It’s easy to take very little interest in politics when we feel our vote doesn’t make a difference. Living in Canada, it’s safe to say many of us haven’t experienced being a woman who is denied the right to vote. We haven’t all experienced racism and we sure haven’t all experienced Homophobia and Transphobia at the hands of our government. But we can and should take an interest; it’s our duty to make our vote count.

We’re told that it is one of the many things that shouldn’t be discussed at the dinner table, but it’s time to question this notion. When your boyfriend is Ed Broadbent’s relative (a man who once ran for Prime Minister), your father is a Conservative, and your identity has been made part of the debate, you take a new liking to politics really quickly.

Especially when 3 men are said to be our only choice. Stephen Harper won’t tell you who gave him a 2 Million dollar bid for Prime Minister and has set the longest and the costliest election in Canadian history, Thomas Mulcair has been leading the polls, Justin Trudeau has flattened the Conservatives well paid myth. The only female candidate for Prime Minister won’t even be at the next debate.

 

Conservatives Are No Ally Of The LGBTQ Community

Campaign Life, a group which doesn’t support the rights of LGBTQ people and women’s right to chose, has strongly lobbied the Conservative government. (The group tried to challenge my credibility during my lawsuit in a series of articles. See here and here.) In doing so, the Conservative Party has earned the worst LGBTQ record. Harper has been seen at marriage rallies who advocated for the sole marriage of men and women. We have most recently seen the Conservatives amend a bill which initially supported Trans people only to discriminate against them. Senator Don Plett amended the bill in order to do so. The party has made LGBTQ issues a debatable one, and has complete disregard for Trans rights here in Canada. Most disturbing of all, the party formed an LGBT group, LGBTory.

I hope to see change in Ottawa. Politics shouldn’t be about spreading hate in our communities.

Harper was seen advocating for the marriage of men and women at anti same-sex marriage rally.

Harper - Marriage Rally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Conservatives Landry list of hate and discrimination against the LGBTQ community continues to grow:

Harper has said “We have no intention of further opening or reopening this issue,” when asked his stance on marriage. Patrick Brown, the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives of Ontario (who will now be sitting across the aisle from Wynne) reverberated the very same words when BCE asked the question. Same-Sex marriage is recognised here in Canada. It’s a fact, even if the Conservatives were to back peddle back. If they manage to, this can and will seriously harm the LGBTQIA community.

Isn’t It Time For Change In Ottawa?

I sure feel it is. I’m not the only one who feels this way. The new Mrs. Universe an Indigenous Canadian, has been recently quoted as saying the Tories treat Indigenous people like “terrorist” and has urged Canadians to vote for anyone other than the Conservative Government.

Albertans unexpectedly voted in an NDP majority, in a province that is heavily influenced by the oil industry. A grass roots movement has now made “Stop Harper” visible at every stop sign in the province. This comes after the PM enforced C-51, a law which degrades our own privacy for the security interests of our government. He also pushed for an unfair election act that makes it possible to deny specific pieces of ID on election day, making it that much more difficult for Canadians to vote freely.

It isn’t the first time he has pushed for legislation that has put him at odds with Canadians. He pushed to suspend the subsidy vote. The subsidy vote allowed the average Canadian and low income individuals to contribute to the party of their choice. This levelled the playing field for many of the parties. In fact, Margaret E. Atwood most recently poked fun at the PM in a National Post article. The National Post censored lines which pointed to his 2 Million dollar bid. He has not yet told Canadians who contributed the $2M.

In 2014 he was said to be the most powerful man in Canada. That title is now arguably debatable. In 2013 he was heavily influenced by the mining industry, the interest of the tobacco industry, private interest and energy, but not it seems, by the regular tax paying Canadian.

Harper has set the election for a gruelling 11 weeks. Only making our vote all that much more important. He has already sent out child benefit money to middle class families in hopes of winning votes Oct 19th. Justin Trudeau has received his own benefit but he doesn’t think high net worth individuals such as himself should be given so much. He has gone as far as to say that he will tax the rich. He wants them to pay more tax so people of the middle class are not so burdened.

Harper has raised more money than any other party in this year’s race. He has also set the longest election in Canadian history. It is said, the election could cost Canadians as much as $500 million dollars, if not more.

When Harper first launched his campaign, he was seen at a party faithful event. The members of the event were ticketed. Meaning, no other person than members of the Conservative Party were present. They cheered, when he arrived an hour late. They might have expected it, he didn’t show up to a UN meeting (when President Obama was set to give his first address) only to then get himself to Tim Horton’s. Yes, Mr. Harper believes coffee is more important than pressing matters at the UN.

The Harper Conservatives have made this election about the economy. Yet, Joe Oliver says that all future economic problems could be solved by the PM’s granddaughter. This is the same government who delayed the release of their budget to only then release it after the General Motors transaction. The transaction is believed to have contributed to their balanced budget, but the Conservatives deny this. It isn’t surprising seeing that Harper has the worst economic record. Thomas Mulcair made this clear at the Maclean’s Federal Leaders Debate when he said “Stephen Harper is the only prime minister in Canadian history who when asked about the recession during his mandate, gets to say ‘Which one?'” He sure hasn’t fooled us, Harper returned $ 8.7 billion unspent for Military/Veterans, Refugees, First Nation communities, and Transportation infrastructure last year to only then try to tell us he had raised a $1.9 billion surplus this year.

