An Open Letter to CBC Regarding the Election

Dear CBC,

I heard the other night that you were looking for a blogger in each province and territory to comment on the elections. Although I know you are looking for someone who follows daily politics, who likes to comment on websites and blog, who twitters as easily and as often as they scratch their nose and who blogs more frequently than once a week. But I think you are wrong.

I think you need me. Why, you may ask? Because although I am a concerned citizen who fervently believes in our right and need to vote, I am not the most informed. In fact, most of my understanding of world events is shaped by CBC radio 1, and usually between the periods of 7:00 am to 7:30 am in the morning, during the time I am scrambling to get everyone out of the house, and roughly 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at night, when I am making dinner, kids’ lunches for tomorrow, and the occasional urgent batch of cookies needed for the next day. I don’t own a TV and rarely watch news (unless it is horrific footage of natural or man-made disasters on youtube). The only other source of news I have is the five minutes or so I allow myself for scanning the newspapers at work. Mostly the Globe and Mail but sometimes the The Gazette. Which means, dear CBC, that you are my teacher in this time of election. My understanding of the issues, complexities, platforms of the different parties depend on you. Now, what better way to measure the comprehensiveness of your coverage than having a person who relies pretty much on your organization to keep her informed to talk about it?

But my qualifications don’t end there, no sirree. I am lucky enough to be in that coveted demographic: the 30-something, working mother of two. I am the middle class family all our leaders seem to be courting right now. I am a high school librarian in a school and a writer on the side. Which means, oh CBC, that although I would like to know more about what’s going on, I usually don’t have time to research it in depth. Which I suspect, is the case in many middle-class families (and most definitely the case in lower-income families, single parent families, divorced families, etc.)

Where do I lean politically? Ahh well. Let’s just say I am more left than right. I took your Vote Compass quiz however and find that I am close to the Bloc Quebecois and very near the Green Party. But of course, many of the questions asked I didn’t know how to respond, due to my perfidious (I am giddy for just having used perfidious in a sentence) ignorance. For example, should Canada abolish the Senate? Hmmm. I’m afraid I know too little of what they do to make an informed decision on this. (Sorry took a break to read this article on the Senate).

 It is now the next day. That is another thing. I don’t usually have time to finish a post in one day as I have to get up at 5 am to write them. I am hoping to finish it today, but that might be overly optimistic.

If I was to be your blogger these are the sort of semi-astute commentary you would get from me:

Stephen Harper on the income-splitting proposition (note how I only use articles from you, CBC. And no, I am not afraid of a little brown-nosing…):

First of all, I might be wrong on this, but can’t families do this to some extent anyway?

Secondly, what kind of blatant anti-feminist, reactionary, only benefit the wealthy sort of policy is this? If I understand it right, only families where the spouses are together and who can already afford for one person to stay home will benefit. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t 50% of marriages end up in the toilet? This seems like another way of pushing single parents down the stairs and while they are lying on the ground in a daze of pain, kicking them in the teeth for good measure.

Thirdly, it is going to be implemented for another four years, by which time Canada will have had at least two elections.

Oh, and on a totally unrelated theme, how is Stephen Harper even allowed to run when he has been found in contempt of parliament?

Michael Ignatieff on his big (I am waving my fingers in a fake ooh- I am so impressed way right now) plan for education:

First response: Huh?

Second response: Okay. He wants to add 1000$/ year to the RESP of each kid. Which means that each kid would have to have an RESP, which once again is presumptuous, I think. Once again, what about lower-income families who cannot make enough money to put that little aside for their children’s education?

Third response: But he is eliminating other tax credits so the 1000$ becomes 442$/year. Hmmm.

Main response: Wouldn’t this money be better spent in bolstering up the education infrastructure we already have? Making teacher’s education a priority (like in Finland, where they need a masters to be a teacher and are paid enough and given enough freedom in the classroom to make it a coveted profession). Basically stop playing lip service to this mythical beast of education and actually putting money where their mouth is. The schools are underfunded. There is not enough innovation on a large scale (I am not talking about what individual teachers are doing in the class room- I see it everyday and am amazed at what they can accomplish). And excuse me for bringing up an issue that touches me personally- THERE ARE HARDLY ANY SCHOOL LIBRARIES LEFT! How are students supposed to fulfill the mandates of a “21st century learner” without having a library (by which I do not mean just books but online resources as well) and a librarian to show them how to navigate through the vast ocean of information? And why is this not an issue?

See? Semi-astute.

Thus concludes my first political post of this year’s election. I would love to talk about the NDP  policy (of which the only thing I’ve heard so far is something about capping credit card rates) and the Green party (of which I have heard nothing so far), but I have no more time. I have to go to work.


Wiremonkey mama

3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to CBC Regarding the Election

  1. I took the cbc compass thing today.

    Turns out they say i agree with the Green Party.

    I haven't considered myself a hippy since 1997 when I was still planting trees, and wearing hemp jewellery and long hair.

    I know you don't have to be a hippy to be part of the Green Party, but I think it would help.

    I'm just gonna write in the name of someone I think would best represent me even if they don't want to.

    My theory is the best leaders are those that have it thrust upon them and don't want the position. At least you can count on them to be honest and sane and willing to step aside the moment someone better shows up.

  2. Dear CBC,

    You want bloggers, eh? Why isn't there any mention in your call for bloggers about, oh, I dunno… COMPENSATION?

    Wait, I bet the compensation is “feel good about contributing to the democratic process, maybe possibly get some sort of national attention, and…. pad that writing portfolio!”

    Fair compensation for fair effort,

  3. I think it's kind of ironic that I took the test and come up being closest to the BQ. I don't agree with their policies on Quebec and I don't live in Quebec, so that puts me in a bit of a quandary. Do I move? Just kidding.
    I also note that once again Elizabeth May has to fight to get into the debate. Wasn't that issue resolved with the last election.
    One more comment. If Stephen Harper gets in again, I may have to move to South America.

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