Ontario Liberals hold their leadership convention this weekend at Maple Leaf Gardens -- a great choice of venue. The event belongs to a dying breed: brokered conventions. That means the wheeling, dealing and decision-making happen right there on the floor among delegates in real time. It runs counter to the trend toward more self-evidently democratic conventions, in which party members everywhere get to vote by mail or online -- the way the NDP chose Tom Mulcair last spring and federal Liberals will do so in April.
People remember 1929 as the year of the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, the global economic disaster which remains the only one in history that dwarfs the one in which we now find ourselves. It was also the year Martin Luther King Jr. was born, who wouldn't live to see 40 years. And it was the year that Langston Hughes graduated from Lincoln University, outside Philadelphia.
Hughes, the grandson of abolitionists and voting-rights activists, was an African-American writer. His poem "A Dream Deferred" begins:
"What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?"
All eyes are on Iowa this week, as the hodgepodge field of Republican contenders gallivants across that farm state seeking a win, or at least "momentum," in the campaign for the party's presidential nomination. But behind the scenes, a battle is being waged by Republicans -- not against each other, but against American voters. Across the country, state legislatures and governors are pushing laws that seek to restrict access to the voting booth, laws that will disproportionately harm people of colour, low-income people, and young and elderly voters.
Just before the last election I recieved via snail mail a request to prove my citizenship or not be included in the upcoming elections. I am a disabled adult with a disabled daughter, we are barely able to take care of our daily needs but I am asked to jump through hoops for something I have had the right to do since I was 18, but now is suddenly under question. Where did this agenda come from and most importantly, is this something that was geared to CPP-disability receipients so closely to the election as possible election habits were considered for those in this demographic? I have seen far pettier things done in the name of politics! Please respond if you feel your ability to vote was unjustly hampered.