The Briefing Note 08/03/24

The Briefing Note 08/03/24

Madame Premier
 A Note from Madame Premier's Sarah Elder-Chamanara
Maybe it's just me but this International Women's Day feels different. I'm seeing more written about the decline of feminism, what the feminist movement even means and it comes at a time when everything related to equity, diversity and inclusion is under a microscope, especially at the political level. This isn't to say that the feminist movement is actually in decline. I don't see it that way at all.
As much as women's healthcare, rights and so much more are being attacked, debated and dismantled, women are also pushing back, particularly in the United States. Pushing back against the limiting of abortion, against the recent ruling out of Alabama on IVF all in the face of Trump once again being the Republican candidate for president. Women who haven't had to fight for their rights, who have had the privilege of not having to be political, of not having their freedom threatened before, are now waking up to the fact that there is a segment of the population with a lifelong commitment to taking their rights away simply because they are women. And it's waking women up in Canada as well. 
Canadian women see what's happening to our neighbours in the United States and it's serving as a much needed jolt to the fact that we could one day be fight some of these same battles. There are very strong forces here in Alberta and around Canada that are watching what's happening in the States and wishing that it was happening here.
We only have to look at the supposed parental rights policies introduced in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and most recently in Alberta and book bans in schools across the country to see that the vile import of hate and intolerance disguised as care for kids has crossed the border.
There is so much of these issues that I think about every single day but one thing I keep going back to is the absolute hypocrisy of this level of government intervention into the the bodies, homes, schools and doctors offices by those that claim that what drives them is limited government intervention when what they are doing is actually inserting government into our lives in very, very intentional ways as long as it aligns with their own political ideology or that of segments of their political base that they need to keep onside to keep power.
But here is what these same politicians fear the most: us taking their power back. And while this might sound slightly foreboding, it's because for anyone on the other side of these issues, like me and hopefully you, I'm hoping its a reality check to pay attention and actually do something about it.
If that means joining a political party, even just volunteering, going to a school board meeting, requesting a meeting with your MLA, councillor or MP, donating, writing an op-ed to your local paper or even putting your name on a ballot. Do not allow yourself to be a by-stander to the democratic processes that will facilitate our own demise; be the person who intervenes on behalf of yourself and others and becomes the firewall between those who seek to take us back to a time that never should have existed in the first place and an equitable, inclusive and truly free future.

What Madame Premier is Listening To

The Curse of Politics is still my go-to Canadian political podcast. The addition of Jordan Leichnitz was a smart one. I love Kory Teneycke's insights and what I considering to be grounded Conservative commentary in contrast to almost everything else I read/see/consume from the CPC. And Scott Reid's rants (I hope it's ok I call them that) can be truly epic and unleash a lot of the thoughts I have in my own head about the direction, or lack thereof, and very likely collapse of the Liberal Party vote going into the next federal election as we get swept into what may likely be a Blue Crush.
I also love listening to West of Centre with Kathleen Petty. West of Centre drills down on Alberta politics and I love listening to episodes that feature economist Trevor Tombe (pronounced like "tomb" for anyone unsure) because he can explain really complex economic policies and anything math into something that I can actually understand.
And I would be a bad podcast host to not mention that I also love my own podcast Ellected. I'm doing a series of live podcasts with all of the people (so far women!) in the race. Last Sunday Rakhi Pancholi was in the store and on Saturday Kathleen Ganley will be here. Sarah Hoffman, whom I've never met before but am very excited to, will be here on March 24th and I actively working on booking a date with Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse and anyone else who gets into the race before the March 15th deadline. These events and the podcasts are for anyone in Alberta who is already on Team NDP or anyone who might be NDP Curious. I'm not a member of the Alberta NDP so I won't be voting but I do care about having a strong opposition and opposition leader no matter what party is in government or opposition. 

