KPC says: VOTE TODAY!! – SUPPORT Arts and Culture
by David Deen
For political junkies such as myself, the fall is filled with head-spinning poli-trick action it’s hard to keep up. With the back-and-forth between Obama and McCain in the American election gaining coverage and awareness unlike any other previous presidential run, I wonder if anyone is paying attention to our own Canadian election.
Will Canadians, and Filipino-Canadians, especially the youth, go out and vote TODAY –Tuesday October 14th!
Here’s the breakdown:
Five parties are vying for your vote: the New Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, the Green Party, the Conservative Party, and the Block Quebecois (in Quebec ridings). Do you vote? Who will you vote for? What’s your take on the election and democracy in Canada?
The Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture, and the wider Arts and Culture community in Canada, have been affected by Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Party’s $60 million in cuts of projects in arts and culture. Recently, it has been a hotly discussed topic in the news. Which party, then, will support the KPC and centres of its kind? Which party will represent your interests and the interests you care about?
The Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper, has cut some 14 programs in various areas of the arts, including film, music, new media, and book and magazine publishing. Further, they cut the PromArt and Trade Routes Programs, both of which promote and sell Canadian cultural products around the world. Their Bill C-10 will censor films in Canada which the government deems “offensive”, a clear threat to our freedom of expression.
In 2007, Arts and Culture generated $46 billion in economic output and represented 7.1% of Canadian employment. It is a workforce that has grown 31% over the past decade. Harper’s Conservatives, and their cuts in funding programs, threatens the growth of our industry. Performing arts organizations earn almost 3/4ths of their revuene from box office sales and private donations. Only 7% of the funding comes from the federal government.
So which party will support the kind of programming that the KPC does? The Liberal Party led by Stephan Dion? Elizabeth May’s Green Party? Or, the New Democratic Party, led by Jack Layton (his wife, Olivia Chow is the representative of Trinity-Spadina, Kapisanan’s district, and her office is just across the street here in Lower Augusta)?
courtesy: Alex Felipe
My vote will be for the New Democratic Party. Not only do they support funding for Arts and Culture programs and reversing the cuts made by Harper, they represent a voice in parliament on issues that affect me directly: affordable housing (my Lola waited for 8 years on a waiting list for a subsidized apartment), tuition costs (I just graduated and owe $29G’s to the government), they’re pro-union (my father works on the Chrysler assembly plant), they support cities and public transportation, and they are, as I am, anti-war.
Local NDP representatives have been involved with and have spoken on, issues of the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), a program which has negatively affected thousands of Filipinas. Not only have they criticized the LCP, they have spoken out on the plight of Mail-Order Brides and how it affects many Philippine women in Canada, and the NDP introduced legislation requesting that the Japanese Prime Minister apologize for the forced prostitution of Asian women, including Filipinas, during World War II. The work of the NDP seeks social justice both in history’s wounds and the struggles of today.
These are the issues which I will carry with me to the ballot box on Tuesday. What ISSUES affect your vote? Who then will you vote for? Are you even going to vote on Tuesday?
For information on where you can vote in your area:
The Green Party: http://www.greenparty.ca
The Liberal Party: http://www.liberal.ca
The Conservative Party: http://www.conservative.ca
The Bloc Quebecois: http://www.presentpourlequebec.org