Friday, October 31, 2008

Women should NOT sit out the U.S. election

This is a Letter to the Editor I just sent to Metro News. I doubt they'll print it, because I just had one in the paper. And even if they did, it wouldn't be printed in time for the U.S. election. So I'm going to post it in my blog, in the hopes that it helps combat the dangerous message given in today's paper by Rick McGinnis (whom I believe is their TV critic, so I'm not sure why he's even writing about politics at all, much less trying to take away women's power to vote).

Here's my letter:

In “Sit this one out, ladies” (Oct. 31), Rick McGinnis suggests that women not vote in the U.S. election in order to protest sexism in the campaigns. While his cause is noble, his advice could just as easily be given by people who want to silence women and take away their hard-fought-for power to vote, power which women in many countries are still murdered for trying to achieve. Sure, a few jerks wore offensive t-shirts and yelled out ignorant insults. But the answer is not to withdraw from the process and let misogynists be the only ones who choose the government. As we’ve seen in the Canadian election, low voter turnout doesn’t “slap… otherwise intelligent people back to their senses,” as McGinnis suggests it would. It just results in more of the same mean-spirited government and makes progressive people feel even more hopeless. No, the answer is for women to rise up and vote in unprecedented numbers, thus demonstrating that they are a powerful force for good in this world, and that their voices cannot be ignored.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I come to the rescue of Elizabeth May in Metro newspaper

In the Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 issue of Metro, Canada’s #1 free national daily newspaper with 950,000 readers, my letter was the only Letter To The Editor published and, as you can see in the photos, was one of only three items on the Comment & Views page. A few days earlier, Andrew Cohen, apparently a Metro columnist, had written a very rude, childish and misleading column insulting the leader of Canada's Green Party, Elizabeth May. Well, as someone who respects people who devote their lives to making this world a cleaner, healthier place, I wasn't going to stand for that! So I didn't stand for it. I sat down for it. At my computer. And this is what I wrote:

Re: "May pays for mistakes" (Oct. 16)
Andrew Cohen believes that: "Unelected leaders have no credibility. You can stand and squawk in the foyer of the House of Commons, as Ms. May does every day. But really, though, why should anyone listen to you? Especially when your party has 6.8 per cent of the vote."
It says a lot about Mr. Cohen that he dismisses daily fighting for a cleaner, healthier, fairer Canada as "squawking." But dismissing 6.8 per cent of the vote as insignificant is even more absurd.
Does he not know that the Bloc won nearly 50 seats with 10 per cent of the vote? With a fair and proportional voting system, the Green Party's 940,000 votes would have earned them 23 seats.
The problem is not May's passion for improving our country. The real problem is our electoral system.