Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Letter to EGALE Re: The Election of Our Lifetime

I'm attempting to contact as many advocacy groups, unions and other organizations as possible, so that we can strategize for the coming election. It may be the most important one in our history. If you want to share portions or all, and contact others you can think of, feel free. I'm on a mission. This is the letter I'm sending to EGALE (Equality For Gays and Lesbians Everywhere).
In 2004, when the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada was running in their first election, the issue of the day was Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, anathema to the neoconservative/social conservative philosophy.

EGALE members rallied with others across the country to protect the Charter that had become a national icon.

When the Conservatives lost the election, then director of EGALE, Gilles Marchildon, warned: "This election serves as a wake-up call. Canadians who cherish the value of equality need to guard against complacency. The campaign has shown that nothing can be taken for granted. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are stronger and will continue to hide their full agenda until they can persuade Canadian voters to give them a chance."

We gave them a chance and are now no longer simply worried about our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but our very democracy is at stake.

Stephen Harper has been very careful about not speaking out on issues of gender, race or sexual orientation, but his actions speak louder than words. His party is still disproportionately social conservative, and if given the opportunity, would continue their agenda of social engineering.

And Harper has shown that even with a minority, he can go over the heads of our elected officials, to do what he wants, going to any length to silence dissent. What would a Harper majority look like, or even another mandate?

Emboldened with the knowledge that he is now "mainstream" , and with an "unearned" trust, he would be unstoppable.

All progressive Canadians must unite to make this election count. I am not soliciting support for any party, but my campaign is about getting Canadians involved, and most importantly getting them to vote.

And if they vote Conservative, that it be with full knowledge of the Conservative history and agenda. (Reform-Alliance)

If you have any ideas or strategies, I'd love to hear them.

We need a progressive revolution in this country. Our Wisconsin. Our Egypt. As the wonderful Harvey Milk said, "the us's. Without hope the us's give up". He had the enormous capacity to bring all marginalized people together in a strong united voice, and San Francisco was the better for it.

In one of your 2004 media releases, it was written:

It is clear that the Conservative Party’s leading voices, including Mr. Harper, see lesbian and gay people as a collection of sexual acts rather than as taxpayers, citizens, neighbours, family members and co-workers.”

After five years, we have learned that he diminishes others in a similar fashion. Muslims by their faith; women, their gender; liberals their ideals; intellects, their brains; disabled their hardware (including wounded veterans).
We are all pigeon holed.

If Stephen Harper and his party win the election, and do so because record numbers showed up at the polls, I can live with whatever decisions he makes. But in 2008, the Conservatives gained power with just 22% of the support of eligible voters.

That is not a democracy.

Strong engagement in the electoral process would be a message to all future governments, that Canadians value their democracy and unique rights culture, and we will never again allow it's erosion or risk it's demise.

***I Solemnly Swear That I Will Vote in the Next Canadian Federal Election ***

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