Tag Archives: harper


Women in North America have plenty to be concerned about. In Canada, where I reside and thank the stars every night for that good fortune, a motion to create a parliamentary committee is to be debated this fall. This committee would “reexamine” the “evidence” of when life begins. It would be a hand picked committee of elected members of parliament, not medical experts, trying to redefine when life begins. The members who brought it forward, and members who have openly support M312 have taken public anti-choice stances and have challenged Canada’s abortion legality.

Our sisters in the states are facing darker times then we, sadly. They have been under attack for decades. Not only is abortion illegal in many states, but in those states where it is legal it is increasingly difficult to access. Now, a Senator hopeful running in Missouri has outed the pro-life extremist faction of the GOP and has caused the GOP to demand he step away from the race – more to quiet the fact that he is not alone in his views. He said, with much certainty, that there is “legitimate rape” and other kinds of rape and women don’t often get pregnant from “legitimate rape” spawning numerous parodies of his insinuation that the uterus is magic and only accepts embryos made of love.

Unfortunately, he is not alone and there are many politicians and would be politicians who prey on fear, loneliness and extremism to parlay their misogynistic and hateful opinions.  Just today the GOP platform committee approved an anti-choice party platform with rather strict and inflexible language regarding abortion. To parse apart what is rape and what isn’t quite frankly blames the victim.

In a powerful and vulnerable open letter to Akin, Eve Ensler describes her experience with rape and the effects it has. She puts into words what millions of women have experienced. Rape, violence, violation and then to be treated as a monster afterwards. Dissected and examined to ensure she is telling the truth.

The truth is that we still live in society that doesn’t value women equally. Many people do within this society. Most men, I would say, love and respect women. Most men wouldn’t think twice about believing if their daughter/mother/wife was raped. However, society still does not. Our elected members, most of whom are men, still believe they should make choices about women’s bodies, in the best interest of women – who clearly could not possibly have the wherewithal to make choices on their own behalf.

The underlying assumption of your statement is that women and their experiences are not to be trusted. That their understanding of rape must be qualified by some higher, wiser authority. It delegitimizes and undermines and belittles the horror, invasion, desecration they experienced. It makes them feel as alone and powerless as they did at the moment of rape.

– Eve Ensler

If I sound angry, it is because I am. I am very angry. I am angry that the fight my grandmother and mother faced is the same fight I am facing. I am angry that our legal system – in Canada and the US – still puts the blame on rape victims. Makes them prove that they were violated in the most horrific of fashion. That rape as a tactic of war is all too widespread.

This is not a singular event, this was a person who has said this same thing over and over again to receptive audiences. The mistake he made, and the mistake the GOP is punishing him for, is that he said it in a public space where his ignorance and misogyny was caught on tape during an election year. He outed a strong faction of the GOP that doesn’t believe women should have the rights over their own body, medically or otherwise.

In Canada, it is different. Thankfully. M312 was a nod, yes, but it was a quiet one. It was a wink in the direction of those the CPC is continuing to court. However, Harper can busy the PMO by convincing MPs to vote against, but it isn’t on moral high ground or a deep belief that women are perfectly capable of understanding their own bodies. It is because Harper fears what the GOP fears. An election fought on the issue of abortion rights. A fight he will lose. The GOP doesn’t want this to become about women’s rights. Their record hardly supports claims that they are progressive when it comes to women’s rights. The Harper record is not much better. At the end of the day low paying minimum wage job creation hurts women disproportionately. So does the nonsense women have to endure when political representation is discussed, or rather denied.

Sometimes anger is good. Sometimes it is needed. In solidarity with our sisters in the south and around the world, I cannot sit by while this debate rages on. When are we done discussing what is rape and what isn’t? When will be done denying necessary access to medical services to certain populations?

Join a women’s group. Support a feminist representative. Support these Senators in fighting back . Support MPs and political parties that have comprehensive medical platforms that support a women’s right to choose. Support Ensler when she says, “And by the way you’ve just given millions of women a very good reason to make sure you never get elected again, and an insanely good reason to rise.”

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Wiseman on proroguing parliament

It’s really a free ride by the government. I think its a debasement of our parliamentary system, which is based on the principle of responsible government.

Constitutional expert and University of Toronto Dr. Nelson Wiseman on CBC speaking on the decision by PM (?) Stephen Harper to prorogue parliament for the second time in as many years.

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Spit, Swallow or put it in your pocket?

Quite the week for Canadian politics….and the house is not even sitting. Impressive Harper, impressive.

