Paul Mitchinson is a part-time writer and a full-time father of two. He writes when he can. » more about me

Garth TurnerIs Garth Turner on a secret mission to destroy my sanity?

During the last federal election, I offended friends and family by announcing my intention to vote for Turner, Conservative candidate for Halton. Why? Now it's true I liked the Conservatives' childcare plan — certainly as opposed to any nationalized system of daycare as proposed by the Liberals and NDP. But it came down to a very simple issue. Halton's sitting Liberal MP, Gary Carr, had voted against the Liberal bill to recognize same-sex marriage. In doing so, he forfeited any chance of getting my vote again. True, the Conservatives promised to reopen debate on the bill, but Turner vowed that he would never vote to repeal the legislation. And in comments on his blog, he vowed to me that he would be a prominent advocate of same-sex marriage rights.

In this issue and on all others, he has proven to be a man of principle and conviction. I've never been prouder of voting for any candidate. He has courageously criticized the David Emerson appointment, for instance, though this meant being blacklisted by his own Party members.

Now, seven months after the election, he is in a nomination battle. Gathered against him are religious opponents of same-sex marriage, orchestrated by Rev. Charles McVety, President of Canada Christian College. Or, as Turner dubs him in his always entertaining blog, the "Pat Robertson of the North."

Unless I can be convinced otherwise, I'm pretty sure I have only one morally defensible plan of action. Since I voted for Turner specifically on account of his position on SSM — and lobbied others to do the same — I am obliged to defend his nomination against those who would replace him with a candidate opposed to SSM. So I am now $10 poorer, and the Conservative Party coffers $10 richer. And the Party has just gained another member solidly in favour of same sex marriage. 

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