What Madame Premier is Reading

I'm going to be honest and share that I am having a really hard time getting back into reading. As a young girl, you couldn't get books out of my hands but since having kids and the start of the pandemic, my attention span for reading is really limited. That being said, my obsession with news continues to go strong. As unhealthy as it is, before going to sleep I read my regular rotation of sites starting with Fox, going to CNN, BBC, CBC and CTV. You might be wondering why I read Fox and I will also share that I am also a regular watcher of Fox on TV because even though it's not a place that I consider an always legitimate source of news, the commentary that Fox offers gives invaluable insights into what a lot of Americans, and Canadians, are watching, talking about and most importantly, believing. I think of it like good opposition research - you need to know what is being said and discussed on the other side in order to be informed. And in a world where misinformation is rampant, I want to be armed with all sides of information so that I can make informed decisions about what I consume and also with what I share on Madame Premier.

What Madame Premier is Watching

Besides blasting through the new season of Forumla 1 Drive to Survive (hello to my fellow F1 fans!), here's what I've watched recently or just really love:

Bank of Dave on Netflix for a really feel good watch.

Love Korean dramas? Try Queenmaker on Netflix.

You have to watch The Family. It will open your eyes to some of the conservative religious infiltration and the outsized influence of a movement on a mission to control the highest levels of American politics.

Mary for Mayor on YouTube or Prime is a good one for kids and families. It might inspire some future runs for mayor!

There is a series called Elected from Brazil that tells the story of a very, very, very unlikely election of an influencer getting elected as president. It's obviously satire but it cuts deep when you think where we are politically and with the age of social media.

I am also trying to make more videos to share on Instagram/the internet to not only make the Algorithm God happy but to share news and issues that I care about and hope others care about too. 




What Madame Premier is Doing

I mean, I'm a mom of a five year old and a six year old so am I really doing anything?! My kids are at an age where they want me to put them to bed so I really focus on being there for them and occasionally make the time to do things outside of reading books that name every single Pokemon character in alphabetical order. 

I constantly feel like I am going in so many directions and wish that I could be more focused, do more, be in more places, driving more change. I also acknowledge that it's much easier to focus on what I'm not doing than to focus on everything that I am doing. A really common question women in politics are asked is "How do you do it all?" and the answer that I hear 99% of the time is that they have help. A supportive partner, but most of the time it's paid help. And if you have it, I am genuinely so happy for you. I mean it. I see that it can be a total game-changer in terms of what you can do in a day.

The newest installation at my neighbour Viviane Art by Toronto artist Winnie Truong is STUNNING. Truong's art is so detailed, so feminine, so beautiful. Winnie Truong herself will be at Viviane Art tomorrow for the opening, so if you are in Calgary, come see it for yourself and meet her.

Beautiful Man at Motel Theatre in Calgary. Pulling this straight from the Arts Commons website, "In this biting satire about the portrayal of women in film and television, three friends take us on a whirlwind tour of a world where women rule society as politicians, hunters, queens and policewomen - all while gazing at the semi-nude Beautiful Man. This comedy joyfully exposes the insidious and toxic aspects of popular culture with a sense of playful audacity."

The Canadian Women in Medicine conference is happening May 23 to 25 in Halfiax this year.

And some big dates to keep in mind and on your political calendars:

March 15th is the deadline to get into the Alberta NDP leadership race.

April 16th is when we will find out the details of the next federal budget

April 22nd is the membership deadline for the Alberta NDP leadership 

June 22nd is the Alberta NDP leadership election which makes June 23rd the day a lot of people will get to kind of rest!

October 17th are municipal elections in Yukon

October 19th are municipal and provincial elections in my home province of BC and you may see me out door knocking if and when I get the chance to go back

October 21 is the date of a provincial election in New Brunswick and municipal elections in the North West Territories

October 28th is the date Saskatchewan heads to the polls for their next provincial election. It's going to be one to watch as the Saskatchewan Party goes up against a competitive NDP!

And then just weeks later, Saskatchewan will be back to vote in municipal elections on November 13th

Upcoming Events at Madame Premier

Kathleen Ganley
Free tickets available here but there are only a couple left!
Sarah Hoffman

 Free tickets available here!

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