in public about it.

Or maybe he believes in nothing but gaining power by any means possible.

I'm not sure which is more dangerous to the rest of us, really.