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It’s not the plague! (chicken pox and electoral reform)

Okay…  so the girlie is almost over the chicken pox.  She still has spots, but they are healing.  She doesn’t have the virus any longer.  She’s not sick.  She just has some spots that still need to heal.  I’m still keeping her home from pre-k, there’s only one day left until Easter break anyway.  BUT she’s got some serious cabin fever, and so do I.  So we went out.  Not far, and not really in public anywhere.

We went to see my Mom.  She’s heading out of town tomorrow, and will be gone all weekend.  She and Lily-Ann are really close, and they haven’t seen one another since Saturday.  Figured we better head over for a visit before she leaves town.  🙂  Because if we didn’t, that would just be too long to keep them apart.

Afterwards we were outside at our place.  The girlie was still needing to blow off a little steam, so was running up and down the sidewalk.  One of the moms who was also outside looked at her like Lily had the plague.  I mentioned, casually, that she doesn’t have the virus any more… just has spots left that still need to clear up.  Just the same, she looked awfully relieved when we were a few houses away.  LOL  Oh well.

I also had a nice chance to chat with Mark (or Marc, not sure on the spelling) our neighbour.  With me being on lock down with the girl I haven’t seen him in a little while.  The two of us usually have great conversations.  Him having been formerly involved in a life political, and me being involved in the same.  We both agreed that the current national election has us shaking our heads.  While we may pull for different teams, he and I generally see eye to eye on the giant deficits our country and province face in terms of the broken electoral system.  Without reform there’s really not much point.  But we’ll both continue encouraging people to get out and vote.  Because if we don’t participate, what is already broken becomes devastatingly so.

Canadians, too close to see the truth?

For some time now, I’ve wondered if many of my fellow Canadians are simply too close to see the truth.  We seem to fall into three camps (politically speaking).

  1. In the minority – Those who see all that Harper and his government have done, who are outraged, and doing their best to see change happen.
  2. Also in the minority – Those who see all that Harper and his government have done, yet figure there is nothing to be done, so have washed their hands of all things political.
  3. The majority – Those who deny there is anything going on, and who continue to sing Harper’s praises.

Are we so close to the lies that we have been prevented from seeing the truth?

For the first time EVER in Canadian history, our Prime Minister (now former prime minister) has been found to be in Contempt of Parliament.  For those who aren’t aware, that is a federal crime!  Yet, somehow, he has still managed to maintain his role as the Leader of the Conservatives…  and he is now running a campaign hoping for reelection.

Worth nothing:  If a person has been convicted of a federal crime they are not eligible for election.  Not only are they not able to be elected, they are not able to run for election!  So please explain to me how Stephen Harper is seeking reelection.

“Edmund Burke noted that all that was necessary for evil to triumph was for good men to do nothing. Canadians are certainly good and worthy folks, but they suffer an excess of civil obedience, politeness and lack of civic rage that could be harnessed to combat political atrophy. At a time when Arabs risk life and limb for political freedoms, Canadians seem largely apathetic about the erosion of their democracy.”  – Ramesh Thakur

Read more at:  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/canada-watches-its-democracy-erode/story-e6frg6ux-1226030310248

I wonder how far things will have to go before we finally begin to push back.  Our rights as Canadians are being trampled by the very body who should be seeking to safeguard those rights.  Since when are our citizens deemed to be above the law based solely on status?  It’s a scary day to be Canadian.

For more details on Harper’s contempt finding, and what it SHOULD mean, see http://presscore.ca/2011/?p=1980

So…  there is only one more question to ask.  Which of the three types of Canadians are you?  Vote HERE! And then be sure to get out on May 2nd and vote at the polls.

Saskatoon-Wanuskewin 2011

Lately, I’ve had a lot of inquiries from residents of Saskatoon-Wanuskewin who want to know why I am not their candidate.  As my former constituents were aware, I fully intended to run again in the current general election.  I accomplished a number of things in the last national election that I am very proud of, and with a few years experience and two elections under my belt, I’m all the stronger, and that much better prepared.

Firstly, I am sorry.  You put your trust in me, and I have let you down.  Your support was not something I took lightly.

Over the last few years, the Green Party of Canada has shifted several people through the role of organizer for Saskatchewan.  A role that was filled by Mike Jones when I first came on board, and I’ll be honest…  they never should have let him go.  After the last general election, the GPC did away with the part time job Mike held, merging us with another of the three Prairie Provinces and turning it into a full time position (for the other organizer).

At this point Saskatchewan went from being a top priority to being bottom rung, just like our province is for every other political party.  I was disappointed, but it’s really par for the course.  We don’t bring in a lot of funds for the national parties.  It was bound to happen.

Next, all three provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) were merged under one organizer.  And then, under yet another organizer, all three Prairie Provinces were merged with Northern and Eastern Ontario – because that makes perfect sense.  This organizer was Nora Shea.

Nora knew I planned to run again, and had been in touch with me.  Unfortunately the two of us had difficulty connecting the one time I knew she was in Saskatoon.  We had planned to work together on all the paperwork that needed to be filed in order to make my candidacy official.  But, I figured, the next time she found her way out here, we’d make it work and get everything formalized.  I wasn’t worried.  Nora knew my intention, and so to did every Green who knew me.

Fast forward…

About a month ago I overheard some happy chatter in regards to Saskatchewan officially having a full slate of candidates for the rumoured upcoming general election.  I say rumoured, because we all had been waiting for a non-confidence vote shortly after the last general election.  Sometimes the rumours were strong, sometimes they were a murmur.  They ebbed and flowed like the Oceans that border our country.

I was rather startled by this news…  as I was still a “candidate of record”.  Without my paperwork filed, there was no official anything.  Just an intention – albeit a well known one.

I queried Elizabeth May.  I taught her how to use BlackBerry Messenger last time she passed our way, and we have each other as BBM contacts.  Regardless of everything that has gone on within the party, she remains steadfast.  Always someone I can count on.  Always upfront, always honest.  I let her know what was going on, and asked her to look into things for me.  And despite a packed and hectic schedule, she did so quickly and without hesitation.  For that, I am very grateful.

It turns out that Nora had been fired…  and the claim from Sharon Labchuk (the organizer for PEI) was that she never passed on any information about my intention to again seek the candidacy for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, and that would have been sufficient.  I felt badly, but amidst chaos, things like this happen.  People fall in the cracks, details are forgotten, information is not passed on.

However, Ms. Labchuk left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.  Rather than apologizing that I’d been overlooked, she instead began throwing the blame anywhere she could.  At Nora, at me…  at unnamed people whom she insisted had repeatedly attempted to contact me, but whom I didn’t actually hear from (why they would have been trying so hard to reach me if Nora had not informed them of my intention, I have no idea).   It very much reeked of “too bad for you, I don’t care, it’s not my problem, don’t waste my time”.

A political party’s worth can truly be measured from the ground up.  The leader, our figurehead, is vitally important…  but without each supporter, each volunteer, each candidate, each willing body pushing tirelessly towards change, those at the top have no hope and no future.  So while I fully support E. May, and believe wholeheartedly in her abilities and her integrity, the type of attitude displayed by Ms. Labchuk truly makes me fear for the future of our party.

I hope I’m wrong.  Truly I do.

So…  that is the long and short of it.

I fully intended to again fight to give a voice to all of you who otherwise feel you have none in this backwards, broken political arena.  And I am sorry that I am not there for you.  I do not know the man who has replaced me as your candidate, but I hope you will give him the same support you would have given to me.  And I hope that he will listen to you the same way I have, ensuring that your voices ARE heard.

In solidarity, ALWAYS, Tobi-Dawne Smith.

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