Detail from Papal Bull


The 3rd Election Campaign in 4 Years

Sept. 12, 2008
N.J. Lukanovich

Canadians have been thrown into the 3rd federal election in 4 years. It's all so mystifying. Our illustrious Prime Minister passed a law for fixed date elections (maybe he meant fixed elections), and with nary a glimmer of shame, he's gone and broken his very own cherished law. This must be part of his Machiavellian social experiment on the Canadian public to see how much he can dupe the people he serves - so far he must be laughing up a storm, since he's leading in the polls, and seems to have fooled the media as well as the trodden down masses, commonly known as the electorate.

I keep checking to see if someone's dropped acid in my apple juice, because stalwart reporters on CBC Newsworld keep warbling about Canadians liking Harper because he keeps his commitments. The CBC is no doubt quaking in fear that if Harper wins a majority they will be included in Harper's slash and burn vendetta against all things cultural.

CBC Newsworld has a segment for the campaign called Reality Check. Harper breaking his own law should have sent any truth meter skyrocking into the stratosphere, but only a few soft mutters before the start of Election 2008, not a word about Harper stomping all over his new law while the Conservative Party pushes the slogn "he does what he says."

Harper's mission is to win a majority, so he needs an election before: a. the economy bottoms out, b. the Democrats win the U.S. election, c. we remember all the scandals we've forgotten about over the summer holidays, and d. Julie Couillard's book is published - the woman with whom Harper's foreign minister left classified Nato documents by mistake, the woman who was involved with a Hell's Angels biker and a Mafioso prior to her fling with now ex-minister Maxine Bernier.

I'm finding this election more than inconvenient; for one thing, I've been aching to write a piece on bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, and for another, the built in satire of the engrossing election to the south has more than satiated any yearnings for political comedy. But there have been a few bright spots. For one thing, the publishers of Julie Couillard's book have ramped up their printing presses and are releasing her book a week early, so it will hit the shelves of bookstores one week prior to election date instead of on the day of the election.

It was also amusing to see the Prime Minister, ensconced in his warm and fuzzy "I'm a regular guy" blue sweater, and Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, have to swallow their childish bluffs not to participate in the debates if Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, would be included. Apparently the big strong men had conspired together to keep her out of the sand box. Thought she might steal a toy or two. Thanks to public outrage, May will now be able to give them both a good solid public spanking.

Oddly, the Conservatives and Liberals are being equally chastised for nastiness, but there has already been a ruckus about the Conservative's website, which had an image of a puffin flying past Stephane Dion, leader of the Liberal Party, leaving a big white shit on his shoulder. It's hard to believe anyone could be so mean to a man that looks like a smurf.

Back to the bright spots: we were actually witness to an apology from Harper. The bird feces has been removed, but the puffin is still flying over Dion in a never ending loop.

But what really has me mystified, is why I can't vote for Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland, who is so pissed about the Conservatives breaking their promise to honor the Atlantic Accord that he has started an ABC campaign. Anyone But Conservative. It could also be called: You F'cked Over the Wrong Guy and Now You're Going to Get Yours. Conservative MP's in Newfoundland have been brow beaten into near silence.

Danny is speaking out loud and strong, warning Harper to stop using Newfoundland's puffins, and listing all of Harper's broken promises, including his promise to women.

Five days before the last election, Harper made a commitment to the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), in stating: "Yes, I'm ready to support women's human rights and I agree that Canada has to do more to meet its international obligations to women's equality. If elected I will take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that Canada fully upholds its commitments to women."

He did indeed take concrete measures: he slashed the funding for the Status of Women to 40%, shut down 12 of its 16 regional offices, and stripped away the objective of achieving women's equality from the mandate of the Status of Women. He also banned federal funding of advocacy groups for women's equality, and threw out the proposed national day care plan, created by the Liberal Party.

I can imagine Harper, puffed up like a puffin while he gives women the lowdown: "Listen girls, I know I promised to promote women's rights as human rights, but hey, I said a lot of things, that's just politics, maybe that's something you girls just don't GET."

The Conservative Party has the fewest female candidates running for MP (only 18%), shows no respect for the needs of working mothers, no respect for the needs of single mothers, zero comprehension of the impact of silencing women's voices, and zero committment to respect women's reproductive rights.

A vote for Stephan Harper is literally a vote against women's equality. That should be enough to give pause to any woman with a rational mind who is thinking of voting Conservative.