The BC Liberal Party has selected Christy Clark as its next leader. This means that, once the formality of Gordon Campbell resigning is over, she will be the next premier of British Columbia. She will be the second woman to be premier.
Since Clark does not have a seat in the legislature, it’s possible that a new general election is imminent. If that takes place, the HST referendum due to take place this September would likely be moved up to coincide. A less likely possibility is that some backbencher in a safe seat will resign to let her run; she would likely win the resulting by–election. That would be the first time since 1981 that the governing party has won a by–election here.
As for the leadership vote itself, I’m glad it was not Kevin Falcon who won. Clark is a life–long federal liberal. Supporting your own side is only part of getting your political preferences enacted; you also have to support middle–of–the–roaders in your opponents. Clark should be one such middle–of–the–roader, despite being a partisan pit bull that grinds opponents to dust.
The BC Liberals will likely get a boost in the polls. Clark remains popular with the public at large. New leaders always get a honeymoon period in the polls. I just hope that she waits until the NDP has selected a new leader before she calls an election; dropping the writs earlier would be blatantly opportunistic.
A few more factoids guaranteed to set the blood of any wingnut readers boiling. The BC NDP is a nominally socialist party, even though it is far more moderate than the federal party. At the same time, Clark is a divorced single mom. She will soon become the most powerful person in British Columbia. The NDP and the Liberals are the only parties with a realistic chance of winning seats. Who should the wingnut vote for, the “socialists” or the woman heading a non–nuclear family? Either way, the sky still refuses to fall. Indeed, the only thing that’s fallen recently is a bunch of fluffy white stuff.
The United States Justice Department has announced that it considers the Defence of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, and is therefore no longer going to be defending (Update 2011–02–24: only part of the DOMA will be undefended) in court.
My first thought is that this is excellent news. The DOMA is an appalling, discriminatory law, and this move makes it likelier that the DOMA will be struck down. This will help to enhance the spread and the homomentum of marriage equality.
On the other hand, I have concerns that declining to defend a law sets a bad precedent. First of all, one would have to be consistent in their view of the DOJ refusing to defend a law they agree with, like a future Republican administration refusing to defend the health care reform law. To take different views in these cases is to engage in incoherent special pleading.
Furthermore, allowing the executive to refuse to defend a law gives them a sort of backdoor veto. If no one responds to a lawsuit, the plaintiff wins by default. Hence, all a hostile executive needs to do to repeal a law they dislike is for someone to challenge it, and then refuse to defend it. Voila, law struck down.
Merely requiring that the executive defend all laws is not enough, because of a major loophole. The executive could merely defend the law, but deliberately do a piss–poor job of it, and accomplish the same thing.
Update 2011–02–24: What the current situation entails then, is that Congress must defend the law. Although this does not automatically mean tha there is now a “backdoor veto”, should congress decline to defend the law my above assertion applies. In addition, there is a long history of executives refusing to defend laws they believed to be unconstitutional.
Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives voted 240–185 to end all funding for Planned Parenthood and eliminate Title X. The supposed rationale, that Planned Parenthood supports child sex trafficking, is utter bullshit. Lie–la Hosebag, one associated with the James O’Keefe circle, released videos in an attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood. Since Hosebag’s videos were edited, as were O’Keefe’s against ACORN, to rational people their credibility is shot. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood performed the proper action by informing the appropriate authorities.
Nor can the House be doing this because of opposition to abortion. Only a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards abortions, and furthermore the Hyde Amendment prohibits the US government from funding abortions (in most circumstances). In other words, none of Your Money™ goes towards abortion.
Indeed, most of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards screening for STDs and cancer, or towards contraception for poor women. The first improves healthcare, and the second increases access to contraception, which is the number one way of reducing unintended pregnancies and therefore the abortion rate (cite, cite, cite). This continues the socon pattern of always taking the opposite position of what one would rationally take if they were truly against abortion. That’s because they are really motivated by a sick obsessive desire to control female sexuality, and not by any belief in the “sanctity of life”.
Personally, I doubt that this law has a realistic chance of passing. It has to get through the Senate and then past Obama’s veto pen. Furthermore, this is likely an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Still, Democrats have shown a disturbing tendency to compromise….
If there’s any good news, an atrocious refusal clause regulation has been rescinded (h/t: Echidne).
It’s been a sad little while for the feminist blogosphere. First JJ, of Unrepentant Old Hippie, quit, and now Jessica Valenti has announced that she’s leaving Feministing.
In hindsight, this looks inevitable. Jessica had significantly stepped back from Feministing after her daughter was born in August. Samhita et. al. had basically succeeded Jessica after that time. Jessica’s reasons for (officially) moving on now are basically to make way for other feminists to step in. Despite Jessica moving on, Feministing will still continue to run and blog.
This saddens me. Feministing was on my blogroll from the very start of this blog, and Jessica was on of the bloggers whose posts pushed me into blogging. With all that in mind, good luck after Feministing, Jessica.
This article (trigger warning: domestic violence) from the Daily Mail speaks for itself about why fundamentalism is bad and harmful to women.