Catch the big orange wave! If you have always wanted to vote NDP but didn’t think they could make a government, this is the time to give them your support. Vote responsibly, and you can have the government you want.
Please, Canada — in the immortal words of RuPaul: “Don’t fuck it up”.
The election is coming up fast and furious. If you are still needing resources in order to make your decision, and/or argue with your friends and family, here are some of my favourite Canadian political tumblrs. Enjoy!
During the last election campaign, Harper let slip what he really thinks Canadians think about the arts: “I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren’t high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up – I’m not sure that’s something that resonates with ordinary people,” Harper said in Saskatoon, where he was campaigning for the Oct. 14 election.” Source.
That’s right. Harper said “ordinary Canadians” do not care about the arts. Here are some Canadians practicing their art who more than disagree with him.
Also important to note is that when Stephen Harper tried to undo some of the damage this ridiculous statement brought upon him and his government, he chose to display his own artistic skills in order to… I don’t know… show that you don’t need arts funding in order to be a crappy singer? Anyhow, his choice of “Imagine” shocked and appalled most people, including rights holder Yoko Ono who had this video of his hypocritical performance taken down from Youtube.
[Picture: Background — a six piece pie style colour split, alternating dark blue and light blue. Foreground — a picture of Stephen Harper. Top text: “It’s not my intention to criminalize abortion” Bottom text: “but I can’t say the same thing about the rest of my party”]
On Monday Harper said that he doesn’t intend to make abortion an issue. He has said this before in previous elections. But that didn’t stop Conservative MPs in 2008 from introducing a bill that would have provided a legal foothold for “fetal rights”. Due to public outcry and an upcoming election, the bill was scuttled. With a Conservative majority in Parliament and no election coming up, I doubt that the outcome would have been the same.
This monthmarks the 5 year anniversary of the ascent to power of Canada’s exceptionally charismatic (cough*cough) and calculating Conservative PM Stephen Harper. It’s surprising that Stephen Harper has lasted so long in a minority government, but for a minority PM, he sure has accomplished a lot- if by accomplishments, one is referring to the insidious erosion of women’s rights that has occurred in the last 5 years. Let’s take a look back at what Harper has done to increase gender inequality, shall we?
1) Scrap Universal Day-Care
One of the first moves made by the Harper government was to cancel a national child care program, which most Canadians supported. In its place was offered the Canada Child Tax Benefit, which provides parents the paltry sum of a taxable $100/month per child- you can’t pay a 12 year old to baby-sit more than a couple times for that amount, let alone access quality day-care
According to Sharon Gregson of the Coalition of Childcare Advocates of B.C, as reported by the Tyee
“Other countries are able to provide childcare for up to 100 percent of children between the age of three and six. Other countries, like Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, England and the United States invest more per capita in early childhood development services than Canada does.”
This move was supported, however, by right-wing group REAL Women- a truly terrifying conservative, anti-feminist, anti-choice, homophobic, judeo-christian group hell-bent on turning back the clock on women’s rights.
2) Drastically Cut Status of Women Canada
Next up, Harper dramatically cut the funding of what was Canada’s most important body for promoting gender equity, Status of Women Canada. Status of Women Canada provided advocacy, research and lobbying on behalf of women’s groups. The government closed 12 out of 16 regional offices of SWC and their operating budget was cut by 38%. Changes were imposed to the criteria for funding for the Status of Women Canada’s Women’s Program that essentially barred advocacy and lobbying groups from receiving funding. Many women-run NGOs no longer receive funding because they combine advocacy with other services — like women’s rape crisis centres advocating for an end to violence against women. The icing on the cake? The word equality was removed from the Status of Women Canada mandate.
With Status of Women gutted and many women’s advocacy groups silenced, who do you think the government takes its cues from when it wants ‘women’s opinions’? That’s right. REAL Women, who had this to say about the $5- million budget cut handed to SWC.
