As soon as Alan Tonks isn’t under the whip, he switches teams. Last week, the motion of a private member again drew him out of his own fabulous party, and he glided across the floor to be with Stephen Harper, to whom he has long been attracted. But with the moment past, the relationship consummated—and a mountain of shame breaking his back—Tonks soon returned to the arms of his disappointed sisters and brothers. Perhaps Tonks is the last to know what is clear to all of his friends: he is masquerading as something he is not, something he simply can never be. For whenever a gay Bill is brought before Tonks, he lets his passions overwhelm him and swings the other way—if only for a day.
Tonks was one of very few Liberals who voted against Bill 389, which would, according to its sponsor Bill Siksay, “include gender identity and gender expression as distinguishing characteristics and as aggravating factors to be taken into consideration at the time of sentencing and in hate crimes legislation.” In short, it would lead to harsher sentences for hate crimes committed against transgendered and transsexual people.
When the bill went through third reading on December 8, Tonks joined the Conservatives in voting against it. Nearly all other members of the house—Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Independent—voted in favour of it, and the bill passed.
True to his socially-conservative colours, on the 15th of December, Tonks voted for a bill that would “prevent [the] coercion of pregnant women to abort”. Despite its populist title (nobody could be for coercing abortion), the motion was quite unpopular and seen by critics as an anti-abortion bill being snuck in under false pretenses. It was soundly defeated.
Tonks has expressed socially-conservative views in the past; he has thrice voted against gay marriage and missed an important vote on extending family planning policies in the developing world. In response to a survey by a Christian conservative organization, he said he would “strive to introduce and pass laws to protect unborn children from the time of conception”.