The Conservatives not only brought us C-51, they lobbied the Liberals to have them support it. Trudeau has made amendments to C-51 as part of his campaign platform. Other parties have done away with it altogether, Mulcair said he would repeal it.

The Conservatives are also the focus of much scandal. The NDP released the following attack ad when they had felt they had “enough”.

The Duffy trial is most notable, as you can see here.

In the mist of the migrant crisis, it’s important to note, Canada has fallen to the 15th position on the list of countries who welcome refugees since Harper took office.

I’m sure I could say more. This is by no means an exhaustive look at what the Conservatives and the PM have done in office.

There’s still hope, only John A. Macdonald and Wilfrid Laurier have had four consecutive terms in office. It would be surprising to see Harper join their ranks. Maclean’s Paul Wells says “you count this guy out at your peril.”

Why am I and so many Canadians worried? Unions say they will launch an anti-Harper campaign after labor day. See more on the said “assault” here.

Oh yes..the Conservatives have retained controversial “rottweiler” Lynton Crosby who has won numerous elections, but what about section 331 of the Canadian Election Act?

The Maclean’s Federal Leaders Debate

The NDP are a force to be reckoned with in this year’s election polls. While this is true, the NDP have not yet held a federal government in Ottawa.

Mulcair had a slow start, and smiled far too much.

He most recently promised he would re-introduce C-279.

Justin Trudeau didn’t vote on C-279 and other important bills which included a federal minimum wage, affordable medicine for Africa, and the problematic tampon tax.

Yet, he was seen at Vancouver Pride on the day of his campaign launch. CBC insiders, Kathleen Monk, David Herle and Jaime Watt agree that the first day of an election campaign is most often forgotten. Could Justin possibly have wanted the LGBT community to be just that, forgotten?

Justin Trudeau is said to be ready for the PM’s office after his performance at our first debate. He showed Canadians that he was as much a contender for this year’s election as anyone else. He even threw a few punches in the ring before the Federal Leaders Debate at Maclean’s and took a notable shot at the PM, “Mr. Harper, nobody believes you.”

We should also note, the liberals have also been part of a recent scandal when members of the party were involved in sexual harassment allegations. Trudeau quickly took action when the allegations surfaced and appointed human rights lawyer Cynthia Petersen to investigate the allegations further. The allegations were raised by the NDP. The liberal MPs were then suspended. The party sought out a fair process throughout.

Harper was said to be, well..Harper. The Conservatives believed they had won and sent out the following misspelled tweet. Thankfully for them, the embarrassment was short lived and quickly forgotten, #peegate not so much.

The media couldn’t decide who won. They all seemed to have played their cards right.

Funny enough, the three leaders who challenged each other at the debate agree on something. They all agree to watch the Jays from their campaign bus. This comes after they brought bad luck to the Blue Jays in Toronto when they most recently visited the team.

September 17th, The Globe and Mail excluded Elizabeth May, the only women in this year’s race. It sure has raised many Canadian eyebrows. She changed the dynamic of the Maclean’s debate, and knew her facts better than anyone else. She challenged Mr. Harper and her left leaning colleagues. While this is said, she’ll need to convince us that she isn’t a one issue party and won’t divide the votes. Many of us believed she had hurt her chances at a seat at the table when she was most recently seen at the press gallery dinner. It seems to have only raised her profile.

Today’s debate on foreign policy excludes May once again. The Munk Debate includes Mulcair, Trudeau and Harper. It is the last English debate before the 42nd election of Canada.

Youth Now Demand to Be Heard

This election is unprecedented and youth want to ask our leaders important questions and they’re now advocating for a federal youth debate. Evan Solomon thinks it’s a great idea.

Why not support the federal youth debate change.org/p/federal-party-leaders-join-ispeakup2015-national-election-debate-for-canadian-youth It couldn’t do us any harm! We could make youth unemployment a national issue as more students take on a rising number of student debt.

Vote Oct 19th and make a difference!

See what’s happening in your riding at campaign2015.fairvote.ca. A campaign that has made it possible for Canadians to vote for better representation in government. Both Mulcair and May support this Campaign for a fair election. See also strategicvoting.ca to best inform your vote.

Who do you think will be our next PM? Vote here and see the results for yourself.

If you liked what you read, engage with me on Twitter @KarasChrist or send me an email at info@christopherkaras.ca and let me know what I should write about and to offer feedback. Hope to share great content with you again soon!

If you would like to add to this story, please email info@christopherkaras.ca

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Karas first made headlines when he challenged his then French Catholic School Board, CSDCCS, Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud and his school, École secondaire catholique Sainte-Famille at the Human Rights Tribunal when he had wanted to put up posters of his civil rights rights hero Harvey Milk and build a Gay-Straight Alliance. He had been first heard at Xtra! and would then be featured at the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Thomson Reuters, CBC and would garner national and international press. Now alumnus of the first Inaugural school of Jack Layton at the University of Ryerson and named Tegan and Sara's "Legion of Queer Heroes". Learn more at www.christopherkaras.ca