FNs: Don't Vote For Canada!

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NDPP
FNs: Don't Vote For Canada!

First Nations and the Federal Election: An Exercise in Self-Termination  -  by Russ Diabo

https://ricochet.media/en/534/first-nations-and-the-federal-election-an-...

"...I have to say it is a bad idea to get involved in the federal voting process as individual First Nation persons. Any FN person involved in the federal electoral process will be, wittingly, or unwittingly, part of implementing the government's termination plan."

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm not here to tell FNs what they should or shouldn't do.  But it's also hard to see how sitting this one out would end up helping them best.

Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

First Nations and the Federal Election: An Exercise in Self-Termination  -  by Russ Diabo

https://ricochet.media/en/534/first-nations-and-the-federal-election-an-...

"...I have to say it is a bad idea to get involved in the federal voting process as individual First Nation persons. Any FN person involved in the federal electoral process will be, wittingly, or unwittingly, part of implementing the government's termination plan."

Are you First Nations yourself?

NDPP

No. But Diabo is. Here's another...

What Me Vote?  -  by Rolland Pangowish

http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/300/first_nations_strategic_bulletin/20...

 

Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

No. But Diabo is. Here's another...

What Me Vote?  -  by Rolland Pangowish

http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/300/first_nations_strategic_bulletin/20...

 

So if you recognize that this is a minority view among First Nations leaders and it is not a consensus of their community, why are you promoting it? How are you justified in taking this minority view and projecting it back to other FN and others-- just to suit your own election boycott agenda?

The idea presented is tidy: don't vote because if you do then your vote lends legitimacy to the fact that you lost -- if you lose. The inconvenient truth is that not voting is also a sure way to lose.

It is one thing to engage this idea among the non Aboriginal community we are both part of. It is another thing to engage in promoting it as a First Nations solution to a community that you and I are not part of.

Just as it is legitimate for this one voice to share his opinion in that community without my condemnation, it is also legitimate that I condemn the use of that opinion to convince others in that community that this idea should prevail over others sourced in that community.

In other words speak for yourself.

First Nations People have the challenge of dealing with a historical low turnout and very little power at the centre of our system. If some of them advocate continuing with a low turnout as having been helpful, then that is an argument they can make, and I'll respect that, not because I cannot criticize the logic of it, but because it is a community discussion I am not part of and the community in question has had far too much interference and poor advice from the non-Aboriginal power structure. But I will not advocate or share this minority opinion since it can also be considered vote suppression -- an attempt to preserve the present predicament they are in.

It is important to acknowledge that First Nations leaders argue for greater participation in elections becuase they feel their people would be better off.

NDPP

 

To Vote or Not to Vote - A Question of Sovereignty For Indigenous Peoples

http://indigenousnationhood.blogspot.ca/2011/04/to-vote-or-not-to-vote-q...

"...So, if that is the case and we are sovereign nations with our inherent right to be self-governing recognized as protected, then why would we vote in another Nation's election process? If you look at it in reverse, would you want Canadians to vote in OUR elections and governing processes? Of course not - even saying it sounds ridiculous.

We must keep in mind that the right to vote is directly associated with being a Canadian citizen. Being a Canadian citizen has been historically tied to having to give up one's indigeneity.

So, let's say that none of this has even slightly given you pause for thought. When we do vote, what are we voting for? We are voting for [Canadian] political parties who have been responsible for:

-physical and sexual abuse, deaths, cruelty and torture and loss of language and culture in residential schools; wanting to completely eliminate 'Indians' through scalping bounties, small pox blankets, White Paper, Indian Act, exclusion of our women and children from our communities through lost status; chronic underfunding and caps on our essential social services like water, health and education, over-representation of our men and women in prisons, starlight tours, deaths in police custody, hundreds and hundreds of murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls and even more subjected to violence and sexual exploitation and the theft of our precious children during the 60s scoop and now many more through Child Welfare Agencies.

This is just to name a few.

So, what then are we voting for when we vote for one party or another? We are voting for more of the same but hoping for something different. What we are voting for is who will be our next Indian agent.

We deserve better than this and we are responsible to our Nations not to be complicit in this..."

DLivings

There are some pre-eminent FN leaders who see it differently:

 

https://www.facebook.com/RomeoSaganash?fref=photo

 

NDPP

OK. And do you happen to recall which FN this pre-eminent FN leader leads?

Sean in Ottawa

The point is NDPP -- who the hell are you to advocate to a group you do not belong to that they give up/not use their voting rights?

