Some things worth checking out

Paths to the White House (note there are 431 ways for Obama to win and only 76 ways for Romney to win)

Live Election Results (currently giving me a slight heart attack)

Comment with other sites recommended; I’m a bit limited by what I can access in Vietnam.

 

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2012 USA Election

I’ve noticed an increased number of blog hits in the past while from people searching such things as ‘romney parental leave’ (or other variations of that) and ‘romney’s views on women.’ All I can say is that if you are taking the time to do your research, I commend you. Congratulations, an informed voter is my favourite kind.

Now all that being said, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have political representation that fights for basic human rights, and in my opinion, Romney is the farthest from that. Now, I’m not American, I am Canadian and living in Vietnam of all places. But I have seen first hand how American politics have the ability to influence politics and development around the world. No politician will be perfect, no one person or political party will meet all of your needs, but look beyond yourself and look at what is better for humankind in general. Do we want political representation that will force the world to take gargantuan steps BACKWARDS for womenkind? Do we want to regress (even more) on maternal health and gender equality? Do we want to spend money on ‘national defence’ that could be better used on health care and education? Not at all.

So I urge you, make the decision that is best for humankind, for people around the world, for the majority. Protect the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Protect existing human rights and women’s rights. Do not make the world move backward. We just can’t handle it anymore.

Why I will not be ‘put in a binder’ and other rants

I may not be American, but I recognize that American politics and issues have (and will continue to have) fairly significant impacts on Canadian politics (which still infuriates me to no end). I apologize as you read this, in fact maybe stop now. I seem to get progressively more and more angry as I think about this more..

I fail to understand why and how someone like Mitt Romney can be chosen to represent an entire political party and given the opportunity to speak in front of large crowds (for anything other than entertainment) when he so clearly fails to represent a significant portion of the population – women. When someone can make such horrendous comments as were made during the second debate, I can only hope that his representation ceases.

Women – 50.8% of the population of the United States  – should not be ignored. Women are not some obscure painting to be taken out of storage only for show, women are an equal, qualified, educated, MAJORITY of the population. Having equal female representation should not be a task or a chore, it should be a given that women have a fair share of positions in all levels of all employment sectors. You shouldn’t need a “binder full of women” to find qualified women, you should be working with women and working for women on a regular basis.

On top of that, you should learn how to cook, because if you think that women need flexible work schedules to take care of their family and get dinner on the table, you are part of the problem. You are part of the reason that women work a double day: the solution to women’s double work day is not to give them more job flexibility to do more housework; it’s to give ALL employees EQUAL job flexibility to have an EQUAL share of housework. You should be supporting men in taking parental leave and in taking time off work when their kids are sick.

In addition to that, single parents are NOT the reason that people walk around with weapons, the lax gun laws are the reason people walk around with weapons. We have plenty of single parents in Canada (I was even raised by divorced parents) and yet our gun violence is infinitely less of a problem here: why? Because we don’t walk around with handguns for ‘personal protection’. Maybe if you associated with single parents or really anyone other than white, upper-class Americans you would know that. Or, if you really want to have less households with single parents, increase sexual education, maintain access to abortions, and allow same-sex marriages! Why is that so hard to understand? I mean, I get it, and I was raised by divorced parents (which apparently means I should be violent and be carrying AK-47s around), I don’t have a university degree (yet), oh and I’m a woman..

Gender Gap of Women Voices in Broadcast TV, Radio & Print | 4thEstate.net

Gender Gap of Women Voices in Broadcast TV, Radio & Print | 4thEstate.net.

Check out this awesome infographic. It really highlights some of the issues in the USA, and I can’t help but wonder if it spills over into other nations as well.

Transparency: critical for politics, critical for development

In my usual manner of procrastination, I was searching through news sites and I came across an article that I found particularly alarming.

How would you feel if you found out that the availability of content online was being censored? Not only by a select few nations, but by the vast majority of nations and governments.

I was pretty shocked.

The internet is intended to be one of those areas for open communication, creativity, curiosity, and everything in between. It’s that safe space where you feel as though with enough research and time you can eventually find out the truth and learn both sides to the same story. Instead, its become this space of warfare between service providers and governments to determine what should and shouldn’t be available to the public.

The past six months have had over 1000 requests for content removal already.

To me, the internet exists almost as a global watchdog, its a tool or a mechanism for supervising the transparency of other parties. The internet is a way to monitor the transparency of other organizations (if we care enough to find out).

Who should determine what is offensive and what is appropriate? Is it the role of my government to determine what news I should and should not learn of? It scares me that learning about public issues and events is out of the hands of the public. It terrifies me that global events have happened without public awareness of it. Remember the Rwandan genocide?