Friday, February 15, 2008

Liberal MP says support to end thought crimes "huge"

The latest on the Canadian thought police law.

A couple of weeks ago, Liberal MP Keith Martin (a former member of a conservative party, who made an opportunistic move four years ago to hop aboard the Paul Martin -- aka Canada's Gordon Brown -- Liberal juggernaut that never was ... but that's another story) announced he planned to introduce a private member's motion to restrict the powers of Canada's Human Right Act's Section 13, which deals with hate speech and has been used against Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.

The announcement created some enthusiasm, but that quickly evaporated after a Canadian Press story reported that Martin's boss (Liberal Leader Stephane Dion -- think Al Gore without a personality) would ask him to withdraw the motion.

Well tonight, Ezra Levant is linking to a blog by Deborah Gyapong, who is also a Press Gallery reporter -- one of the few of a conservative persuasion.

Gyapong spoke to Keith Martin this week and she reports the following:

I interviewed Keith Martin again today. He said support within the Liberal caucus for his motion is "huge."

Stephane Dion has not talked to him about it, or asked him to withdraw it. Only a couple of Liberal members raised concerns, but no one has asked him to remove the motion.

"There is enormous support within caucus and across party lines," he said.

Ezra says Gyapong's scoop is important because it contradicts the spin coming from the motion's opponents and the CP story.

Levant focuses on the line in the CP story that said Dion's office suggested it would withdraw support from the motion and found it strange and even questioned its accuracy because it wasn't in quotes.

Well, Ezra, not everything has to be in quotes. If everything had to be in quotes news stories would just be transcripts and that would bite.

And, given everything else from Dion's spokesman that was in quotes, what was not in quotes doesn't really contradict the general impression she sent out -- Dion doesn't want to amend the Human Rights Act.

Now let's look at what Martin told Gyapong.

1.) "He said support within his caucus for the motion was huge."
Well that doesn't matter if Dion and the leadership don't sign on.

2.) "Stephane Dion has not talked to him about it, or asked him to withdraw it."
Yet! My understanding is Martin's motion doesn't come to the floor until some time after the Mayan calendar expires. So why would Dion rock the boat with an MP who is likely to lose his largely military riding in the next election with Capt. anti-war in charge of the the Good Ship Liberal?

3.) "There is enormous support within caucus and across party lines," he said..
I think this may be stretching the truth. Who in the socialist Bloc Quebecois is going to back this motion? Why has the NDP allowed MP Wayne Marston to not only go on record against Martin's motion but to ask questions of Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in question period?

So here's what we have.

There are four parties in Parliament.

I'm writing the Bloc off as a lost cause.

The NDP is trying to paint the government in the corner on an opposition private member's bill. That's somethng I've never seen before and it doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of Martin's motion which he says is supported across party lines.

The Liberal leader's spokesperson has said they do not want to touch the law. Even though the suggestion that Martin withdraw the motion is not in quotes, it doesn't change the fact they don't want to do what Martin's motion asks them to do to the law.

And finally, the government has ordered its MPs not to take a position on Martin's motion and when Kenney was asked about it in question period he never said he supported the motion and just spoke some Obamamese vagueness about free speech.

Again, Ezra, it does not look good, no matter what Keith Martin says he's been told privately.

Also, I, and a lot of your supporters, would prefer if you would not spin on television, like you did today, for a government that won't stand up for free speech. Just sayin'.

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