There is no Aboriginal consensus and your telling Aboriginals to do what you want them to do for your personal belief agenda is deeply offensive and a typically imperialist approach (yes, white people since they got here have tried to bring Aboriginal people into their fights on one side or the other).

Promote your idea to Canadians generally if you must, and we will challenge it -- but this bullshit of you selecting one point of view among Aboriginals and putting it as an argument here is dispicable as of course the intention is that we cannot argue with an Aboriginal voice speaking to her/his own community. But you have no business selecting one minority point of view from that community and promoting it over the opposite view from other Aboriginal leaders. It is paternalistic.

First Nations people only got the vote 55 years ago this last March. Let them debate what they want to do with that right without any settler interference.

And you can google it if you need -- many are calling for special efforts to make sure their people can vote so it is clear many do not agree with you. The national leadership of the AFN is calling on thier people to get out and vote as they can swing many ridings.

Market your vote abstention stuff to communities you belong to and leave it at that. Advertising a minority opinion from another community won't help you here.

We have a historic opportunity to change the direction of government -- the election will be tight. Promote your stuff but expect that people will respond with more than minor irritation. And cut the traditional settler suggestions to FN people. I think they have heard enough.

This thread is an abomination. Clearly there is no point me pointing that out to the moderators becuase they don't give a shit what I think but at least I still have a right to share that point of view here.

But the thread title says it all -- "FNs don't vote..." written by non Aboriginal person.

Sean in Ottawa

I should also have pointed out that a significant proportion of FN people are in ridings where there is a FN candidate. There are 34 Aboriginal candidates so far and another ten seeking the nomination.

Look at the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IndigPolitics?_rdr=p

Read the blogspot http://indigpoli.blogspot.ca/2015/02/indigenous-candidates-2015-federal....

From @indigpoli

The Power of the Indigenous Vote

It's time to "Rock the Indigenous Vote"
-38 ridings where Indigenous population is 10% or over
-48 ridings where Indigenous population is 5% to 10%

There are many MPs who get elected or candidates that lose by a very slim percentage over their rival candidates. This is why every vote does count. A party needs 170 seats or elected MPs to form a majority government.

There are 338 new ridings for the 42nd Canadian general election created by electoral boundary changes. The tables below represents the Aboriginal population (2011 Census NHS) within the general Canadian citizen population in the respective riding.

The Indigenous vote (First Nation, Métis & Inuit) can have a significant impact on who is the next Prime Minister of Canada and if that party forms a majority or minority government for the October 9th federal election.

For a riding-by-riding break down visit: www.tinyurl.com/IndigCand

Also check out our Indigenous Voters Guide with information on how to check if your registered to vote, what do if your not, what ID you need to have and how to obtain necessary ID options to cast your vote: www.tinyurl.com/IndigVoteGuide

I have posted this to give balance.

NDPP

I am airing articulate and important opinion rarely heard here, which is of interest to me and probably others, raising critical questions about Indigenous participation in the Canadian electoral process by several knowledgeable commentators. An opinion you persist in referring to as a 'minority'. Evidently you are free to proselytize on behalf of whatever awful party of sellouts you support and the Canadian settler-state's usurpation-as-genocide, but I am 'despicable' for 'advocating' a view at odds with that. But your post 'gives balance'.

I am aware of the FN candidates as is the FN policy analyst I quoted in the first post, who described them as "indigenous persons participating in settler-politics". Nor do I much care what you or 'the national leadership of the AFN' is urging.  People will make up their own minds.

 

 

Slumberjack

Sean that's a whole lot of nonsense.  You ask if NDPP is FN himself, presumably meant to challenge whatever business NDPP has to post the story in question, as if it were his own original opinion being relayed.  A cursory check would have revealed the author.  An even quicker glance would have shown that NDPP "quoted" from it in the OP.  And then you opine that these are minority opinions, going as far as to ask 'why NDPP is posting minority opinions?'  

Well excuse all who have ever held them. 

And you too Mr. Magoo:

Quote:
I'm not here to tell FNs what they should or shouldn't do.

No, you'll just vote for a system that does that on your behalf.  But the real reason for saying that is similar to Sean's approach, which is lazy and done on purpose to avoid discussing the reasons why someone would come to promote such a conclusion.  

Quote:
But it's also hard to see how sitting this one out would end up helping them best.

What would an overwhelming non-turnout of FN voters at the polls sound like as a political message?  I can almost see the headlines..."Droves Stayed Home out of Disgust."  The difficulty in seeing potential could simply be a problem of the imagination, a lack thereof more specifically.

