My parents never discussed their personal political views as I grew up, but they taught me that to be informed and to vote is an important aspect of being a part of society. They didn't want to push their own views on me, but rather let me find my own way, listening to debates and sorting through political platforms.
I vote in every election. I read up on the party leaders and my local candidates. I try to attend our local all-candidates meeting and debate. I sort out my own feelings on the different issues and categorize them into priorities. I've always known that I should participate, but today I read an article that articulated perfectly why it's so important.
Women constitute 51% of Canadian voters. I bet I could say most of them are mothers, or have the mothering instinct in them. That means if we all got out to vote, we would have total control of who is elected to govern our country. We could have our voice heard, and lead this country where it needs to go.
Here are some excerpts from the article that inspired me today:
"Why Moms Need to Vote"
Since becoming a parent, I've tapped into something more primal, more global, more far-reaching and intuitive than a political loyalty. Yes, I (usually) identify with a particular party, but I'll back any politician, any bill or measure that I believe to be in the best interest of children. My kids. Iraqi kids. Sudanese kids. Your kids...
The problem is not our failure to vote. It's also our hesitation (frequently inspired - it's true - by exhaustion) to stand up, speak out, and rock the boat even as we're rocking the cradle. It's our failure to recognize, celebrate, and effectively seize the vast power inherent in the mothering role...
We all have dreams, and here is mine: that one day, all mothers will use their political power and voice not in the way that the media and our husbands, pastors, fathers, and political leaders direct us to, but rather as we're led by our personal wisdom, our deepest intuition, our maternal instinct...
I dream of a day when the image of a woman with a child in tow is the first one that comes to mind when people hear the word "activist." I envision a country in which voters' primary concerns revolve not around oil and money, but around the issues facing families and children, issues like health care, education, paid family leave, and flexible workplaces....I picture a day when the driving force behind politics in my country is not power or money, but maternal love.
If my experience raising three children has taught me one thing, it's this: There is no more powerful political act than mothering. There is no greater reason than my children for me to become politically involved, and there is no more important work to put my efforts to than those things that will make this world a better, safer place for my kids. And your kids, too.