Archive for February 17th, 2010

Harper’s cynical ploy

February 17, 2010

In a desperate bid to grab small L liberal votes Stephen Harper has tried to position himself as  overtly concerned with women and children, He is going to “mobilize” world leaders to save the lives of women and children around the world.

“Canada will champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world’s poorest regions.” stephen harper, compassionate Conservative. NOT.

This is as cynical an anoouncement as it gets, a pathetic attempt to poach a few votes from women (sho have little time for him) and  swing voters who might vote for him.

Stephen Lewis was quoted in a Zerbisias Star  column:

As internationally known human rights activist Stephen Lewis told me Wednesday night, “None of the spectrum of women’s rights and issues is encompassed in this announcement.“It doesn’t include sexual violence, child marriage, sexual trafficking, female genital mutilation, economic autonomy, political representation, land rights or inheritance rights. It includes none of the panoply of women’s issues which consign women to subordinate positions around the world.”

Zerbisias continued:

“Lewis emphasized, other nations have been on board what’s known as the Clinton Global Initiative for more than two years. In 2007, Norway and the Netherlands committed $1.2 billion to this. Last year, another $5.3 billion was kicked in from other sources.”It takes a lot of chutzpah to pretend that somehow you’re championing something that others have championed so vigorously before you,” Lewis said.

But the announcement looks good. Maybe a few suckers will see Harper as concerned. His record in Canada is abysmal, slashing funding on Status of womewn by 43%, doing little for aboriginal women.

If he weree really concerned he might take a little from his outrageous military spending. the federal Tories are  pouring money into the military . The “Canada First Defence Strategy” (CFDS) will spend $490 billion over the next 20 years to transform its military so that it is “inter-operable” with the U.S. military.

This chunk of change might be better diverted to our chintzy foreign aid and advocacy work on behalf of the poorest women.