It's like a thick fog descends around people out for a stroll, suddenly everyone is blinded in the soup, and are left to grasp around for their original points of reference, unsure of what caused them to let go in the first place.

swallow

Thanks for posting these, NDPP, it's an important stance that needs to be heard. 

I'd add that some Nations are kener to take part in Canadian elections than others. Sovereignty, for many in the Six Nations Confederacy, means you don't vote. Others FNs have higher voting rates (Quebec Innu tromped out to vote in higher numbers for Jonathan Genest-Jourdan, an Innu activist). I think we need to be cautious, wherever, we stand, about making generalizations for all First Nations. 

Really good to read these links anyway, some fascinating points made. I hope you keep sharing this sort of information, and that people read them with an open mind instead of attacking you for posting them. 

socialdemocrati...

You know your activism has jumped the shark when you've taken to telling people not to vote.

The fact that it's encouraging a specific group of disenfranchised visible minorities that you're not a part of, that just takes it to a disgusting level.

http://www.economicrefugee.net/afraid-republicans-tell-latinos-dont-vote/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..we can look to the recent elections in alberta where first peoples were a suposed high priority. yes the torries were gotten rid of but how much better is it under the ndp when these kind of deals are made? and with the blessing of manitoba as well. where is the involment of the first people in these processes?

quote:

But last week in St. John’s, the tough demands of those pipeline-traversing provinces melted away like so many receding glaciers. Canada’s premiers agreed to Redford’s master energy and climate change plan. Provinces committed to fast-tracking pipelines, but committed to nothing on climate action.

A toothless climate plan flies in the face of growing movements of natives and settlers across Canada joining together to oppose pipelines and take real climate action. The premiers’ energy strategy came at the height of a summer of unprecedented heat waves in Western Canada and hundreds dying of heat exposure in Pakistan and Italy.

swallow

I sugegst a look at the history of "enfranchisement" of First Nations in Canada. 

[url=http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government-policy/the-indi..."Enfranchisement is a legal process for terminating a person’s Indian status and conferring full Canadian citizenship.  Enfranchisement was a key feature of the Canadian federal government's assimilation policies regarding Aboriginal peoples."[/url]

Sean in Ottawa

swallow wrote:

Really good to read these links anyway, some fascinating points made. I hope you keep sharing this sort of information, and that people read them with an open mind instead of attacking you for posting them. 

I am not attacking him for posting this.

I AM attacking him, a non-Aboriginal person, for calling on FN to not vote. And there's a difference.

The thread could have been a report of an opinion -- including an acknowledging that there are not only two sides to the issue but this opinion is not shared by the leaders of this community. But it was not -- it was a call to people the people who were the last in Canada to get the vote -- not to use that right. It was not in the context of FN rights it was in the context of NDPP's desire to have people in general not vote.

Further, he opened this debate onto ground that ought not to be debated except by FN people as I outlined -- clever.

The theread could have been posted as "FN acticvist calls on FN not to vote" -- As news but instead it was a thread telling FN not to vote. In some cases a little sloppiness representing one side of the story and making a report into a call for action (or inaction) is one thing. But in this case with FN leaders eager to have their people's voices heard at the ballot box, to not balance with that point of view is unreasonable. It is also unreasonable in this case to have a thread by a non-Aboriginal person titled as a call to electoral boycott.

This is one of those things we, here, would have been careful of in the past.

I have no problem with the sharing of the link or the point of view but to promote this point of view in isolation -- as a conclusion, no less in the thread title is unreasonable. And yes it makes a difference precicely becuase non FN people are not going to have a debate over what FN should or should not do with their democratic rights.

Of course it was relevant that the person calling on FN people not to vote -- on this thread -- is FN. And the writer of the quoted piece is o the person who framed the thread title. This thread is hiding behind a quote to advance an opinion from outside the Aboriginal community for FN not to vote.

We need to share information about Aboriginal points of view and we need to hear their concerns. What we do not need to do is use these positions selectively to advance a position that is not about their community.

Sean in Ottawa

And why not look at the analogy? How do you feel about some male poster here opening a thread calling on women not to vote backed up by a quote from a woman who calls on other women not to vote?

http://www.salon.com/2014/10/22/fox_news_to_young_women_dont_worry_about...

We might discuss this point of view as news but we would not accept some male here to come and open a thread titled -- "Women do not vote." Nor would we accept that becuase this minority opinion among women is calling for nonvoting that we would quote that as a part of a do not vote strategy so that other non-female persons could discuss whether or not women should vote.

