Title inspired by this tweet from elsewise
I wanted to write about the importance of voting with an open tone without any sneaky attempts to encourage people to vote a certain way, but I can’t. I can’t ask you just to get out and vote for whatever party you like because I am terribly afraid of what may happen to Canada if we elect a Conservative majority.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- Well, the minority government fell on March 25th because Parliament found the Conservatives in contempt for not providing necessary documentation. So there’s that.
- During the English leader debate, Harper dismissed the election as a power grab for the opposition parties, and that they should “stop bickering” and focus on what’s important (THE ECONOMY). Michael Ignatieff: “This is a debate, Mr. Harper. This is a democracy. … You keep talking about Parliament as if it’s this little debating society that’s a pesky interference in your rule of the country. It’s not.” That’s right, Iggy. Too bad Harper doesn’t understand that.
- “Since 2006, Harper has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43 per cent, shut 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices in Canada and eliminated funding of legal voices for women and minority groups, including the National Association of Women and the Law and the Courts Challenges Program.”
- Brad Trost, a Saskatchewan MP, says that the Conservatives will defund Planned Parenthood, crediting the anti-abortion movement for the decision. [If you don’t understand why this is a massive problem, please see this graph on things Planned Parenthood does (United States statistics). Over 80% of their services include providing contraception and cancer/STI screenings.] In Canada, the Canadian Federation of Sexual Health (CFSH) is the Canadian arm of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and has not received federal funding for over a year.
More information: Planned Parenthood International
- The Conservative party defunded Sisters in Spirit, the research project that raised awareness for the hundreds of aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in this country.
More information: Native Women’s Association of Canada
- Guess what else was taken down? The Kelowna agreement, a breakthrough deal to improve drinking water and education in Aboriginal communities.
- The Conservatives put forth a motion attempting to introduce legislation to restore the “traditional definition of marriage.” The motion didn’t pass (175-123) and Harper declared the issue closed, but most conservative representatives voted for it. Frankly, I don’t want people who even call same-sex marriage into question, ever, running my country.
- Reproductive rights are at stake. According to Joyce Arthur:
There have been 35 anti-abortion private member bills and motions introduced in Canada since 1987. Most came from Conservative MPs or Senators (or former Reform or Alliance MPs), but 12 were sponsored by Liberal MPs or Senators…Harper did say in the election campaign of 2004 (the year he became leader of the Conservative Party), that he would oppose any bill limiting provincial funding to abortion services, and would not support a referendum on abortion. But as soon as the Conservatives were first elected in 2006, they largely stopped enforcing the Canada Health Act, allowing provinces to flout the Act openly. For example, the feds simply dropped the arbitration process that the previous Liberal Health Minister had initiated with New Brunswick, essentially giving NB the thumbs-up to continue its illegal refusal to fund the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic. And in 2001, Harper said that provinces should exercise complete autonomy over healthcare, including funding it. A majority government could further erode the Canada Health Act, gutting national healthcare standards and permitting provincial governments to defund abortion, especially at private clinics.
More information: A Harper Majority? Say Goodbye to Abortion Rights
Canadian Federation of Sexual Health (CFSH)
There’s a lot more. So I ask you to please know what’s at stake before you vote and choose a leader who represents what you stand for. For me, this leader is not Stephen Harper. In fact, I’ll sleep with anyone who is not Stephen Harper.
Resources for voters