Never have I seen a federal election that has inspired such a response from Canada’s music and arts communities.
What is at stake now that wasn’t before? To quote from an article written by Ralph Surette:
…when Stephen Harper does go down, it will be a shame if he does so merely because the economy took a downward turn, because it’s “time for a change,” because of scandal in the Senate, or any of the other more or less conventional reasons pollsters and pundits carry on about.
If so, the country will have avoided facing the larger reality. This is not an election like any other. What’s at stake is nothing less than the integrity of Canada’s most fundamental features — the justice system, the electoral system, the public service, the tax system and Parliament itself — all of which Harper has relentlessly assaulted and would complete the job of reducing to his personal playthings if only enough people could be kept deep enough in the dark to give him one more majority.
In other words, this election is a really big deal, and Canadians need to vote Harper out.
Have the dirty tricks like robocalls and the in and out scandal that helped the Conservatives win past elections been corrected? Judge for yourself. So far, people have been mailed Elections Canada cards with incorrect polling station information. As well, the name of a Liberal candidate in Victoria who has withdrawn from the election will remain on the ballot. I also just read about someone receiving a spoiled blank ballot with lines through the Conservative and Green Party candidates’ names. If your ballot has lines through it, please bring it back and get one that hasn’t been spoiled.
I’ve collected a number of songs and other art forms that have popped up before this critical election.
The first music video I saw was Harperman, a song written and performed by Tony Turner. Tony was an Environment Canada scientist who was suspended with pay from his job when the song went viral. You can read about his subsequent retirement here. If you’d like a Harperman ringtone, here‘s where you can get it.
The next song I heard was Raffi’s I Want My Canada Back. That was followed by a song written and performed by Helen Austin called the Harper Song to the tune of ‘Bye Bye Miss American Pie’. Hardcore rock ‘n rollers may enjoy Paul Kolinski’s Vote That F**ker Out. Another catchy tune I found on my Facebook page this morning called Heave Steve performed by Prince Albert musicians including NDP candidate Lon Borgerson.
On the local scene, Earl Hamilton’s song Take the Harper Out and Put the Heart Back Into Canada found its way into a demonstration outside Nelson City Hall. Local Lucas Myers ripped off Rick Mercer’s schtick to promote the Voter Challenge with his Voter Challenge Rant. I hope your community joins! Here’s Rick Mercer with his short video Two Weeks ’til the Election. This sketch from This Hour has 22 Minutes by Andrew Barber called I’m in Love With Stephen Harper is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
On a sombre note, the REDress Photography Project led by Edmonton’s Mufty Mathewson honours the 1,181 murdered a missing aboriginal women in Canada. Perhaps this haunting exhibit of photographs will help to make this tragedy more of an election issue.
Are there other examples of artistic expression inspired by the upcoming Canadian federal election that I’ve missed? If so, I hope you’ll let me know.
As Stephen Lewis says,
Fear is not a policy. It is not an election platform.
Yet Stephen Harper continues to use fear and division as campaign tactics to win votes.
He is playing a dangerous game – and I shudder to think of the continuing harm to Canada if the Conservatives remain in government.
An ad created by Adbusters reminds us of how Canada is perceived internationally, in case we’ve forgotten that we used to be highly regarded.
Please vote Harper out, and beware of dirty tricks to dissuade you. The niqab is not an election issue, but climate change, health care, jobs and the economy are. Harper has failed miserably with all of these, which is why he’s trying to make you afraid of Muslims at the expense of women who wear niqabs. Don’t buy it, and express what it means to be Canadian by voting strategically on or before October 19th.