Reader AJ Kandy of Montreal was kind enough to alert me that Focus On the Family and other pseudoreligious hate groups are spending a small fortune on an attempt to defeat Canada's same-sex marriage legislation. According to the link AJ sent,
Focus on the Family U.S. has channelled $1.6-million in services to its Canadian affiliate between 2000 and 2003, the latest year for which financial reports are available.Interestingly, the Canadian branch of FOTF claims to be completely independent from Dobson's group. However,
Documents filed in British Columbia, where Focus on the Family Canada is incorporated, show two of the directors of Focus on the Family Canada -- Tom Mason and Jim Daly -- are vice-presidents of Focus on the Family U.S. with addresses in Colorado Springs.While it disgusts and embarasses me that Dobson and his ilk are trying to subvert Canada's democratic process, I suspect they're throwing their money away. GOP-allied hate groups haven't been terribly popular in Canada at the best of times. In the current climate, Dobson's efforts are very risky indeed; they could easily provoke a backlash, with groups like FOTF serving as convenient punching-bags for Canada's widespread anger at BushCo.
As AJ points out, the bulk of Canadian society is urban, diverse, and tolerant; rural ignorance and resentment aren't nearly as potent a force in Canada as they are in America. I'd add that Canada's greater willingness to take care of its citizens means that people have less need to find a scapegoat for their failures and dissatisfactions. The relative lack of social insecurity makes it much harder to promote fear and division (which explains quite a lot about the GOP's fiscal priorities over the last few decades).
Anyway, I hope Canada delivers a crushing defeat to the meddling busybodies of the American Taliban, and that we learn something from it down here.