Please note: The opinions reflected in this post do not represent the opinions of Barnyard Organics
or its employees. Just me.
I love politics. I don't shy away from the fact that someday, maybe, in a far away land, I wouldn't mind throwing in my hat in some capacity. I grew up in a family that loved to discuss/argue/promote politics and never shied away from showing thier respective political colours. In our house, it was the Tory blue that generally ruled the roost. I know a couple of my brothers, if not most, still hold onto to that political heritage with white knuckles. I think I have voted for every available party at some point in my voting life, but, like most adults have started to align with one, specifically based on party values. What I've come to realize in the last couple of elections and in this one in particular, it has unfortunately become less about the party I support, and more about the party I do not. I don't love the idea of strategic voting, but for this election I will be casting a vote for the candidate that stands the best chance of beating a Conservative candidate.
Besides following my intuition (that my mother always said counted for more than anything else) that causes me to shiver at Stephen Harper's dead shark eyes (ok...that's a bit petty, but not untrue!) and besides all the recent parliamentary gaffs that the Conservatives have headed up and besides all of the other issues that make me cringe, here are a mere two reasons to consider casting a vote against a Harper gov't.
1) Bill 474 would have supported Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.” This isn't about conventional farmers or organic farmers. This isn't about yields or efficiencies. This is simply about due diligence and science. A child could tell you that before trying something for the first time, it's a good idea to check it out a little further. What can be achieved by foregoing the step that sees the potential for harm investigated prior to permitting a highly controversial product? The fact that this is such a basic concept makes me very concerned that the big-ag lobbying groups have a strong hold over the Conservative policy makers. The bill isn't even asking the gov't to stop GMO's or reconsider their existence in the Canadian market. The bill is simply saying that export markets (read: Europe, Asia where GMOs are a no-no) should be considered before GMO's are permitted. And the vote on the bill was over a year AFTER the GMO fiasco in the flax markets. So we already have one perfect example of the repercussions of ignoring export markets and the harm for Canadian agriculture in general. The Conservatives held a united front in voting this bill down. On behalf of Canadian farmers, thank you so much for such carefully considered insight into what is best for agriculture and our food system. (choke, cough, barf.)
2) Citing budgets and lack of benefits, the Harper Gov't (as he likes it to be called) made the infinitely unwise decision to close the prison farms across Canada. The only further explanation that was given, was Vic Toews (public safety minister at the time) citing that less than 1% of prisoners find work in agriculture after release. (Apparently this isn't enough, despite the fact that anyone being able to find work in agriculture these days is a miracle given the state of it.) But that's hardly the point. What Mr. Toews failed to report was how many prisoners landed jobs using skills gained from their farm experience- such as mechanical repair, operating large machinery, inventory tracking, teamwork, punctuality and a basic work ethic — that they picked up on the prison farms. Not to mention the numerous psychological studies have proven the rehabilitation capabilities of livestock for convicted criminals who learn patience and compassion, (ignore the previous post regarding hockey sticks and beef cows..haha) not to mention obligations and necessity when it comes to timely chores like milking and feeding. The economics behind the decision are far from transparent and according to numerous sources don't actually work due to the fact that the cost of losing the production of food at the prisons will cost far more than maintaining the farms in the long run.
These are just two reasons to reconsider the leadership and decision making behind the current Conservative administration. Nevermind all the other things that make me crazy, like the general lack of respect for Parliament, the proroguing, resisting proportional representation, the spending at the G20, the women's funding cuts, the environmental degradation and continued decline as they ignore the implications of climate change, the 'regional complexes'/super prisons, and my least favorite move to eliminate funding for political parties, Stephen Harper is not the answer to the problems of agriculture, let alone, the rest of the country. A degree in economics does not a leader make.
The dead shark eyes don't help either. hehehe.
I hope this finds you anticipating an exciting night on May 2. Despite missing many things about home, there is something to be said for unsure ridings and the anticipation of a good race. Wayne Easter may have held this one for 18 years, but he is being given a run this time. Or at least that's what we're being made to think. Oh well, he can count on my strategic vote and if PEI's general resistance to change can be counted on, he's safe. Here's hoping! As a point of interest however, the Green candidate here last time around, received the second highest amount of votes of any Green candidate across the country. Is this riding possibly tired of drinking nitrate-contaminated water or watching asthma rates climb in a pesticide ridden environment? Is there a message being sent about chemical and fertilizer use in the potato belt? Too bad it's not being received by anyone in power. The time will come. And soon, I predict.
Now, I'm off to sit back and see what sort of comments I get from 'back home'. If this isn't enough to bring out a comment from my Dad, I don't know what is. haha.