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.
“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!)?”
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
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.