Lets start at the top shall we?

“Wafergate” – Q: Who do we get to coin as “Deep Throat” in this affair? Better yet, as @kady exclaimed, what a great collision with the present CRTC/copyright discussion.

Harper makes another apology – Now, I understand using any opportunity at a podium to campaign, especially when one is in a foreign country at an international conference of world leaders…. oh wait. No, I do not understand at all. What exactly did Harper have to gain while blasting his opponent at an international conference he attended as Canada’s nation leader. Telling everyone that Igantieff doesn’t represent Canada, you do, is a little bit overkill when you are in fact, representing Canada at that very moment. Play to the strength of being Prime Minister sir, because as rumor has it, you are.

I can see that you are trying to improve the Conservatives and your own international prestige, as you seem to appreciate foreign media much more than your own press corps, but keep whining to a minimum. We don’t hear Obama reminding everyone how great he is compared to McCain, now do we?

My most favorite outcome of this little debacle is that the Liberal party did not even lift a finger and worldwide attention was on them. Using an old theater trick very well they are, the more spotlights trained on them, the better the make-up job.

Republicans for Ignatieff – Who is behind this obscure and out of the blue group? Conservative scare tactics? Maybe an aid read another e-mail wrong and thought Flanagan referenced a republican when we actually referenced, well, it was likely a republican.

Tom Flanagan casts an opinion, cites Cicero – Why not?

I think that may indeed be it, for a few hours at least.

Canada’s participation in the G8 made few headlines outside the little speech Harper so foolishly decided to make. A speech which stole any and all attention to the impact made in those meetings away from the audience. Which is too bad, given that a meeting of the top eight economic powerhouses of the whole wide world is a pretty big deal.

To hear more on the G8 meetings, CBC does a relatively decent job of covering it.

* The title for this blog was given to me by an individual wishing to remain anonymous. However, as they will read this, credit is due.

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A 1-2-3 on voting.

Being a huge political nerd, the Canadian Federal Election is keeping me at all hours of the night thinking thinking and thinking.

Voting is one of the simplest democratic rights we have and employ that tells the government that we want that right. The world has seen throughout history what the loss of such a simple action does to a country and to its people. Do not let this even be a slight possibility here.

This election is especially interesting as we are entering here with two consecutive minority governments of two different parties who have acted in those minority governments very differently.

While I am trying to remain non-partisan due to my current job as well as my sheer frustration with our political system, I cannot help but be appalled at the Conservatives government cuts to Arts Funding and their continuing dismissal of Social Programs as well as their continual missteps in election campaigns  – there are so many links available here I couldn’t list just one, but here are my two favourites: Immigration = crime? and Native Racism.

There are a bevy of ways to learn more and get informed. Check out your nearest Candidate Debate – here in Lethbridge noon in University Hall Atrium on October 7th. Look at reliable news sources  – check out the CBC’s Election page and the Globe and Mails Election page and watch the debates. Both the english at ctv.com and french at cbc.ca.

Lastly, voting can be more than just casting a ballot. Strategic voting has become a grassroots intiative that has gained a ton of momtentum in a short peroid of time. Check out votepair.ca for more information and how you can affect change. Also, for all you youth voters check out yvote.org for information on why, how and where to vote.

Last but not least, although Elections Canada has been nothing but useless so far, check out thier website for contact information on where voting stations are posted in your area and what to bring with you.

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Notice how the 5 Planeteer powers are direct representations of IR theory? I did!

It has been far too long, I realize. I brand new job and weeks of traveling has caused my blogging to rise higher and higher on a long list of things I like to do but do not always have the time to do. However, here is a little something something for all us enviro/political nuts to sink our teeth into:

“The NDP can throw out numbers but there has to be reality to them. The reality is they’re not in government and never will be, so they can just throw out [any] numbers they want,” Mr. Lunn said yesterday before the vote.”

The Globe and Mail article discussing the recently introduced private members Environmental Bill gave a quick and dirty (pardon the terrible pun) illustration of the degradation our democratic process is under going. Thanks Mr. Lunn, clearly you respect ALL parties in the House of Commons and all those Canadians who voted for them. Given the Conservatives spent so long in the minority (and technically are still there) you would think they would be a little more understand and compassionate to the voice of a few. Or at least a little more aware of their public image. Million dollar life insurance bribes, Maxime Bernier and now this little ditty… For all the good the Conservative party is actually doing, no one is going to notice with all the smut layering up.

Looks like a job for Captain Planet!

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