Everybody everywhere is weighing in with their opinions on the upcoming Canadian Election and all of the parties and policies involved. I wondered if I would be capable of speaking about my politics without aligning myself with those things. I do, of course encourage you to go out and vote on or before October 19th. But I don't want to tell you who to vote for because I can't. That is a decision for you and you alone. Hence why I am not linking you to a bunch of articles or fact checkers- I hope that you do that. Go out and find the evidence that you need. It is not my job to do that work for you.
The feminist that is me has begun to roar again this week. Once again I am arguing with everyone around me about abortion. I have never found an image that illustrates my point better than this Tumblr screenshot:
I just had an impulse to speak to someone else's politics and not my own, and I am crushing it and re-focusing on my own beliefs. I need to be able to be in charge of my own body. No one is allowed to police my sex life, how and when I can or cannot use birth control, or how I deal with the aftermath of having a sex life. Non-negotiable. I am sad for organizations like Planned Parenthood who are currently facing such gross attacks and stigma when all they do is provide a necessary (and I mean necessary) medical service.
I dislike the "non issue" argument. If it is being debated, then it is an issue I want to know where the people I associate with stand on. I understand the need and want to prioritize (can't-stop-from-commenting-sidenote: writing articles about how non-issue something is doesn't help us to stop talking about it.) but ultimately I do want to know where the parties stand on the legalization of marijuana or if women can wear a head covering when taking their oath of citizenship. I have strong feelings about both of those issues and would like to hear what everyone has to say about them. I am for the legalization of all drugs in Canada. I believe that it has been evidenced in other countries that the legalization of drugs leads to improvements in many areas and is certainly worth more than throwing people in prison. Just as I believe in a woman's (or man's) right to choose what to do with her pregnancy, I believe in everyone's right to choose what they wear or don't wear.
It's important to me that there is an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. Like, why-didn't-we-do-this-years-ago-get-with-the-fucking-program-already important.
It's important to me to learn more about how much clean water the world has left. There was a time where Canada was the place with the most fresh water on offer- I wonder if that is still true what with Nestle moving in and the loss of protected status for millions of our lakes and rivers. We kind of need water. I want to know if we have a plan for it.
It is important to me that we listen to science. That doesn't mean that I want to discount religion or anything, I believe there is room in the world for both. I feel that science is being ignored and that we are doing nothing to prepare ourselves for the things that we know are happening. If you know me, you'll know how little I like to be still. I feel that the muzzling of scientists is like chaining Canadian citizens to a chair and making them watch as the world crumbles. Give me policies that change how our energy is produced and consumed on a massive scale, and I'll try to reduce my water and power consumption at home.
It's important to me to value the arts. I don't even really know what that means- I just want to know that people out there care about them. Who are the non-artist arts advocates? I don't feel like I know them.
It's important to me that we have good roads. Therefore it is important to me that taxes are raised. I have believed this since elementary school and I distinctly remember feeling the truth of this as my first political alignment. Yes we should raise taxes. We just need to sort out how much and on whom. Those are the answers that I don't know. But if you hate potholes and want your taxes lowered, you will probably never be happy.
It's important to me that we educate our young people, specifically on sex and consent. I am also a firm believer in language and music studies on a continuing basis.
It's important to me that we provide better care for people with mental illnesses.
And I'm sure the longer I think about it, millions more things will surface that are important to me. What I would like you to do is think about ten or so things that are important to you, and go look up which political party feels the same about those things.
If you are like many Canadians and want Stephen Harper out of office, then I'm sorry, but you might have to make some tough compromises to ensure that that happens. Vote splitting is a risk that we cannot take at this point. I encourage you to visit www.votetogether.ca to find out who has the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate in your riding.
I'm already feeling burnt out from this long campaign- let's not let that discourage us from voting!