Monday, December 04, 2006

Whenever I'm told by a peer that the 'same-sex marriage debate is over', I often wonder, what debate actually occurred? Can you recall a debate? What constitutes a debate anyway? When I've made the mistake of wondering aloud, I'm usually subjected to the usual brunt: Neo-con! Right-winger! American! Anti-Human Right(ist)! You know, the full gambit of highly original, liberal smears.

Similar things happen when abortion, birth control, or casual divorce are brought up. Everyone assumes there has been a massive, and equal debate, and the 'rights' and results we now bask in were brought about by fully fair and democratic means. Canada, as if you didn't know, is a liberal democracy which upholds the primacy of reason and law. Central to the vitality of democracy, the free exercise of reason and law is discourse, and Canadian political and judicial institutions are designed to promote discourse. Right?

What if things aren't as they seem? What if Canada's institutions have been corrupted? What if our democracy has been ebbing away for so long that there is so little left of it we can barely tell it's gone? What if we've been sold gimmick after gimmick in the place of the real thing? How could we tell?

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