Where Credit is Due
I am often loathe to give the Conservative Party credit for anything. This time they surprised me. I would not have expected them to do this.
Recently, in the Ottawa area a young teen aged boy, Jamie Hubley, who suffered from depression committed suicide. Life had gotten to difficult for him to envision life getting to better. Among his difficulties was that he was often a victim of bullying at school. He was different. He was openly gay and had tried to form a club a school of students who were sympathetic to the issues homosexuals face in our society. For this he had been tormented and even physically abused. He was apparently one of those students that teenagers feel they can pick on. He was interested in acting and figure skating and I assume a more gentle soul that his tormentors.
Jamie was the son of a local politician so his family was well know. As a result, he became a cause célèbre .
To their credit some Conservative members of parliament as well a some staff members made the following video in support of gay youth to try to get the message out that life will get better.
Who would have expected this from the Conservatives? Apparently, not I! It is too their credit that they did it.
I Canada we often like to compare our political conservatives with the American conservatives, our Conservatives and their Republicans. While they share a lot in common, they are different, mainly because of the differences in culture. Canadian Conservatives, like Canadians in general are less strident, less religious (certainly not a requirement legitimacy) that our American conservative cousins. They also are shaped by the more liberal and progressive culture of Canada, which they in some ways hope to move to the right.
As a result of these differences, with the exception of a few arch conservative members from Western Canada, the Conservative Party is not ready to dismantle our universal health care system, or change the law to allow for capital punishment, or restrictions on abortions, or nullify same sex marriage. The prime minister, who is a member of a religiously conservative denomination that would support such initiatives has made it clear they are not on the table. He knows such meddling would be political suicide (and besides our legal system has largely been the branch of government that has changed these laws based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.
When the Conservative Party was reformed several years ago they jettisoned the name of the old Progressive Conservative Party. It seems Canada is not ready for a radically conservative party yet to yet so the present Conservative Party is much like it predecessor, fiscally conservative and socially progressive, not willing to undo the the progressive institutions that Liberals and New Democrats ushered in over the years. At least not, yet.
The Conservatives Government has even committed itself to promote gay rights among Commonwealth Countries ( and I would hope among the Francaphonie) where homosexuality is still often considered illegal, a grounds for discrimination and even punishable by death)
In the mean time, I welcome the Conservatives willingness to be supportive of homosexual youth, in Canada, with their generous and heart felt video "It Gets Better".