My analogy is not that far off either. Women vote in elections tilted against them; very few women get elected and fewer still go into cabinet; policies that are anti-women get passed that preserve the beneftis men have. So -- should men here, who do not believe in voting, target women for this by going out and searching for a quote from a woman calling for an election boycott and then frame that in a thread title as an appeal to women not to vote?

The point here is not that I vote and NDPP does not think I should -- we can fight that out in another thread, The point is we do not open a thread for the purpose of telling another group -- a disadvatnaged one at that -- that they should not vote by using a quote from one person who feels that way.

Also NDPP --is an activist for non-voting not for Aboriginal rights. This article is being used to promote an abandonment of Aboriginal voting rights not as an appeal to right the wrongs they suffer -- look at the thread it is posted in -- and again, look at the title.

An electoral boycott is a serious decision. It is not okay for someone to participate in another communty's debate about their election boycott decision. If the quoted article appeared in a paper I write a comment to -- I would not consider replying. I reply here where the article is taken out of the community context, where the majority who disagree with it cannot debate it. And even then I do not dispute the rationale -- I just point out that this is not our discussion and we have no right to promote one side over another calling on non-voting.

And yes the problem may be the offensive thread title again. And my reaction to that call certaily was -- well this better bloddy well be an Aboriginal person calling for this becuase it is a lot of chutzpah for a non Aboriginal person to even think about writintg a thread title like that.

6079_Smith_W

Discussing the merits of voting or not is one thing.

As for arguing who shouldn't do this or that, I think it is pretty clear that is pissing in the wind. Not only is there not likely to be any moderator response, there shouldn't be. If we started playing the identity card on every issue where someone speaks on an issue on which they don't have direct personal experience the only ones left speaking would be the crickets.

Whether one agrees or not with the end conclusion, not only are these ideas that are worthy of consideration, the idea that they should not be heard is way more dangerous.

How about recognizing that people have the privilege of posting what they want, within guidelines, even if it is absolute crap,  and that the rest of us have the intelligence and maturity to sort out the good advice from the nonsense?

There are lots of good reasons to vote; do you really need to build your argument on a technicality, and silencing?

Harper dropped the writ this morning. I'm saving my outrage for his manipulation and misrepresentation.

Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Discussing the merits of voting or not is one thing.

As for arguing who shouldn't do this or that, I think it is pretty clear that is pissing in the wind. Not only is there not likely to be any moderator response, there shouldn't be. If we started playing the identity card on every issue where someone speaks on an issue on which they don't have direct personal experience the only ones left speaking would be the crickets.

And whether one agrees or not with the end conclusion, not only are these ideas that are worthy of consideration, the idea that they should not be heard is way more dangerous.

How about recognizing that people have the privilege of posting what they want, within guidelines, even if it is absolute crap,  and that the rest of us have the intelligence and maturity to sort out the good advice from the nonsense?

Harper dropped the writ this morning. I'm saving my outrage for his manipulation and misrepresentation.

No I challenge you on that.

Every time I have a conflict you jump in like clockwork. Calling a spade a spade. I rarely bump into you on Babble but as soon as I am anywhere near a controversy where I am criticized you are among the first to jump in with your opposition to me. This can be seen going back years now. Your position is always predicatable. So your outrage apparently is to me.

And I'll challenge you on your position as laid out here. This is not a free speech place where people can say and advocate anything they want and not be criticized for that. There is a long history of debate over what kinds of positions are okay here. One person from one group calling on another group to forego their democratic rights is not a normally progressive topic.

Are we really down on this progressive site for non-Aboriginal people to selectively use an argument from one FN person to title a thread calling on all Aboriginal people not to vote? Is this how low we have come?

By your logic we should let the flood of right wing posts come in on all manner of other topics.

Hey the poor are screwed by the voting system -- let's have Conrad Black come and post an article here quoting some low income person saying there is no point voting?

Let's all troll through disadvantaged groups finding opinions we like calling on those groups to follow this opinion? There are all manner of minority opinions we can use and abuse. The Conservatives like this tactic in particular -- how many times have they trotted out their Muslim spokesperson criticizing the Muslim community and promoting what they want heard -- in order to further their ends?

6079_Smith_W

Oh give it a rest ; I was one of those who helped you back in the door.

You don't think the poster is qualified? Maybe we should both wait for someone with a treaty card to weigh in on the actual issue. White people jumping in trying to take care of things and make sure people understand things right doesn't just happen on one side of these issues, after all.

Besides, we have what.... 11 weeks?

 

6079_Smith_W

How about this: the biggest potential impediment to FN people (and many rural people)  voting, especially those who have box numbers, and nothing with a section-township-range physical address:

http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&...

