Feel a laser targetting beam on your back?
Stephen Harper embarks on his fourth national election campaign in seven years with a mission: to finally secure a majority government. And he plans to achieve that majority by convincing more women to vote Conservative.
Above anything else, this election is about Mr. Harper, a determined if extremely partisan leader whose personality earns the respect of some and the distrust of others.
Messrs Ibbitson and Friesen have provided a pretty short continuum of responses there.
Let's extend it a little, shall we? To include fear and disgust.
Unfortunately for Stevie Peevie, but fortunately for the country, a good many women regard the Cons with some combination of distrust, disgust, and fear.
The Proud Fringers, for example, whose number is over 5400, formed when an amateur video of Stevie crowing to what he thought was a private gathering about his accomplishments in silencing 'feminists and other left-wing fringe groups' surfaced.
An offshoot, Women Against Stephen Harper, numbering over 600, formed to WASH that man right out of our collective hair.
More than 1200 women joined a group called Women Who Are Creeped out by Stephen Harper. 'Nuff said there.
And when Senator Nancy Ruth counselled a bunch of women angry over the Cons' refusal to include family planning -- let alone safe abortion -- in his cynical G8 'Maternal Health Initiative' to 'shut the fuck up', another Facebook group sprang up. I don't need to tell you what it's called. (That audio clip is NSFW or children, by the way.) This group has more than 2800 members.
Granted, there is a lot of overlap in those numbers. (I think I belong to all of them. I have some strong
But what of the other thousands and thousands of women the Cons need for a *shudder* majority? What can we say to women who might be swayed?
Let's look south to the Excited States, where a wave of Tea Party victories in various states has unleashed an unprecedented orgy of misogyny. All manner of programs intended to benefit women and children have been slashed to ribbons: family planning, child care, violence against women, and, most importantly in this time of fiscal trouble and job losses -- abortion of course.
Ah, but Canada is a kinder, gentler place than the US, you say.
Oh yeah? Let's take a look at what Stevie Peevie has already 'defunded'.
1. Aboriginal Healing Foundation
(cuts affected several healing centres that focused on providing support to abused women, such as the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal)
2. Action travail des femmes
3. Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
4. Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS)
5. Canadian Child Care Federation
6. Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
7. Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition féminine
8. Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
9. Child Care Resource and Research Unit, SpeciaLink
10. Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)
11. Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto
(funding cut by CIC in December 2010)
12. Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
13. First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
14. International Planned Parenthood Federation
15. Marie Stopes International,
a maternal health agency, has received only a promise of "conditional” funding IF it avoids any & all connection with abortion
16. MATCH International
17. National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
18. Native Women’s Association of Canada
19. New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
20. Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
21. Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
22. Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
23. Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre, Toronto
24. Sisters in Spirit
25. South Asian Women’s Centre
26. Status of Women Canada
(mandate also changed to exclude "gender equality and political justice" and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying)
27. Tri-Country Women’s Centre Society
28. Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
29. Women for Community Economic Development in Southwest Nova Scotia (WCEDSN)
30. Women’s Innovative Justice Initiative – Nova Scotia
31. Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program
(Note that immigrant and Aboriginal women are ˆNOT spared.)
That's what Stevie and his gang have done to Canadian women and children -- with a MINORITY government.
Imagine what he'd do with a majority.
(cross-posted at Unseat Harper blog)