Resolving Timeline Issues

Posts Tagged ‘barack obama

  • In: Political
  • Comments Off on Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

Important! Tonight is Guy Fawkes’ Night!

Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night, Cracker Night, Fireworks Night) is an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November. It celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of the 5th of November 1605 in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

Oh, wait a minute. There was something else…

Oh, this little thing: Yes you DID.

I kid. This is huge.

I have been lucky enough to witness some huge historical events in my life: the fall of the Soviet Union, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the birth of the European Union. And now, the election of the first black president-elect of the United States.

Thank, you, America, for voting for change yesterday. Thank you for creating a world where the first thing my child will know is that hope does triumph over fear, and that with a little hope, “Yes we can.”

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  • In: Political
  • Comments Off on Hoping the World Wakes up From History

Today, one way or another, history will be made. Either the US will have its first black (mixed, technically) President, or its first female Vice-President. I sincerely hope that its the former.

Normally, on a major election, I put up some sort of post about how I don’t care who you vote for, so long as you vote. And by and large, I feel that way. Just show me you don’t take democracy for granted.

But this time I care; I care more about the American election than our very own Canadian election a few weeks ago. So much more so, that I’m writing this post in advance so that it’ll be up in time for November 4. That night, I won’t be available, since I’ll be participating in another type of the democratic process…albeit in a fairly small way.

And why do I care? Because when you sleep with the elephant, everything the elephant does affects you, even if it just rolls over. What happens first south of the 49th will usually makes its way north of the 49th (except for the whole health care thing).

Let’s break this down into a few pertinent points:

1. Anyone with a uterus, or anyone who loves anyone with a uterus, should not vote for McCain/Palin.

For starters you can read this. And this. These women are far more eloquent than I am on this.

Outlawing abortions is but the start of a slippery slope. I will be damned if anyone tells me (besides my doctor) what I can and cannot do with my body. And Governor Palin is open to overturning Roe v. Wade: the case that finally allowed women to make choices over their own bodies.

Yes, that’s right. Roe v. Wade isn’t about abortion. Its about CHOICE. Are you willing to gamble your ability to choose what’s best for your own body to vote for a woman?

This scares me so badly, I said to Darren at one point that, “If McCain and Palin win, we should consider moving to Europe.”

2. Given the choice between hope and fear, what would you pick?

Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. There has been 8 years of fear and despair. What about a little hope? What about feeling good about yourselves for a change.

I have this theory that basically since the fall of the USSR, the US has been searching for a new identity. When your enemy is defeated, the one that defined your country for a half a century, you lose your identity. The last 8 years hasn’t done anything to solidify that identity – in fact, the US is now a country divided (just look at the last two elections that come down for 50 % republican/50% democrat).

3.The World Hopes you Choose Wisely

If the world could vote in the US election, this is what it would look like:

Respondents, who would vote for McCain, if they had a vote:

Canada: 14 per cent
France: 5 per cent
Switzerland: 7 per cent
Poland: 26 per cent
Japan: 13 per cent
Mexico: 13 per cent
U.K.: 15 per cent
Belgium: 8 per cent

Respondents, who would vote for Obama, if they had a vote:

Canada: 70 per cent
France: 68 per cent
Switzerland: 83 per cent
Poland: 43 per cent
Japan: 61 per cent
Mexico: 46 per cent
U.K.: 64 per cent
Belgium: 62 per cent

Yes, I know its a national election and the opinions of other countries shouldn’t count. But when the feeling is this strong, and your country has so much influence, it should pay to listen.

So vote. Wisely. Because although I’d love to have all of you Americans as houseguests, you’re not going to enjoy the renovations due to the poptart that’ll be starting.

So vote. Wisely. From a Canuck to my neighbours south of 49th, choose hope: start feeling good about yourselves again. Get some of that hope and pride back.


  • In: Political
  • Comments Off on Come together, right now

over him.

I took a break from cutting down a rather large box, to watch part of the Democratic Nomination process. I knew what was going to happen: at some point, someone would move to suspend the rules of the convention and nominate Barack Obama by acclamation.

Then California passed. I was madly twittering about this, trying to figure it out when Julie over at the MOMocrats posted the reason: because they didn’t want to skew the votes so that everyone would have the opportunity to have their votes count – a largely symbolic thing, but symbols matter. They often matter more than people realize. But that’s a subject for another post.

I went back to my box cutting. And Illinois passed. I madly twittered about this to no response.

And then a funny thing happened. When they got to New Mexico, Obama had just over 1500 votes. And New Mexico yielded the floor to Illinois. And the cameras panned to Hillary Clinton coming in. I dropped the knife I was using and came over to the TV. And I started welling up.

