06 February 2005

Country evenly divided on same sex marriage

Anyone who has heard federal member of parliament Gerry Byrne try to explain the position he is taking on the same-sex marriage bill can understand the difficulty he is having once they see the poll results below.

Even when a majority of the province is moving in one direction (backing Danny Williams just recently), Byrne still manages to take so many sides on the issue that he makes master waffler John Kerry look like he has steely determination and single-minded vision.

In this instance, Bryne has managed to concoct some absolutely cokamammie rational that links same-sex marriage, minority rights, ending denominational education with voting against a simple change to legislation that would actually make every reasonable person happy on a divisive issue. Oy vey!

A poll conducted last week by SES Research shows that while Byrne's logic may not be kosher, certainly he can take comfort in the divided views among his fellow Canadians.

Respondents were evenly divided when asked to indicate whether marriage as being between a man and a woman or allowing people of the same sex to marry best described their opinion. Forty six percent [46%] said marriage between a man and a woman best reflected their views. Forty five percent [45%] said allowing members of the same sex to marry best described their view. Of the remainder, nine percent were unsure or selected neither of the two choices.

Here are the actual questions and response percentages. This was a random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted by SES Research between Jan. 28 and Feb. 2, 2005. The results have a margin of error ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Question - Some people think that same-sex couples should be allowed to belegally married and be recognized like couples made up of a man and a woman. Other people think that only marriages between a man and womanshould be legally recognized. Which of these two opinions, if either, bestreflects your views?

46% Marriage only a man and a woman
45% Allow same-sex couples to marry
5% Neither
4% Unsure

Question - If your local Member of Parliament had views different from your own on the issue of same-sex marriages, would you vote against your federalMP for that reason?

53% Would not vote against MP
42% Would vote against MP
5% Undecided

Question - Thinking of the upcoming vote on same-sex marriage should yourMember of Parliament vote based on……[ROTATE]

54% The views in his/her riding
22% His/her personal views
16% His/her official party position
8% Undecided

Note for those confused by some of the introduction: The sudden lapse to Yiddish is just a symptom of a piece I wrote a while ago and just recently re-read, called The Yiddish of Newfoundland Politics. Maybe I'll post it here soon, although it is a little dated. It could be time to update the concept that takes into account the mishegas about the Accord and the sheer drek being pumped out by some media both here and across Canada on the who issue.

Somewhere along the line I managed to start slipping Yiddish into my speech. The language seems to be tremendously expressive and captures so many aspects of life in a single word or single evocative phrase.

The link I supplied is to a New York deli that has as part of its website a dictionary of Yiddish words and phrases.Sadly, I don't have a Yiddish dictionary that matches my copy of The dictionary of Newfoundland English, so I make do with what I can get. Hmmm. That reminds me to find the online version of that so non-Newfoundlanders will be able to decipher some of the local expressions that may from time to time creep into these postings.

A la prochaine, mes amis.