Monday, May 2, 2011

Breaking up with Stephen: Some thoughts on voting

Today is the day. Today is the day where--I hope--people in this country who are able to vote get out and demand a new government.

I suspect that readers of this site are aware that Stephen Harper is a danger to women. According to the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights Harper and the Conservatives have cut or revoked funding to more than thirty-five Women's Organizations. Many of these organizations are health and safety related. Take for example Sisters In Spirit, and advocacy group who among other vital work collected data on missing and murdered Aboriginal women. As citizens of the digital age we know that data is capta, so why cut funding to this group? I agree with Sarah Harrison: without information it is more difficult to criticize governmental practice.

I've already voted, and I suspect that for the second time in my life the person I'm voting for has a chance of winning. (This first time, if you're at all interested, was in the 2008 US Presidential election. I have what we call in Canada dual citizenship and what they call in the States 'incomprehensible'). I live in Metro Halifax, meaning that NDP incumbent Megan Leslie is in my riding. In addition to being thrilled to vote for a candidate I believe in, I realized that this is one of the first times I've had the opportunity to vote for a woman.

Politics is another place where The Count would reveal some fairly stark numbers. Consider, for example, the Elizabeth May conundrum. As one of our incredibly articulate commentators asks:

"What about Elizabeth May who is the only female party leader (yay!), yet whose party's very existence is responsible for yet more vote-splitting that allowed several Tory candidates to beat out the Liberals or NDP in progressive ridings (particularly in southern Ontario) last time, making her very presence partly responsible for Harper's ongoing reign (boo!)?"

What, indeed.

I've looked up some statistics on women in Canadian politics. Simon Fraser University has a very handy page that you can look at here. This year Equal Voice reports the following number of women candidates for each of the main parties:
  • NDP: 125/308 - 40.6%
  • GRN: 98/304 - 32.2
  • BQ: 24/75 - 32.0
  • LIB: 92/308 - 29.9
  • CON: 67/307 - 21.8
Interesting.

More interesting still will be seeing how things play out on the poles today. Most of all I am interested in seeing the youth--that's YOU students--shaming all of the candidates into paying genuine attention to the growing student debt in this country. I do not believe that students and young people in Canada are apathetic. Let's get out there and make some change!



And don't forget, if enough women vote, Harper's regime will fall.

3 comments:

  1. I am waiting with bated breath for the results! And keeping my fingers crossed. Ideally we'll have a new PM before the night is out, but realistically I'm just hoping that Jack and Iggy will vote down the budget and the GG will ask one of them to become our new PM sometime in the next couple weeks!

    Here's the scoop from CBC on when we'll hear what. I will be sitting in front of my computer the second the live stream starts up!

    "CBC Television and CBC News Network will feature a live election special airing east of B.C. starting at 9:30 p.m. ET, when polling stations are closed elsewhere in the country. A blackout will be in effect in B.C. during that time, from 6:30 to 7 p.m. PT, before the broadcast goes coast to coast.

    Online, CBCNews.ca will host a moderated live chat beginning at at 9 p.m. ET and on Facebook at 10 p.m. ET.

    After 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT), the online blackout will be lifted and our CBCNews.ca's website, mobile and iPad/iPhone apps will have live results from across the country, live streaming video, full coverage of the regional and national election stories and comments on news stories will be reopened.

    And social media users will once again be free to share their reaction to election results."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear all: Well, here we are. Some good, much bad. I think Judy Rebick offers a strong articulation of my feelings and concerns (and I have *many* concerns). You can read her article here:

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/judes/2011/05/morning-after-where-are-we-and-where-do-we-go-here

    Rita Wong who is one of my favourite poets has posted this:

    ‎"it is our nature to survive, to create works of beauty, to be resourceful, to be attentive to the world we live in" - Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

    I feel more strongly than ever that we must speak up in solidarity with those who need it, speak out against injustices done to our fellow humans, to animals, and the the earth, and above all to remain vigilantly and actively hopeful.

    ReplyDelete

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