rabble radio episode 168: Get out and vote!

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It felt like summer was over when we got word of the election call, didn't it? OK, so now that Stephen Harper has spoiled our summer fun, time to spoil some of his.

It works in the favour of Stephen Harper's Conservatives if voters stay home. Today we'll talk about why it's necessary for YOU ... to get out and vote.  

We'll also hear about strategies to get out the vote among people who traditionally don't vote.

Item 1:

Be the Vote is a new organization that's taking action. It was started by a group of young Canadians passionate about getting youth to vote. They believe that youth must be an active and relevant force if they want politicians to listen to them. Victoria Fenner talks to Grace Kennedy, a student of Social Work at McMaster University in Hamilton. She's the founder and executive director of Be The Vote.

Item 2:

Getting Out the Student Vote - In July of 2015, the Canadian Federation of Students lost a court challenge and subsequent appeal in an attempt to have the Fair Elections Act ruled unconstitutional. Roman Jakubowski is president of the Lakehead Student Union in Thunder Bay.

He spoke to the National Campus Community Radio program and the rabble podcast Groundwire, produced this month by Kootenay Co-op Radio in Nelson, B.C. They talked about how the Lakehead University Students Union will be supporting students' access to voting.

Item 3:

Voting in prison is a constitutional right. According to CBC News report last week, 54 per cent of federal inmates cast a ballot in the last election. The following is an excerpt of a an interview with Joan Ruzsa, first heard on The Prison Radio Show. The Prison Radio Show is broadcast from CKUT in Montreal. The show seeks to confront the invisibility of prisons and prisoner struggle, by focusing on the roots of incarceration, policing, and criminalization, and by challenging our ideas about what prisons are and the people inside our jails. Joan Ruzsa speaks on behalf of Rittenhouse, an agency dedicated to bringing healing, transformative justice instead of retributive justice in the criminal justice system. She explains the process for voting inside federal prisons.

Thanks to the NCRA's program Groundwire for that clip.

Item 4: 

Here at rabble.ca, we've been preparing for the dropping of the writ for many months. One of the highlights of our winter/spring season was an event which we sponsored with Canadian Dimension magazine. George Lakoff is an American cognitive linguist and author of Don't Think of an Elephant. He spoke to a crowd in Toronto about how conservative values have come to dominate public discourse. One of the things he talked about was voters in the middle, the ones who are conservative (small c) in some ways, progressive in other ways. Everybody is courting the centrist vote. Those are the swing voters. They could go any which way. They represent growth for every political party. That's why it's so important for political parties to try to understand them.

George Lakoff provides these insights into the mind of the moderate conservative.

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