I’m getting back to trans issues for this post, and will resume the “In The Bedrooms of the Nation” series shortly.
Firstly, I’m not going to tell you how to vote. If you care about trans issues, however, I might be able to help you narrow it down a little. Trans human rights are only one of several issues, but it’s certainly reasonable to want to choose among candidates that are trans-positive. But the bottom line is this: vote!
For trans folks who are disappointed by the fact that Bill C-389 died upon the election call, there is some good news. The NDP have included reintroducing it as a part of their federal election platform, and equality and inclusion is also a part of their federal policy (it’s on page 18, or page 20 on the digital version). There has been some commitment to reintroducing this legislation in the next Parliament. The Green Party also has equality and inclusion in their federal policy, although I didn’t see an indication of C-389 -like legislation in their election platform (it was in 2008). And Liberal Hedy Fry has also vowed to introduce trans rights legislation — and if the Liberals were to take power, she would see about making it a government bill, which would significantly shorten the time it would take to pass.
So if you’re voting by the party, you have three choices. CBC’s Vote Compass can help you determine which party is most in line with your personal perspectives. MPs don’t always vote with their parties, though, so it’s always worth checking with the individual candidates themselves.
The easiest way to find out where your candidates stand is to ask them, of course. If you can’t get to a debate or rally in your riding, try CBC’s riding-by-riding overview to find contact information. If you’re an ABC (“Anyone But…”) -style strategic voter, this will also give you some insight on historic voting trends and which progressive candidate might have a better shot at winning in your riding.
There is a Vote for Trans Rights group on Facebook that may also have more information. Expect to see more info there as time progresses. If you do any surveying of your own, make sure to share the info there among others, so this can be a main resource that folks to go to and find whatever info is available.
And if you’re in Alberta, I’ve conducted a local survey on the question. The results to date are compiled in an XLS spreadsheet. Responses are colour-coded, although some (identified as red / brown) don’t have contact information, and some (black) haven’t replied — which could be ignoring the question, or it could be something innocent like not being email savvy. If anyone has info that I don’t, let me know and I’ll update the file.
And by the way, Voter turnout was at an all-time low in 2008, with 59.1% nationally, and 52.9% in Alberta. So don’t be claiming that your vote doesn’t count. The problem is that progressives aren’t standing up enough to be counted.
You have two weeks and a good start on information. Now go get involved, and vote. And drag some folks along with you (and no, you can’t tell them how to vote, either, but you can give them information too).