Illinois yielded to New York. And when New York had its moment, Senator Clinton made the motion of her life:

“With eyes firmly fixed on the future in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and country, let’s declare together in one voice, right here and right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president,” Mrs. Clinton said.

“I move that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclamation as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.”

(Quote published in The New York Times)

And then my tears really started streaming. Hope and joy…and a bit of disappointment. And I finally understood Joanne over at PunditMom, who’s been having a hard time with Senator Clinton not winning. To be blunt, I finally get that for a lot of people, the choice between two men is often the choice of the lesser of two evils.

I think it was sometime around the age of 8 or 9, I asked my Mom, “Why are all the Presidents men?” I don’t remember what she said, but I remember not being satisfied – thinking there was something fundamentally WRONG with the fact that no woman had ever been leader of the United States (or Canada) for that matter. That formed some sort of basis in me: that women have good ideas, are equal, and deserve political, economic and social equality and equity.

And although I like Senator Obama – I like him a lot – on some fundamental level, I was really looking forward to having a woman in the most powerful post in the world.

Not. This. Time. And Senator Clinton’s motion for acclamation made it real. It was the best thing she could do for the sake of the party: a call for all Democrats to come together, right now, over Barack Obama.

Then the “ayes” came – one unified voice behind the Democratic Candidate for President. And the power of that

Democracy, at its base, is the will of the many. Although I cannot vote in the US elections, I would encourage my neighbours to the south to think about the good of the many before they vote – whatever your personal status, look at your neighbours, your towns. Then think about it.

Then vote. And even if voting for the good of the many means for voting for the lesser of the two evils for you personally, consider it. Come together.

WAKE UP!

Posted on: June 7, 2008

(Idea shamelessly stolen from Citymama)

 

Many, many years ago, I was on vacation in Hawaii with my parents; I couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12. I had brought a new tape along that I’d bought at A&B Sound in Vancouver. I didn’t know what it was – I just liked the cover:

  

It was purple. It was cool. And it was called “Doubt”. It was by these guys who called themselves Jesus Jones (they ended up being one-or two-hit wonders).

I had just gotten back from a snorkeling session with my dad and was laying on the beach listening to that tape on my walkman. and this song came on:

And I loved it.

Fast forward about 6 or 8 years and I started taking Political Science courses, and becoming aware of the oppression that continues to exist, even in democratic, equal-rights bearing societies like Canada and the United States.

In 2001, I entered grad school – political science yet. One of the core books in the program was The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn. It’s a fairly short book, but somewhat difficult to read. His basic thesis boils down to the idea that, at any given point, there are people who have ideas that are outside the norm of what is acceptable. Using the examples of Copernicus and Galileo, Kuhn argues that over time these “non-norm ideas” start to become acceptable.

About a week after I started, the twin towers fell and the Pentagon was attacked. An irrational act, by North American standards and we went into lockdown. There were two routes the Bush Administration could take: revenge (currently acceptable norm) or compassion (outside the norm). Right there, right now, they chose the norm.

In November 2006, Nancy Pelosi was appointed Speaker for the House of Representatives. I cried tears of joy. Never before had a woman come so close to the Presidency – third in line, to be exact. The alarm was sounding for us to wake up from history.

When Hillary Clinton started her run for the Democratic nominee for President, I supported her – as a woman, what choice did I have? Although I don’t have a say in the US election, I saw this as a chance for the US and North America in general to wake up from history. Then, a funny thing happened – a young Senator of African descent from Illinois made his pitch for nomination as well. He spoke of hope, equality and fairness – echoes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. And he won me over – especially when I realized one of my friends, a woman of African descent – was rooting for him. I realized that whichever candidate won, they could wake us up from history through mere symbolism.

Who knew that at the same moment in history a woman and a black man would make the run for the Presidency and either would have a good chance at winning?

Today, I’m having problems holding it together as I watch CNN. Hillary Clinton is going to make a speech in a few minutes where she is anticipated to step down and endorse Barack Obama. As a woman, I am sad that she didn’t make it. As a Canadian Citizen, however, I believe Obama is the best chance, right here, right now for both of our countries.

So wake up – the revolution is passing you by.

When you get up in the morning and have to clean up cat puke right away? Not a good start to the day. Especially when you don’t feel like getting out of bed anyways. So I came home early, cleaned up more cat puke (oh. Joy) and am now flaked out on the sofa watching the all brainwashing all the time channel CNN, because today, friends, history is being made. Honestly, even if I had work to do at work, I’d have a hard time concentrating. 

As I write this, Barack Obama is 12 delegates away from winning the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Hillary Clinton has said she’s open to running as Vice-President.

Today history is being made. Neighbours to the south, make it again on November 4.

 


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