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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)

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.


Anonymous said...

Excellant post...thank you...we need to hear more from your "oppressed minority"

Anonymous said...

Proud to be part of that 7.3%! Go Harper!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm so glad you commented on that article.

in fact, I feel more uncomfortable around representatives of the "gay community united in its stance against the PM" because of my political orientation.

Well said. If it's all about live and let live, then one's political POV shouldn't be a problem, right?

hunter said...

Well you sound like a very happy member of that oppressed minority, so keep making the right choices for your life.

Anonymous said...

The Conservative Party needs more like you. You should run as a candidate.

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Eric. I'm also part of the "7.3%" and you've expressed exactly how I feel as well. It's a bit bigoted to assume that gays are one-dimensional people that only care about gay issues. The Conservatives are the party whose platform I most agree with. Here's another thing -- I see a lot of gay conservative-minded people not wanting to classify themselves as gay. Sexual orientation is really a private matter anyway. But how do you get a true sample of the gay community to do an accurate survey when so many people are not "out there", at least not to strangers on the phone conducting surveys.

I'd like to see an article that breaks support for the federal parties by race or by ancestry, or maybe by those who suffer from various ailments or diseases, or perhaps by weight and height, or how about penis size? I'm sure the results would be relevant as well as newsworthy. "Straight, black, obese, well-endowed cancer survivors with blue eyes and one leg unite against NDP."