“This is a good start, and we hope that the Status of Women will eventually be eliminated entirely since it does not represent ‘women’, but only represents the ideology of feminists.” (emphasis theirs)
3) Cancel the Court Challenges Program
Up next on the docket- the court program that provided funding to women’s and minority groups to challenge court rulings that violated equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Sounds like a good program, doesn’t it? And it was- it changed the way sexual assault complaints were reported in the media, when in 1988 the Supreme Court ruled that publishing victim’s names discourages reporting of sexual assault and does not allow privacy for victims. And, in 1995, when a gay couple from BC challenged the definition of spouse in the Old Age Security Act, during which the the Supreme Court of Canada for the first time ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited, leading the way for future cases against discrimination.
There have been many, many other important cases brought forth with the court challenges program to further equality and human rights. It seems only fitting that a government that seeks to reduce women’s rights would want to stifle it.
Lack of access to safe abortion services is a serious health concern, and excluding it from Canada’s G8 funding is shamefully ignorant of good public health policy and does not support the rights and equality of women. Moreover, it speaks to a government that is socially conservative in its roots, and given the opportunity, might remove women’s ability to choose abortion in Canada, too.
6) Appoint Fewer Women to Cabinet than Previous Governments
Despite being half the population (really!) women are still under-represented in government in Canada. Women in Harper’s cabinet come in at a woe-full 26% down from the only-slightly –better 30% seen with the previous liberal government. Canada lags behind a lot of the world in terms of women’s representation in government.
That’s right, Canada is a ranked a pathetic 51 out of 135 nations. Rwanda has the highest representation of women in government, by the way.
A lot of damage has been done in the past 5 years under Harper’s conservative government, and though he has tried to silence our voices, we are still here. Still making up half of the population. It’s pretty powerful to imagine how much impact women could have if we demanded to be heard.
Harper may try to pacify us when the next election comes around- pose with kittens, dress in sweaters, smile occasionally- but the record of the last 5-years is very clear. Women’s equality in Canada is going backwards. When it’s time to vote, let’s change this.
And here are some pretty funny, though slightly problematic in their delivery, videos of Canadian women breaking up with Stephen Harper. For the record, I never had a relationship with him in the first place. Ew.
Oh, and one more shout out to Jack Attack Layton for correctly listing all three legal categories of Aboriginal peoples in Canada (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) instead of just referring to us all under an umbrella term like every other candidate seems to do. Just sayin’.
In case you’re Twitter-averse, I took up the duties of translating (okay, not really, my Radio-Canada feed wasn’t working) and posting snark on the debate held a few hours ago. What follows is my own opinion, being a fully-qualified Québécois de souche (though mostly anglo at this point - je…
The Green party is planning an costume party and EcoBall for May because her visit falls near Earth Day, April 22. May will be in Edmonton with former hockey star Georges Laraque on April 18.
“We’ve got people coming in just fabulous costumes,” said Trey Capnerhurst, Green candidate for Edmonton East.
Costumes should be made out of used or found material, or the costume could be the traditional clothing of a person’s ancestors. That’s meant to highlight the importance of traditional knowledge in solving environmental problems, Capnerhurst said. “Most of our solutions will be found through traditional wisdom married with modern solutions.”
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Alberta Avenue Theatre on 118th Avenue near 90th Street. Anyone who brings a vegan potluck dish for 10 people gets in free, otherwise tickets at the door are between $2 and $8.
Elizabeth May might not have been invited to the leaders’ debates, but this vegan potluck costume party sounds like a way more kickin’ event anyway. Any Defeatist readers in Edmonton planning to go? If so, send us any of the inevitable excellent photos. Serious bonus points for Elizabeth May in homemade environment-themed costume.
Mon Dieu. The French debate is way more exciting than the English one. Look at how flustered and non-robotic Stephen Harper is! Everyone actually seems passionate! Also, Gilles is a motherfuckin’ boss.
