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Shocking PM defection boosts chances of gay marriage in Canada

Conservative Belinda Stronach jumped ship to Paul Martin’s flailing Liberal government, making it more likely that gay marriage will become a reality country-wide.

Wow. What drama is going on up there! Paul Martin‘s government is hanging by a hair, so his snaring of Conservative lawmaker Belinda Stronach to his camp is a huge boost. The no-confidence vote for his Liberal goverrment is scheduled for May 19. I have no doubt that this will cause an exponential increase of hysteria by the religious wingnuts here and up there. (Bloomberg via RawStoryQ):

Stronach, the former chief executive officer of auto-parts maker Magna International Inc., will be the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Martin said at a press conference in Ottawa today. Stronach, 39, lost a leadership race in March 2004 to Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper, 46.

Stronach’s defection from the Conservatives gives Martin a crucial vote in a non-confidence motion scheduled on the budget for May 19. Martin now probably needs to secure the support of one more independent member to win the vote and avoid an election. Opposition parties had sought to oust the Liberals over a spending scandal.

“Belinda’s actions today make the defeat of the government on Thursday much less likely,” Harper said at a press conference in Ottawa.

…The Liberals may win this week’s vote if Martin convinces one of the two undecided independent members to support the government. Chuck Cadman and David Kilgour said yesterday that they are undecided. Calls to their offices today weren’t immediately returned. The third independent member, Carolyn Parrish, has said she will vote with the Liberals on the budget.

…Stronach said she switched parties because she didn’t want to side with the separatist Bloc Quebecois party to defeat Martin’s minority government, and that the alliance hurts Canadian unity. Stronach also had opposed Harper’s stance against legalizing same-sex marriages. “I have been uncomfortable for some time with the direction the leader of the Conservative Party has been taking,” Stronach said at the press conference.

…Time Magazine last year ranked Belinda Stronach as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding