Patricia Rozema: Make Canada a country you are proud of

(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Project Democracy

by Patricia Rozema

Project Democracy provides a way of holding Stephen Harper’s power in check. I worry about what a Harper majority will mean to the country I love. With Project Democracy voters can easily, quickly help make this the country they want to live in by voting strategically. It’s important to remember that it is possible, even in Canada, to shut down open discourse. Arrogant leaders honestly believe that it’s for their country’s own good. We can’t let it happen here.

Stephen Harper clearly wants to control traditional media, social media and twitter. He invokes arcane procedures when he doesn’t like the way parliament is going. He tries to stir up fear about the perfectly legal normal process of coalition governments. He also rarely makes himself available to answer unscripted questions.

Yes, he’s a good calm manager and our country is relatively stable financially. Some of that is, in fact, the Harper minority government’s doing. Some of it was the doing of Liberals before him. But our reasonably good performance economically doesn’t give him the right to overstep the authority he was given the way that he has. He can’t be trusted with our support. I fear issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control will all be re-opened. His disregard for environmental concerns would continue unabated.

There’s a reason we haven’t trusted Harper with the reins in the past. His vision doesn’t represent the majority of Canadians.

Project Democracy tells you precisely how your vote is critical. A clear-headed numerical analysis shows you how your vote can help make room for more voices than just that of the Conservatives. I fear that with only 29% of the population’s support, Harper can continue, virtually without accountability, to lead us toward a more militaristic, less caring, less socially progressive, less culturally developed country. Let’s see how many questions he takes if he gets a majority.

I encourage any open minded, democracy-loving Canadian to checkout This might be a time to consider voting a little differently than you normally do. We get to make our own country. That’s the joy of living in such a young one. Make it a country you are proud of.

Patricia Rozema’s feature film credits include I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, White Room,When Night is Falling, Mansfield Park, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, and Grey Gardens among others. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing won the coveted Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. That same year, it was voted one of Canada’s ten best films ever as polled by 100 international critics. Rozema won an Emmy Award and was nominated for a Grammy for her film Six Gestures, part of the series Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach. Her television credits include The Beckett Film Project’s Happy Days, the pilot and two subsequent episodes of the HBO series Tell Me You Love Me, and most recently, an episode of the critically acclaimed HBO series In Treatment. Rozema received a PEN USA nomination and an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing for her work on the HBO movie Grey Gardens, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.

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