“Victim of a superstition (one that has seized even stronger minds) that woman, that stunted form of human being, standing with man, the lord of creation, the creator of culture, is meant to be the equal of man or could ever possibly be, she involves herself in an absurd struggle with him in which she falls. Absurd because a stunted form, subject to the laws of propagation, will always be born stunted and can never catch up with the one who has the lead. As follows: A (the man) and B (the woman) start from the same point C, A with a speed of let us say 100 and B with a speed of 60. When will B overtake A? Answer: never.”—
from the Preface to Miss Julie by August Strindberg
I am laugh-crying right now. Or cry-laughing? Both, I think.
More than 60 percent of Canadians do not support Harper and his government’s contempt for democracy. Yet, he could win a majority with as little as 35 percent of the popular vote.
Project Democracy is a tool to help you determine if there is a way to “amp up” your vote and stop a Harper majority. By using a riding by riding election prediction model based on the most up to date public opinion research, Project Democracy can tell you which Party is best positioned to defeat the Conservative in your riding.
So, it’s no secret that our ‘democracy’ is eroded beyond repair. If you are someone who likes to vote strategically, this site will be super helpful to you.
I love how This post is spreading like a wild fire and I am now considered to be Racist and Homophobic, as well as the dozens of other terrible names that people have deemed necessary to call me.
It’s amusing to me that in today’s society people will get their panties in a twist because someone will say something that they do not like. It amuses me that in today’s society it is “acceptable” behavior for us to interpret something and proceed to comment based on our own opinions, and never questioning the source.
That post is obviously circulating. I have seen it on blogs dedicated to bashing Racist individuals. I have seen it on blogs dedicated to GLBT and being called homophobic. Each time I log into my email address I have, at the minimum, 25 emails from Tumblr saying that it has been reblogged.
All of these people have something to say about it. All of these people want to know “Why people like this even exist”. And out of all of these people I have had 2 people actually say something in my ask about it.
Granted they were not individuals asking if I meant to come off as a bigot, but they had someone to say and they said it to me.
Which earns them a Hell of a lot more respect from me than any of the others.
Age Five: I was told by my grandmother that I couldn’t be friends with this girl. I was told that because of her skin color she couldn’t be made aware of where I live. I was told that we could be friends at school, but that was where it ended. At five years old I defied my grandmother for the first time. I screamed and I cried. I had no understanding of Racism. I couldn’t comprehend why her color made a difference. At age five I was dumbstruck. At age 20 I still have not found an answer.
Ages Five-Twelve: My favorite Uncle is gay.
Age Eleven: My best friend is Mexican. She lived with me off and on after she graduated.
Age Twelve: I had a crush on a black boy at church. In the car home one Wednesday I told my mother. My mother and I got into an hour fight because she told me it was inappropriate for me to date a black boy. For an hour straight I cried and yelled. I defended this boy to the end, because color shouldn’t have mattered.
Age Thirteen: I kiss a girl for the first time.
Age Fifteen: I openly speak out about the school system not allowing same sex dates at dances.
Age Seventeen: My best friend comes out to me as Bi-Sexual. Not a thing changes between us.
Age Eighteen: I meet Dennis and find out he is Gay. We become insanely close and hang out on a very regular basis.
Age Nineteen: My cousin comes out to me as Gay. Again, Nothing changes.
Age 20: The only club in town I will go to is a gay club. I am the only straight person in this picture. That black man in the back? Yes, I completely adore him.
Age 20: A good friend at work turns up pregnant. The baby will be mixed. My response? “That kid is going to be so gorgeous. Congratulations.” And I continue to support her even though her family refuses to, due to the daddy being mixed.
To this day I am still constantly struggling and arguing with the people in my life about equality. Because I do not see color. I do not sexuality. Until I am forced to. Which is what that entire post was about. Maybe if I would have been less aggressive it would have been received better, maybe not. Am I apologizing for writing it the way that I did? Absolutely not. This is my blog and I will write about what I want and I will write it how I want to.
