Welcome to Manitoba, where provincial politics have degraded into an inability to make good decisions, have productive conversations or effectively represent anything other than individual interests of re-election.
Realistically, politics is often a dirty game between opposing sides of the aisle. Even when they are being polite to one another the venom is swirling and any opportunity to drag the other through mud will be pounced upon like a cat stalking a mouse. So what is so shockingly terrible about Manitoba’s provincial government right now?
Well, from my perspective and from my personal experience, the Conservatives in this province have turned a deaf ear to the very people they are supposed to be advocating for and representing. They refuse to communicate, respond or account to anyone who may ask questions about the issues that matter to them. The issues that directly affect them. A culture has been created where only those in agreement get a seat at the table, and those in public office actively block, ignore, screen out and silence those who are asking them to do their jobs- to represent the people who elected them in the first place.
For me, that means everyone gets a voice, and no matter how an MLA or any other representative feels about what is being said, they don’t get to effectively censor the dialogue because they are uncomfortable or unequipped to give appropriate answers. They aren’t the “Appropriation Police” who get to dismiss people because they have one hand on their pearls and their head in their ass while being either too incompetent to deal with being in the hot seat or too weak to take the stand that needs taking.
Personally, I’ve gone a few rounds with my MLA Audrey Gordon. I’ve since written her 3 emails asking for meetings to discuss everything from her public mocking of trans folk, supporting Springs Church and her position on the Premier’s words on Residential Schools. I have not even received an acknowledgement from her office that I exist.
After the fiasco with her church back in May, Audrey removed herself from Facebook, shut her office door and stopped answering her phone. Her assistant Jana regularly posts pictures of Audrey in gardening costumes and yellow pantsuits on community Facebook pages but turns off the commenting so that the only person who gets to have a say is Audrey. She effectively cut herself off from anyone whose voice is not in alignment with hers.
Andrewwhosew Smith recently blocked constituents for asking him to do more than post selfies and government bulletins and stand up for educators and Indigenous folks.
Heather Stefanson won’t even make room in her schedule for the Federal Health Minister.
Cliff Cullen won’t respond to repeated emails from school boards requesting a meeting regarding the massive upcoming changes to education.
Shall I go on?
NONE of this is ok.
We are a democracy, and democracy depends on everyone having a voice that is represented without bias by the people we elect to do so. Refusing to have conversations with anyone except your elite posse who are busily stroking you off is not democracy. Ramming through bills that affect all of us despite obvious monumental and bipartisan public opposition is not democratic. Allowing a Premier and Minister of Indigenous Relations to justify the cultural genocide of an entire nation of people and standing by them is not becoming of a democracy.
I don’t know what we can do. It’s so frustrating. I can troll a bitch on Twitter all day long but what good is it going to do unless we all make it our mission to get rid of these fucking assholes in 2023?
Seriously Bitches. The gloves are off. VOTE THEM OUT.