More Old Rich White Men

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In Canada, our situation is so very sad.  We are in the middle of an election, and if you look at the party leaders, the selection is pitiful.   No women, no persons of colour, no-one under the age of “Seniors Day at Zellers.”  In essence, no-one to represent the interests of women, the young, or the disenfranchised.

I feel like we’re in a time-warp.  Nothing has changed.  Like I stated in 2008, all we can choose from are  Old Rich White Men.

So the sorry fact is that, even if your party’s platform pretends to pay attention to you, you can be certain that the corporate culture in Ottawa will not even know you exist.  Even the women who are elected to Parliament end up finding out that they have to obey the rules of the “Old Rich White Boys’ Club.”

“Ottawa is old, white and male” — John Ibbitson, in “Five reasons Ottawa is turning you off” (Globe and Mail)

And, I know my readers will remind me about the Green Party leader, Elizabeth May.   But what does it say about Canada that the only female leader is heading up a party that stands no chance of being elected under our current “First Past the Post” system?

No wonder there is no support for young, single, poor mothers to keep their children.  The life experiences of the people whom our political parties nominate for leadership do not reflect their experiences, values, beliefs, or struggles.

I can give you a clear picture of this:   A young First Nations woman I know well, struggling to raise three children on welfare, has bills this April of $740 not including groceries.  Her total income is $600. She is already in subsidized housing.  Child support?  What’s that?  She has to call the father of her children every month to try to hound him to pay up.  If she makes even a little bit of money, the welfare office takes it away.  The stress of trying to figure out how to afford to feed her children, how to pay her bills, and how to get herself out of the crushing student debt she is in (the college she had enrolled in went bankrupt so she ended up with a staggering debt and no diploma.   She is overwhelmed with “How do I get the money to feed my children?” and this constant stress is on her mind even when her daughter is demanding attention — how can you focus on two critical things at once?  Her stress is harming her health and she already has chronic neck pain.  Working?  How do you afford daycare for three children?  She already has lost children to adoption due to poverty alone.  Canada is still forcing women to surrender their babies and children due to poverty.   Is this not systemic financial coercion?

But is there anyone who cares?   Obviously not.   And nothing will change as long as our only choices for political leadership are old rich White men.

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3 thoughts on “More Old Rich White Men

    maybe said:
    April 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Sad to hear that Canada is suffering from rich old white man syndrome as much as the US. Here we had a debate about public funding for Planned Parenthood and who was in the room? You guessed it, just a bunch of rich white guys.

    unicorn said:
    April 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    In a fairly recent UN report, Canada came *last* out of 25 of the world’s most developed nations when it came to the rights and welfare of families.

    I can’t believe how backwards Canada has become and it still continues in that direction. No wonder I never went back.

    unicorn said:
    April 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Canada also has the second highest rate of poverty in the developed world – it is only outdone by its neighbour, USA.

    It is disgusting that the children’s allowance given out by the Canadian Federal government is clawed back by some of the provinces and that it it clawed back from the poorest of the poor. Canada is the only country in the world that I know of that does this terrible thing – it is Robin Hood in reverse, stealing from the poorest of the poor to give to the rich old white men in government. Disgraceful.

    I would rather be poor in any other part of the world than North America. I am so glad I moved out years ago.

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