This list could be infinite and it could also be one sentence. The reasons why I didn’t vote for Harper yesterday goes beyond the issue I’m about to discuss, but above all other reasons, this was at the top of my list.
His “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices” bullshit pushed me over the edge of believing he was a reasonable human being. Essentially, this bill ‘s purpose was to eliminate things that his government deemed to be barbaric from their own (white and male) perspective. It included a hotline people could use to call in and accuse anyone of barbaric cultural practices (how that is defined person to person is unknown) should they suspect or assume it was occurring. It focused on underage marriage and polygamy but stretched to female genital mutilation and even touched on the niqab debate (which, in itself, because a huge political issue when a woman wanted to wear her niqab to a citizenships ceremony. Only the second woman in history to do so. Keeping in mind that she had already fulfilled the requirements to immigrate to Canada and then complete the requirements for Citizenship. Not to mention the fact that whether a woman wears a niqab or not, her decision is irrelevant because she’s either adhering to a patriarchal cultural practice or denying it to make others feel comfortable – it’s never considered that she can make the decision on what to wear for her. But I digress).
What this says to me is, “don’t understand the cultural practices of your neighbor? Are you completely ignorant to anything and anyone who is different from you? Do you not know how to Google? Perfect! Here’s this bill where you can point the finger at differences to launch an investigation to be sure that said barbaric cultural practices are indeed, not occurring”. If this isn’t the epitome of racism and discrimination, I don’t know what is. Really, this is disgusting.
I refuse to live in a country where the “leader” panders to discriminative ideologies that only serve one specific demographic of the population while completely alienating another. Of course, this is not entirely surprising. Harper doesn’t have a great track record as far as compassion and empathy go. Remember the time he went to the zoo to see some pandas instead of meeting with an Aboriginal boy who trekked across this vast (huge) country to speak with him on important environmental issues that were affecting his community?
He ended his speech last night, after losing the election and stepping down from leader of the Conservative party, with “God bless Canada”. I may not be Christian or really understand the whole God thing, but from what I do know, I’m pretty sure God’s message was that of love and not that of “accuse anyone different from you of being wrong”. It’s ironic to me that the man who is a God-loving Christian is also the man who has obliterated our environmental laws and protection, ignored huge populations of people when they protested and pleaded to be heard, and told women that they should not have control over their bodies.
What he was successful in was creating a country divided by their misunderstanding and uneducated, racist and discriminative views of the world. What a legacy.