How about we make sure people know what they need to have to have their right to vote recognized, and let them decide how they want to exercise it?

 

Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

How about this: the biggest potential impediment to FN people (and many rural people)  voting, especially those who have box numbers, and nothing with a section-township-range physical address:

http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&...

How about we make sure people know what they need to have to have their right to vote recognized, and let them decide how they want to exercise it?

 

Of course I am fine by this

Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Oh give it a rest ; I was one of those who helped you back in the door.

You don't think the poster is qualified? Maybe we should both wait for someone with a treaty card to weigh in on the actual issue. White people jumping in trying to take care of things and make sure people understand things right doesn't just happen on one side of these issues, after all.

Besides, we have what.... 11 weeks?

 

Really? Ijust went by your record and predictability about anything that ends up related to me in the reaction forum.

Then I paired that with the less than Libertarian basis for this web site.

Sean in Ottawa

Also as for Diabo, there are more things he has to say. I suggest rather than take just one article of his-- read the rest of what he has to say about termination policies:

http://www.idlenomore.ca/turning_the_tables

I am not taking a position on the advice he gives his own community. I am taking a position on the way we might selectively use and frame debates they may have.

So in this context since we have one article read what others have to say (and don't limit to my links -- after all I am also not of that community) AND read further what Diabo has to say. The more you read FN voices the better they are under-represented.

Don't make it partisan and don't try to fit their voices into your other agendas. Just read them as they were meant to be read -- from their point of view not as a tool for another agenda.

takeitslowly

Well i have to disagree with Sean in Ottawa here. Alot of posters here have an "agenda", and thats fine. A thread does not have to be set up like a news report to show all point of views. If one disagree with something being posted, they can debate it.

Sean in Ottawa

Except this is not any news report.

This is not one that a person outside their community can legitimately debate. Another argument about non voting and we can participate -- but this one in this context you can't.

And so I am debating the legitimacy of a non Aboriginal person calling for Aboriginal people not to vote. And if you look at the thread title it does exactly that.

In this case -- and there may be a few -- where we are debating the rights of others -- this is not just a matter of all opinions being equal. In this case selecting is significant becuase debate will not happen.

And in this context it is not news it is an opposition to a campaign by Aboriginal people to promote their candidates and get their people to vote. This is not just any debate about any old rights.

And to further my point-- let's admit that this is an extremely controversial issue. But you do not see anyone debating the topic of the posted article -- becuase they simply can't. And that was why it was posted and why this inflamatory thread title is allowed to go unquestionned -- unless you challenge the legitimacy of having this concluding statement (thread title) outside a context of a community.

Surely the thread could have been "FN activist calls for a vote boycott" or something that is clearly reporting rather than "FNs -- don't vote...".

And yes, a lot of people have agendas -- but we don't selectively use debates specific to a disadvantaged community to further these other agendas -- knowing that those outside that community really cannot debate the substance if they wish to respect those communities.

NDPP

Should FNs Be Part of Canadian Elections?

http://www.mediaindigena.com/martha-troian/issues-and-politics/should-fi...

"...Amongst this debate raging on between educators, traditionalists, policy analysts, FN leaders and youth, perhaps none have expressed themselves as forcefully or unequivocally on the subject as Dr Taiaiake Alfred. A Kanien'kehaka professor at the University of Victoria, in BC, Alfred is a well known academic and commentator on traditional governance and so-called 'decolonization strategies.'

To him, Indigenous participation in Canadian elections is a sign not only of 'the failure of our leadership [but] the slow and gradual fading away of any real sense of being Native.' The idea of leaders and intellectuals promoting energy and activism into a political party in the Canadian electoral system is harmful, according to Alfred.

He says FN leaders need to promote the idea of nationhood instead. 'They talk about it all the time, and yet they are massive hypocrites by getting involved in electoral politics. Though he claims he doesn't begrudge anyone who may cast a ballot...he says they may be disillusioned when it comes to Indigenous nationhood.

'If you're a Canadian, you're a Canadian, but don't come back after the election and start talking about Anishinabe or Mohawk or Cree nationhood,' Alfred asserts. 'Go all the way with it, and don't be a hypocrite.' For Alfred, FN individuals need to choose between one or the other. 'Or else,' he says, 'the water will become very muddy. What are we then, when we are mixed up with everybody else?"

'...Why should I vote in a foreign colonial occupier government's process that seeks to continually oppress my people and deny us the proper restitution of our land claims.?' - RedIndianGirl

'Rather than voting in a system that views FNs as just another ethnic minority (rather than as Peoples and Nations) and aims to assimilate FN Peoples, a much more promising and legitimate aim should be to strengthen and build strategies aimed at strengthening and empowering FN forms of governance.  - mediabuzzard"

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No, you'll just vote for a system that does that on your behalf. 

