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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Todd Palin rocks

Check out Fox News host Greta van Susteren's interview with Alaska's "First Dude" Todd Palin, good lookin' salmon fishin' moose huntin' oil drillin' snowmobile racin' husband of Sarah Palin. I hope McCain wins the election if only for the vicarious thrill of hearing about them shaking up the Georgetown cocktail party circuit.

part two here

part three here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hey! I'm a member of an oppressed minority!

... that would be gay rural supporters of Stephen Harper.

Today's National Post carries an installment in their occasional series on "small communities within the electorate" by analyzing the "homosexual voter". Titled "Gay community united in stance against PM" , the author states:

While gay men tend to vote Liberal and lesbians back the NDP, Canada's homosexual population is united in its opposition to the Conservatives, according to a new report.

A study conducted by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) found just 7.3% of homosexual men and 10.4% of gay women supported the Conservatives in the 2006 election. By comparison, 40.7% of straight men and 32.4% of straight women voted for the Conservatives.

"Clearly, they are anti-Conservative," said Barry Kay, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and LISPOP researcher. "The hostility there is dramatic ... these are numbers that are worse than the NDP gets in much of the country."

Further, the poll points out that

... those who identified themselves as gay were more likely to be students and under the age of 35 compared with the general population. In addition, the gay population tended to be concentrated in major cities such as Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. Few lived in communities with fewer than 100,000 people.

Wow. First of all I'm in a group that constitutes only 7.3% of the gay electorate nationwide, but because I'm also over 35 and live in a small rural community of less than 10 000 people far away from Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, I'm in an even smaller subset. That's a pretty small "special interest group".

And guess what - I don't feel oppressed by Stephen Harper's jackbooted storm troopers because of my sexual orientation - in fact, I feel more uncomfortable around representatives of the "gay community united in its stance against the PM" because of my political orientation.

Before I get all kinds of comments with references to the "Dear Leader" and Jewish Nazis, let me enlighten people on why I'm a member of this exclusive group. I explored this topic in detail in posts here and here, but here's the argument in a nutshell. In spite of the fact that, like 90% of gays & lesbians polled, I support gay marriage and disagree with some socially conservative elements in the Conservative Party of Canada for whom this is a defining issue, it is not THE defining issue for me. I don't think anyone of any political stripe accepts 100% of their chosen party's platform. I believe in the libertarian values of small government, low taxation, individual & property rights, personal responsibility and free-market economic policies. I also support a muscular foreign policy committed to supporting democracy and freedom in the world. Although it isn't a perfect fit for me, the ONLY Canadian party that comes anywhere close to sharing these values is the CPC. If we disagree on socially conservative "family values" issues, well so be it. That's not enough to make me vote Liberal.