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Conservatives' Showing in Canadian Election (Southern Baptist View)

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    Tuesday, June 29, 2004 Conservatives Showing in Canadian Election Doesn t Bode Well for Traditional Marriage By Michael Foust Southern Baptist Convention,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2004
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      Tuesday, June 29, 2004
      Conservatives' Showing in Canadian Election Doesn't Bode Well for
      Traditional Marriage
      By Michael Foust
      Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

      OTTAWA (BP)--For supporters of traditional marriage, Canada's
      election June 28 brought little good news.

      The Conservative Party, which social conservatives had pinned their
      hopes on, failed to win a minority government status, gaining only 99
      seats in the House of Commons. The incumbent Liberal Party, which
      along with Prime Minister Paul Martin has pushed for the legalization
      of same-sex "marriage," lost ground but maintained minority
      government status with 135 seats.

      To make matters worse, two parties that are to the left of the
      Liberal Party -- the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc
      Quebecois -- gained seats.

      The House of Commons likely will have a vote either late this year or
      early next year on the legalization of same-sex "marriage." It is
      already legal in three provinces, and pro-family activists in the
      country aren't optimistic.

      "With the numbers that we're looking at right now, we would lose it,"
      Janet Epp Buckingham, director of law and public policy for the
      Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told Baptist Press.

      Pre-election polls indicated that the Conservatives and Liberals were
      neck-and-neck, with the Conservatives having a shot at winning
      minority government status and Conservative leader Stephen Harper
      becoming prime minister. But that didn't materialize, and they gained
      only 17 seats.

      In Canada's multi-party system, a party must win at least 155 of the
      308 seats in the House of Commons (or, Parliament) to form a majority
      government, which the Liberal Party previously had with 168 seats.
      Although the Liberals lost that status, they likely will form a
      coalition with the NDP and the one member that is independent to
      reach the 155 threshold.

      The NDP gained seats, going from 14 to 19. The Bloc Quebecois went
      from 33 to 54 seats. Buckingham said that from what she knows,
      neither party has any member that opposes same-sex "marriage."

      "The social conservatives certainly did not carry the day, and in
      fact, there was some indication that the vote ended up going more
      towards the Liberals because there was a backlash from socially
      liberal people in Canada," Buckingham said.

      Courts in three provinces have legalized same-sex "marriage," and the
      issue has divided the country, where polls show that half support
      legalization, half oppose it. But that division likely will not
      translate to Parliament, where a vote for legalization probably will
      pass, Buckingham said.

      She estimates that 30-40 Liberals would vote against legalization, as
      would most of the 99 Conservatives. But that is far short of the 155
      votes needed.

      "That's just not going to be sufficient to carry the day," Buckingham
      said. "What's happened with this minority government is that it has
      shifted things more socially liberal, which means that we're more
      likely to get same-sex 'marriage' and not have a government that's
      willing to look at any alternatives."

      Brian Rushfeldt, executive director of the Canada Family Action
      Coalition, said he remains hopeful that same-sex "marriage"
      legislation will lose. He said he believes that a few Bloc members
      will vote against the legislation. In addition, he said, some of the
      more extreme left-leaning Liberals lost during the election.

      "There's a little bit of hope," he said.
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