A Pro-Choice Canadian Voter’s Guide

21 Apr
So there is a federal election coming up in Canada (on May 2nd), and a lot of people are hoping that a large percentage of the electorate is finally over their inexplicable love affair with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Obviously there are many issues that may influence your vote, but if you are concerned about abortion (and you should be: in the last couple of years the Conservatives have made several efforts to chip away at access), here are some things you should know. 

First, is your MP anti-choice? To find out, have a look at the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s list of anti-choice MPs, which has been updated for this election. Please note, it’s not just Conservatives – so voting “anyone but Cons” is not a guarantee of a pro-choice MP!

Second, campaign time is a great time to let the candidates know what matters to you. Call, email or write to the candidates in your riding and let them know how integral abortion rights and access are to gaining your vote! If an incumbent comes to your door, look up their record on women’s issues and ask them about their votes.  This is the time when candidates will be listening to the people and finding out what issues need to be dealt with. Make sure you find out who all the candidates in your riding are – for instance, I had no idea that the Marxist-Leninist Party was running a candidate in my riding!

Don’t just focus on individual candidates either: have a look at party leaders, and party platforms as a whole. For example, many people believe that the Green Party is socially liberal because of their environmental message, but you might be surprised at what you discover in their platform. Remember that issues intersect: a party that does not specifically address abortion can sometimes be judged on their position on other social issues. 

Something simple you can do is talk to others about abortion and other social issues that mean a lot to you. You don’t need to tell people who to vote for; just get the ideas flowing around government and what it actually means. Remember, the personal is political. A lot of people think politics don’t touch their lives; however, everything you worry about in the day, whether it is traffic or childcare or the price of gas, can be traced back to government. So ask the people in your life: what concerns you in your day to day life? And take it from there!

If you are someone who is concerned about splitting the non-Conservative vote, please inform yourself before voting strategically. I personally am absolutely opposed to strategic voting and cannot recommend or endorse it, but I can’t stop you from doing whatever you want with your vote, so make sure to check out the Catch 22 campaign.

For all the resources you need on when, where, and how to vote, check out Elections Canada. Happy voting!

One Response to “A Pro-Choice Canadian Voter’s Guide”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome: Weekly Reader - November 26, 2012

    […] pieces for Abortion Gang: Anti-Social JusticeReview of MTV Canada Show "Impact: Abortion Stories"A Pro-Choice Canadian Voter's GuideHere are some stories that have been happening:Barbara Kay continues to be ridiculousA study […]

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