The system tells them to vote or not vote?

Huh.  I really thought it was up to them.

Quote:
What would an overwhelming non-turnout of FN voters at the polls sound like as a political message?  I can almost see the headlines..."Droves Stayed Home out of Disgust."  The difficulty in seeing potential could simply be a problem of the imagination, a lack thereof more specifically.

If you think that would be the headline, and that it would somehow bring down the whole house of cards, then I think the problem is TOO MUCH imagination, not too little.

Meanwhile, there seem to be plenty of POC who are against affirmative action.  I better go cherrypick some of their quotes and post them in a new "End Affirmative Action" thread so their important voices can be heard.  As a white ally, it's the least I can do.

 

takeitslowly

Sean in Ottawa, I can kind of understand what you mean. I wonder how many people on here are actually First Nation people...

DLivings

NDPP wrote:

OK. And do you happen to recall which FN this pre-eminent FN leader leads?

Absolutely...  one of the Grand Chiefs of the Cree in northern Quebec, a leadership that fought hard with the Quebec government re the grand hydro developments in northern Quebec.

To follow your argument, only a disalienated person can make a legitimate arguement for a change for their class...  it would be illegitimate for a non-slave to advocate for loosening the shackles of slavery, or a male to advocate support for equal pay for equal work for a non-male, or...  you get the idea.

It also legitimizes the leadership like (non-status) FN (former) leaders like Brazeau, just because of his ethnicity.

This perspective is simply another form of racism...   by valuing a perspective simply because of who voices it.  I would accept an exception if this was a unified voice from all FN, but it's not.  Having lived in a number of FN communities I know from experience that the views and positions in Canada's FN communities are as diverse as anywhere else!

Sean in Ottawa

takeitslowly wrote:

Sean in Ottawa, I can kind of understand what you mean. I wonder how many people on here are actually First Nation people...

I suspect not many. Unfortunately. There are a few. If this were discussed in the Aboriginal forum that might be better -- at least there, we would have the presumption of the justice purpose behind the article in the original post and the priority of their voices in any discussion of it. At least there, the question would be how would a FN boycott help FN rather than how can their boycott help a not-voting-on-principle campaign that has little to do with them.

As a non Aboriginal person I feel that reconciliation between Canada and Aboriginal peoples and their Nations is in fact the most important issue facing Canada -- either above all the others -- or deeply intertwined in all the others (social and environmental sustainability are related). I would never want to argue with any Aboriginal voice becuase they are so under-represented here. 

I understand the article's position that FN people are shut out or marginalized in national institutions and I have called for a reform of the Senate to address this specifically -- one reason I prefer reform to abolition. But I cannot comment on the article's position with respect to how they use their rights becuase it is not my place. 

And then we have this thread. FN issues rarely come up in terms of the electionbut they are now and in terms of a call for them not to vote. I find that upsetting. No doubt I will think about what others have said but I do feel very strongly about this and I do not feel this topic is just one other neutral topic for debate. We read this in the context of active efforts from the governing party to suppress their vote. There is a non Aboriginal campaign to prevent them from voting and that is being carried out by the Conservatives. In this context, any debate about the use of voting as a tool to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples should be firmly within their context and not this.

I appreciate your patience with my passion about this.

NDPP

The Meaning of Political Participation for Indigenous Youth

http://cprn.org/documents/48503_EN.pdf

"Since I became more politically aware a few years ago, I haven't voted, mostly because I don't believe in the colonial style of government with elections because elections have been imposed on our people over their own ways of governing themselves traditionally, through a council of elders, clan mothers, hereditary chiefs.

Young people were groomed to be leaders, but the election system seems to me to be ambitious only for yourself and your family to get higher up. All of these good things they say they would do are only to get higher up in status.

I don't vote in Canadian elections or municipal, civil or territorial elections. I don't participate in Indian Affairs elections on our reserve. I think young people should know about our traditions of how we governed ourselves...young people know there is something not right with the way things are..."

iyraste1313

¨First Nations People have the challenge of dealing with a historical low turnout and very little power at the centre of our system¨

The reason the First Nations have little power in our system is because our system refuses to recognize their legal rights under international law, their rights to self determine their status as indigenous, their rights to control their territory, protect their family and community from the continual onslaughts of the federales, whetehr they be social service agencies, police agencies, ad nauseum.

To the idea that a vote for something like the NDP? which never never would recognize their rights, is likewise very distasteful.

