Sunday, January 22, 2006

conundrum

There's a federal election in Canada tomorrow, and I'm still undecided. My choice to repeat my previous federal and provincial voting pattern (for the Green Party) was thrown into uncertainty by a snipe from my mother. She called a vote for the greens a waste of taxpayers' money. At first, I filed that one in the same spot as her equation of the Green Party to communism (I'm not kidding), but then I started thinking of Italy: dozens of political parties and elections every few months. Maybe Canada doesn't need another player in the political scene.

(In Canada, if a political party gets a certain percentage of the vote, they qualify for funding from the federal government.)

If there's something that this enormous and thinly-populated nation doesn't need, it's more fragmentation. If the NDP has never achieved power at the federal level, what hope does the Green Party have? Once the greens achieve a certain size, it's conceivable they could be swallowed up in a merger with the NDP, anyway.

And then there's my riding: Toronto Centre. A fortress of Liberal Party power. My MP is the minister of defense, and although I've always liked him, I've never voted for him. In this election, however, I think he deserves my vote. Bill Graham's support of Canada's same sex marriage legislation is something I, as a gay man, have to pay attention to. Perhaps if I had grown up knowing the option of marriage (and the associated civil rights afforded by it) was available, I wouldn't have developed (and spent years working through) the issues of self-loathing and shame I felt as a closeted homosexual teenager.

My brother thinks I should vote NDP because the leader, Jack Layton, "looks like a gay 70's porn star..." What a cheeky monkey! But my brother just doesn't want me to vote Liberal...

I've never voted NDP before, and I might consider it--had I not been harassed by one of their campaign workers during the last election. He tried to force his way into my apartment building behind me. (This is one of my pet peeves.) I turned to him and asked what he thought he was doing. He said, "under Canadian election law, I have a right to enter the building." I told him to go back to the intercom board and continue buzzing his list of supporters until he found one that would let him in. I then used my height and build to my advantage: I pulled the door shut behind me, forcefully. Fuck you, Michael Shapcott campaign worker. Go trespass somewhere else.

And then there's the Conservative party. The local candidate's third listed core principle: "The family unit is the building block of society as we know it." Forgive me if my past experience with those who espouse such values has left me guarded and cautious. Interestingly enough, in the week since I've visited this candidate's website, he has inserted "sexual orientation" into his second listed value, which posits that all people should be treated as equal under the law. It's like he finally realized that one of North America's largest gay and lesbian communities lies in the centre of the riding he's after.

His blog claims that he's in favour of same sex marriage, and that the gay rights group EGALE has given him a grade of A- . This is true--but EGALE also gives the Conservative party a grade of F.

I can't believe I'm in that most central-Canadian of places: holding my nose and voting Liberal. Fuck.

13 comments:

Kunstemæcker said...

I finally found your blog again. Can I link you up? Ah hell, don't bother answering, I'll do it anyway.

:)

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Whatever you vote, remember the peeps like me who are likely to end up living in the T-town area in a few years and what liberty and justice for all. (I'd also like GWB to shut the f@ck up too, but that doesn't seem possible).

Jason said...

Vote for Bill Graham!!!!

your judgemental aunt said...

Are you sure your issues of self-loathing and shame were not because of your hair? Because I could understand that.

I was undecided and have been trying to figure out who to vote for...Liberal or NDP. Well your brother's comment has locked in a NDP vote from me.

madamerouge said...

yja, your continued support and love means the world to me

AG, up here, we have "peace, order, and good government." P.S. I was just in the cafeteria eating my lunch, and saw Bush's address/speech. I nearly lost said lunch.

Jason said...

Why are you so anti-family and anti-Christian? Luckily with our new government we can start to look at the problem of Christianphobia and hopefully have a Christian Pride Day.

madamerouge said...

Jimmy, every day is Christian Pride Day.

Carrie said...

fuck voting.

tornwordo said...

I did it, held my nose and voted liberal, but only as a fuck you to Mr Harper. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

you dickweed! i told you ndp was an acceptable choice - their leader WANTS to be gay! (just look at his wife, why wouldn't he...) now you've added to the already much too large sea of toronto red, and most of that sea subscribes to the "devil-you-know" theory which is a crock of shit! you don't vote for someone because of your fear for the other parties - that's just fucked. and people just buy into the bullshit that the liberals have been spewing about gun laws and crime.... okay, wait, i should leave that one for another day...

madamerouge said...

Mitzzee, that's exactly what the terr-rists want. They don't value our freedim.

Tornwordo: don't worry, anonymous is calling me a dickweed, not you.

Anonymous (a.k.a. my brother): Leave Olivia alone! And why wouldn't/shouldn't someone vote strategically, out of fear of another party? Granted, if the fear is misplaced or unfounded, one should question their choice. But I have every right to make a decision to try and stop the Conservative party with my vote. In 2005, they placed targeted ads defending the traditional definition of marriage in multicultural and religious publications, playing on those groups' fears. Damn right I'm going to vote out of fear. It's as good a reason as any.

Shora said...

Well said! I had the same quandry, and ended up holding my nose and doing the same.

And I like your hair!

Jason said...

Let's get rid of the gun registry, overturn gay marriage stop women from murdering (abortion) and then start "shootin' us some gays." Yeehaw!