Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Playing into your Enemy's Hand

For months, Stephen Harper has stood atop his soap box screaming to anyone who would listen about the slippery slope involved in legalizing gay marriage. The Conservative leader claimed a slew of undesirable events would occur as a result of same sex marriage. Supporters of equal rights across the country have scoffed at the suggestion, but today the Young Liberals decided to prove Harper right.

The Young Liberals of Canada are putting forth what is certain to be a controversial measure at this weekend's Biennial Liberal Policy Convention -- a motion to decriminalize prostitution.

Prostitution is not technically illegal in Canada. Rather, it is illegal to operate a brothel, communicate for the purpose of prostitution or procure customers for a prostitute. The Young Liberals claim removing those barriers would improve the safety of the sex trade.

"We believe that what this does is it forces sex trade workers into a position where they have to hide themselves and try to avoid the public eye and put them in dangerous situations," Jason Cherniak, a Young Liberal National executive member, told globeandmail.com.
The Young Liberals specifically cited recent tragedies in Vancouver and Edmonton as a motivating factor for the motion, but one must wonder if there is not a better way to make prostitution safer. Vancouver police have already enacted numerous measures in an effort to protect the city's sex workers, why not give those time? Why not simply invest more in such programs?

While decriminalizing prostitution would certainly improve the safety of such a vulnerable demographic, this motion certainly carries a downside. The political ramifications of this discussion are likely to be disastrous. The Conservatives have tried for months to make inroads in the gay marriage debate without success. Despite spending a small fortune, working in cooperation with religious groups and receiving beneficial media coverage, the Conservatives have been unable to convince the public as to the merits of their case. Now, the Young Liberals have gone and done it for them.

Stephen Harper should phone young Mr. Cherniak and tell him 'thanks'.


Anonymous Nylon said...

When I saw that in the Globe I was stunned. It's as if the young liberals called up Stephen Harper and asked him if there was any way they could help him out.

Stunning levels of stupidity.

6:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Marina said...

Can't wait to hear Stephen Harper go off about this. See, this is why Young Liberals don't run the party -- they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

6:50 p.m.  
Blogger Scott Tribe said...

I'm not sure I agree with the attempted linkage between legalizing prostitution and SS marriage.

Harper has been attempting to bring in examples of polygamy as to the slippery slope.. Prostitution isnt anywhere remotely connected to the 2 as far as I'm concerned.

And anyhow.. as the other reader said.. this is just a motion brought into a Convention.. I am sure if you look at the Conservatives convention.. you'll see an equal amount (if not more ) motions from young conservatives that'll make you squirm.. but the Party Leaders wont let anywhere near the floor or else will smooth over the rough edges.. I see that as being no different at the Liberal Convention.

7:06 p.m.  
Blogger Gracchi said...

Harper has been talking about a slippery slope to other 'immoral' sexual behaviours, not just polygamy. He has specifically mentioned pornography as well, and I'm sure this will fit well with his argument.

Notice that the Globe reported it today as a top story and the National Post reported it a week ago. The Star, on the other hand, hasn't mentioned it.

8:01 p.m.  
Blogger Scott Tribe said...

The only way Harper tries to make any hay outta this is if the Liberals improbably pass the resolution and you have Irwin Cotler endorsing it as his next big "social justice" bill or whatever.. otherwise.. its a 1 day story that is interesting but wont have any relevance on the national scene

8:58 p.m.  
Blogger Mark Francis said...

Harper can link this move by the Young Liberals back to SSM using the 'immoral slipperly slope argument' all he wants - I doubt anyone not already socially conservative would agree that the two are connected.

Oh well. The foolishness of the young...

10:26 p.m.  
Blogger Gracchi said...

If the Conservatives don't take advantage of this then it will confirm they are complete morons.

All Harper has to say is "We haven't even passed gay marriage and already you are discussing the possibility of legalizing prostitution."

If anyone replies that it's just the Young Liberals Harper can reply that it's young people who most strongly support gay marriage, and it appears that they support prostitution too.

See, look at the immorality of people who back SSM.

If I were a Conservative I would be foaming at the mouth right now...

12:24 a.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

As the person quoted, I find this quite amusing.

Many Canadians might not want legalized prostitution, but connecting it to SSM will be just as bad as Harper trying to connect "none is too many" to SSM.

So you understand, we Young Liberals did not expect action from the government at this time. The point was to make the issue part of the national debate - without doubt we succeeded.

9:54 p.m.  

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