 

Sean in Ottawa

DLivings wrote:

NDPP wrote:

OK. And do you happen to recall which FN this pre-eminent FN leader leads?

Absolutely...  one of the Grand Chiefs of the Cree in northern Quebec, a leadership that fought hard with the Quebec government re the grand hydro developments in northern Quebec.

To follow your argument, only a disalienated person can make a legitimate arguement for a change for their class...  it would be illegitimate for a non-slave to advocate for loosening the shackles of slavery, or a male to advocate support for equal pay for equal work for a non-male, or...  you get the idea.

It also legitimizes the leadership like (non-status) FN (former) leaders like Brazeau, just because of his ethnicity.

This perspective is simply another form of racism...   by valuing a perspective simply because of who voices it.  I would accept an exception if this was a unified voice from all FN, but it's not.  Having lived in a number of FN communities I know from experience that the views and positions in Canada's FN communities are as diverse as anywhere else!

I think that it is up to all people to call for justice. But this goes beyond that.

The specific discussion and promotion of the means to do that through declining rights -- some of the few specific tools available -- is a delicate one that must be centreed within that specific community. There are times when election boycotts are used. This is one area I would say should not be subject to outside interference or use for other purposes. 

Others have rightly pointed out that this view can and should be shared. I agree. It should be shared with responsibility and care and the discipline to be reporting not advocating or interfering. And the thread title makes it clear that this is about advocating not merely reporting. These are not, as I say, neutral debates and topics. Non Aboriginal people have a responsibility to be respectful.

I do hope that those reading this thread will read the other things this writer has to say. Also we should understand that this is a position borne out of extreme circumstances and injustice. And the majority power in Canada is responsible for that and so is responsible for our care, respect and behaviour in how we approach this topic.

I believe in voting every much as NDPP believes in non-voting. And I have no business telling Aboriginal people how to react to this writer's call even though I can and should advocate for reconciliation and justice. Perhaps a thread could have opened instead to address the injustice towards Aborignal people in the context of the election and this could have been reported in it.

Sean in Ottawa

iyraste1313 wrote:

¨First Nations People have the challenge of dealing with a historical low turnout and very little power at the centre of our system¨

The reason the First Nations have little power in our system is because our system refuses to recognize their legal rights under international law, their rights to self determine their status as indigenous, their rights to control their territory, protect their family and community from the continual onslaughts of the federales, whetehr they be social service agencies, police agencies, ad nauseum.

To the idea that a vote for something like the NDP? which never never would recognize their rights, is likewise very distasteful.

 

Let's not conflate specific voting choices with the use of the right to vote.

We can debate which parties are worse -- or better -- or all the same. But to instruct people to not use a democratic right crosses a different line and should not involve outside participants.

In this election we have at least two parties calling for greater respect for First Nations and a Nation-to-Nation approach while we have one actively working against them and making their position worse. How Aboriginal people respond is a different question -- one based in their community. They have the problem of a huge difference in rhetoric that they can choose to reward at the ballot box or not -- or they can decide that what is being said is not worthy of trust given the history and behaviour of Canada. They can decide if, in spite of the disrespect shown them by this system, that the immediate concerns and differences warrant participation. Or if participation itself is more harmful. These may be difficult decisions for some. Election boycotts often are. But they need to be weighed by the people who are being addressed by this.

 

6079_Smith_W

Speaking of conflation, this is not a right to vote issue, as I already said. It concerns how people freely choose to exercise that right. Not voting is a valid choice.

Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Speaking of conflation, this is not a right to vote issue, as I already said. It concerns how people freely choose to exercise that right. Not voting is a valid choice.

Sorry Smith but this is not relevant since the conversation has not been framed in that way.

We are talking about people being advocated to not use a right -- nobody is saying this is about whether that right exists or not.

And not voting NDP or Liberal or any other party is not the same as not voting at all.

6079_Smith_W

Sean, it is only a rights issue if those rights are denied - like if one could make a case that onerous ID requirements constitute an unfair barrier.

Offering the opinion that people shouldn't vote? That's free expression, whether you and I like the advice or not. Near as I can tell people are free to take that advice or leave it. There is no affect on their rights at all.

 

 

NDPP

I am flattered that my influence is thought to be a serious threat to 'democracy' or 'vote suppression', but I hardly think so. To vote or not to vote, for coke, pepsi or the no difference party,  is a personal choice for FNs and non. My intention was to share the view of those who feel that participation in the elections of the Canadian colonizing settler-state is particularly problematic for FNs. A view I share. I have done that and won't be posting here further. 

