Toronto
2 min

Having a political party

Vote, baby, vote

It drives me nuts when people write on their online profile sites that they’re not interested in politics. It’s a total character flaw for me. How can you be so uninterested in the affairs that govern your life and the lives of the people close to you?

All levels of government affect queer people, from municipal politics (where things like zoning laws directly influence club life) to provincial politics (the only level of government where Pride Toronto funding seems to be secure) to the federal (where things like arts funding and Stephen Harper’s massive bungle of the AIDS Vaccine Initiative are issues).

The idea of voting should be beaten into us! And I don’t mean beaten like human rights violations. I mean the untz untz kind! Instead of the umpteenth spin of a Lady Gaga song with a superficial message, I’m hoping that sometime soon I’ll hear a DJ spinning a different songstress. That would be Lady Miss Kier, of Deee-Lite fame. Although the legendary ’90s house band is no more, they once put out a track about being registered to vote.

“Vote, baby, vote! Are you registered, baby?” They made it seem cool and fun to have your part in the democratic process, and casting political imagery in terms of nightlife is something that we should see more of.

Think about it for a hot second. Could our national parties be viable as actual parties? I say yes.

If the Liberal Party were a bar, it would be fly — free-lovers have now become part of the establishment. They like bright colours, loud music and are generally sluttier than their Conservative peers. Sure, George Smitherman has outgrown his party phase, but slip him a glow-stick and I bet his hands would be in the air in a heartbeat. In favour of healthy attitudes toward sexuality and always busy, the Liberal Party seems at odds with its leader. I envision Michael Ignatieff upstairs at fly, apart from the hoi polloi but keeping his eye on us like a parent, ready to swoop in with a long boring lecture before hopping on a plane to Florida (or Boston or Connecticut or whatever bourgie place in the US he came from).

Woody’s screams “Tory” to me: steady as she goes, faithfully building followers regardless of what else is going on. Currently ruling the Church St roost the way the Conservatives rule Ottawa, no one would ever accuse our friends at Woody’s (who’ve done more AIDS fundraising and outreach than the PCs ever have) as being particularly cutting edge. Remember how the Canadian Alliance party folded into the Conservatives? Attached at the hip but not really talked about? That would be Sailor. I can totally see Harper in the banquettes at the back, sternly controlling the stage-cam.

Poor, poor, NDP. I like them, consider myself a member, but the fact is no one seems to be going to their party. It’s a shame, because they have skilled people at the helm, a glorious past and reflect the values that many of us hold dear. However, they can’t seem to fill up space on Parliament Hill. They’re like the old building where Zelda’s used to be — so much potential, but in need of a little redo. Get out the Spackle, the paint, maybe build the inside a bit, and bam! — they’d be the Orange revolution we need.

In my party-as-party world, the Greens would be The Beaver. Doing their own thing, of no real threat to the other parties, yet with a rabidly dedicated following. Elizabeth May couldn’t participate in the televised debates, so she might as well get her groove on at John Caffery’s Mighty Real party.

Even if you vote for the Communist Party of Canada (The Communist’s Daughter on Dundas St?), make like Deee-Lite and Vote, Baby, Vote. Show up in platform heels, head to the polls late, have an election night pre-drink. Do whatever you have to do. Your party needs you.