Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Self Portrait Challenge: Politics Week #1
The SPC theme this month is Politics, and even though these assignments are coming out of Australia, the topic couldn't fit my little corner of the world any better today. Politics are a hot topic in our house today and let me tell you, in my pregnant state I'm not really feeling very mellow about things.
First up, today is a mini-Super Tuesday in the U.S. and I'm feeling pretty down about Hillary Clinton's slide in the polls since the mega-super Tuesday in early February. Good gravy, I wish I could vote in the U.S. Living in Canada makes one feel a bit like a disenfranchised voter -- we are really very affected by whoever wins the U.S. presidency (as the rest of the world is, I suppose), but we have no say. Now, I think Obama would certainly make an interesting president and I'm definitely glad to see George Bush go no matter who takes his place, but I think Clinton could really do a great job and she seems to be getting a raw deal. No, she's not as good an orator as Obama, but her policies are solid and despite what some see as a lack of charisma, I think her heart is in the right place. Not that Obama's isn't -- but more and more he seems to be speaking from a pulpit (figuratively, of course) and I fear that his rapid rise to the top may end up overwhelming him or affecting the purity of his personality. I really liked what Tina Fey had to say on Saturday Night Live the other night: "Sure, Hillary is a bitch, but bitches get things done." Word.
So, anyway, if you live in one of the four states holding primaries, please vote. I don't want to tell you who to vote for, but please make sure you're voting for policy, not populism. That's all I have to say.
Secondly, the province that I live in had an election yesterday and despite people constantly claiming about the governing party that has ruled here for 11 consecutive terms, they won again by a huge landslide. Part of their victory is due to the fact that in a place where people can make huge salaries in the private sector, our local political parties have been unable to attract leaders with any spark or ability to lead. As a result, we have the lowest voter turn-out in the country. So, we're saddled with up to five more years of embarrassing environmental policy (our premier won't cut carbon emissions until 2050 -- by which time he himself will likely be dead); growth that has made the gap between rich and poor unbearable; no rent control; terrible health care; and a general thumbing of our nose at the rest of the country. I could go on, but the entire incident just makes me really sad. I voted, but even as I did so, the whole situation just seemed hopeless. I fear that something really terrible is going to have to happen before anything changes -- you know, a hard rain's a-gonna fall...
So, that's me expressing my politics (somewhat inarticulately, but I'm nine months pregnant) and doing my best to do my part.