"The happiest future for the Indian race is absorption into the general population, and this is the object and policy of our government."  - Duncan Campbell Scott, Indian Affairs, Canada

swallow

Slumberjack wrote:

If you happen across anything else in the vein of the OP I wouldn't mind hearing about it, as others have more or less said as well. 

Ditto. 

Slumberjack

If you happen across anything else in the vein of the OP I wouldn't mind hearing about it, as others have more or less said as well.  It seems obvious that the problem here involves assumption and generalization of FN voting intentions on the part of some of our politicos here.  Anything that might potentially impinge upon that, whaever fraction of the voting percentage for a favored party might be called into question, even in the least, gets treated like game to be shot at.  Every vote counts now that it's all off and running.  Which is why their outrage seems perfectly aligned with the outrageousness of their argument.

quizzical

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
takeitslowly wrote:
Sean in Ottawa, I can kind of understand what you mean. I wonder how many people on here are actually First Nation people...

I suspect not many. Unfortunately.

 

maybe not many. i'm FN heritage and my family has just been recognized as officially Metis. should have my Metis card before the election too. and i just may use it as my voter ID.

Sean in Ottawa

Slumberjack wrote:

If you happen across anything else in the vein of the OP I wouldn't mind hearing about it, as others have more or less said as well.  It seems obvious that the problem here involves assumption and generalization of FN voting intentions on the part of some of our politicos here.  Anything that might potentially impinge upon that, whaever fraction of the voting percentage for a favored party might be called into question, even in the least, gets treated like game to be shot at.  Every vote counts now that it's all off and running.  Which is why their outrage seems perfectly aligned with the outrageousness of their argument.

Don't make assumptions about my intentions or motivations. You are wrong. This has nothing to do with support for any particular party.

Slumberjack

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
You know your activism has jumped the shark when you've taken to telling people not to vote.

Actually that's a more accurate description of the other way around, when activism results in voting for party politics, ie: something one has been accustomed to doing for so long that they don't notice when it has outlived it's usefullness, except as a parody of itself for the amusement of onlookers.

Quote:
The fact that it's encouraging a specific group of disenfranchised visible minorities that you're not a part of, that just takes it to a disgusting level.

But you assume that voting actually enfranchises people.  There are some FN opinions out there challenging that assumption.  They deserve to be heard imo.  It's disgusting when people prefer that the few minority opinions gets buried in the interest of party politics.

socialdemocrati...

Those aren't my assumptions.

The sad sorry state of a lot of activism in 2015 is telling people what not to do, without ever spelling out any other viable path to change. Voting doesn't preclude further activism. Most of the activists I know who work in advocacy/NGOs/nonprofits also vote.

I don't assume anything. But if I did, I'd pick a safer assumption, like the lack of positive vision from people who merely post complaints on message boards are not just telling people not to vote, but have more or less given up on any further activism that could actually lead to political change. A safer assumption from nonvoting is inaction, not more action.

But like I said, I don't assume anything.

Slumberjack

Inaction implies not saying or doing anything.  I would argue that the inaction you're speaking of comes from the voting public itself.  What action does voting precipitate if it isn't a continuance of the inertia that characterizes the times we live in.

socialdemocrati...

At the risk of sounding academic, I'd say inaction comes from the state of the social system at large: including BOTH those who do and those who don't vote. What would the system look like if Aboriginal Canadians were enthusiastic voters, but older wealthier whiter voters largely did not vote? It would be a radically different universe.

It's a vicious cycle. Politicians learn to appeal to the major voting blocs, and ignore the non-voters. A non-voter could vote for a politician despite their ignorance, but why vote for someone who doesn't care about you? A politician could appeal to a non-voter, but how do you know they would show up on election day? It's a cold war that can only be bridged by both sides creeping towards each other.

Which is to say nothing about the relative ineffectiveness of nonvoting compared to voting, let alone the type of people who benefit from voter supression.

Pierre C yr

Its shocking to learn that FN on reserve only got the vote in 1960. For them to say not to vote, even for FN candidates that could be either in current parties, as independents, or as members of a FN party is dissapointing. When you dont vote you surrender your vote to everyone else who does.

quizzical

"them" aren't saying any thing!!!!!

Slumberjack

Pierre C yr wrote:
When you dont vote you surrender your vote to everyone else who does.

A crisis of legitimacy in the political system seems to be a real concern if there's talk about mandatory voting.  Non voting is an act that rejects the summons to capitulate once again come election time.  As an added gesture, why couldn't everyone set their party membership documents on fire and share the vids around to all of their friends as an incentive?

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