And this concludes our installment of, “How to Use People of Color and LGBT Pals As Tokens For Fun & Profit.”
The purpose of this post? Simple. Being thrown into the same catagory with the people that I have been fighting with my whole pisses me off. Especially by people who can’t come to me before going off and spitting their toxin into the internet.
I presume when I reblog someone that they will notice they have been reblogged. My commentary is never meant to be behind someone’s back.
If you don’t want to be lumped in with racists, don’t post things that come off as racist. Yes, there are other forms of racism besides skinheads with swastikas or Southerners with white hoods and robes. “Colorblind” is a myth. It’s not color you’re blind to, it’s your white privilege.
Re-blogged for the most effective and accurate smackdown ever (bolded).
I love that you chose to air “Duets” right before “Glee” comes back just so all those casual viewers out there could go back and see the first real signs of Brittana and go “Oh, I get it. Santana was in love there and scared and Bartie only started because Santana rejected Brittany. Santana was Brittany’s first choice all along. I totes ship Brittana now.”
And for the rest of us, it’s just always nice to rewatch and laugh at Santana lying her ass off in the bedroom scene.
Taking a break from the election to spread some Brittana love. God, I love gay ladies on TV.
You best believe B and I played The Defeatist's Leader's Debate Drinking Game. It was fun and informative! Just look below for all the things we learned!
P.S. I will never apologize for spamming Facebook. MY THOUGHTS ON THE ELECTION ARE IMPORTANT, GODDAMMIT!
“I want to congratulate Harper for answering a question from a citizen for the first time this campaign” — Gilles Duceppe
In response to Harper’s “election nobody wanted line”: “We’re having an election because you couldn’t tell the Canadian people what you were going to spend on jets, jails, and corporate tax giveaways.” Exactly, Ignatieff.
Harper government DOES NOT supportive preventative and restorative justices, just so you know. He is super full of lies.
"I don’t know why we need so many prisons when the crooks seem so happy in the Senate." - Jack Layton
SNAP SNAP SNAP
Yes, NDP. I love you! Talking about women in parliament and supporting Indigenous peoples!
♥ Jack Layton ♥
"Most high-powered weapons are prohibited in this country." MOST, Stephen? I guess ‘most’ is good enough.
Gilles Duceppe, reppin’ Quebec like a boss.
"I highly doubt Stephen Harper has been all around Quebec." - Brigitte
Who do I trust with the new health accord? I don’t know — waiting to die in a Tim Horton’s seems pretty sweet to me.
"Who the hell is ‘Patty’? Is that what we’re calling Jack Layton now?" - Brigitte
Co-operation for better health care, Stephen? Co-operation with Tim Horton’s?
WTF are political stripes? “Dibs on zebra!” - Brigitte
Jack Layton, thank you for calling Harper on his bullshit “not privatization” speech.
"Billions on jets" - Ignatieff. FUCK YEAH. Responsible spending my ass, Conservative government.
Um, Stephen — you don’t have to choose between military support and health care, but I certainly do not choose fighter jets.
Oh man, Iggy’s face after Stephen tirade on former Liberal governments’ spending. Amazing.
"Jack Layton’s political stripes are probably tiger." - B
"I think we should take a drink every time Jack Layton whips out his balls of steel." - B
Did Stephen Harper just say he was going to raise taxes? I thought that was the single most evil thing you could do.
"You have a choice, contrary to what some might try to suggest." - Jack ‘Patty’ Layton
Way to be to the point, Gilles! :) [in regards to his adamant stand that Quebec must be a nation. This man is like the protective parent who yells at your teacher for you when s/he marks your paper unfairly.]
"[Harper’s] priorities are jets, jails and corporate tax giveaways." - Iggy TRUTH.
Stephen, your ‘best country in the world’ speech was tired and embarrassing back in 2009 when you dropped your ‘no history of colonialism’ bomb, and it certainly is now.