Wednesday, June 09, 2004

on News of the Wacky

Political correctness has killed the bar and club industry of New Jersey.

Yesterday, the top civil rights official of New Jersey ruled in favour of a man named David Gillespie, who sued a nightclub for “discrimination”. The reason? Gillespie alleged, and the judge agreed, that “ladies nights” at clubs and bars discriminate against men, who are forced to pay more for their drinks, and pay a cover charge when women get in for free.

Is this true? Yes.

Is it ridiculous? Of course.

Now it is illegal for a club in New Jersey to have a ladies night. Associated Press reports that the governor of New Jersey was critical of this decision, calling it “bureaucratic nonsense”. This makes sense, as he is the person most responsible for making New Jersey economically sound, and the judge there has just given him the equivalent of an economic kick to the groin.

New Jersey is a small state. The bars there compete with each other, and in most cases, bars in nearby Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania. While Pennsylvania has a similar ban, bars in New York and Delaware that are smart will shortly be aggressively promoting their ladies nights, and presumably drawing large chunks of the Jersey crowd, most of whom don’t mind driving half an hour to a bar in a nearby state.

Ladies like ladies nights because they get in for free and get cheap drinks. Many men like ladies nights because they pay less for their girlfriends to get in, the ladies nights draw large crowds, and if they are feeling sleazy and decide to buy a woman a drink, it’s cheaper.

The idiocy of this all is that this “huge victory” was won in the face of a world where discrimination against women is still rampant.

Women make less money than men. Women are elected to office less. Female movie stars get retired earlier than males do. Less women are university professors. Our esteemed leader, Lorna Marsden, is one of nine female university presidents in a country with 100 universities.

The States is no different.

So what has the state of New Jersey’s civil rights enforcement division taught us?

In the words of the funny man from Ikea -

You discriminate against men – that’s discrimination.

You discriminate against women – that’s ok.

- First published in the opinions section of York University's Excalibur, June 9, 2004

on doing politics the Canadian way

What does it mean to be Canadian in Canada in 2004?

According to Paul Martin, it means voting Liberal.

For 11 years, the country’s Liberal government has begun to consider itself and its values the defining characteristics of that which is Canada.

We should know better.

It has become increasingly clear in recent months that Canada’s Liberal hegemony is destroying our country. Canada’s federal politics have been a one-party system in recent years, so much so that the government expected, at least until a few weeks ago, that their reign would continue uninterrupted.

As a proud Canadian, I have every intention of standing up for the values I espouse by going to the polls on June 28 – and NOT voting Liberal.

To be Canadian means to believe in diversity – diversity of culture and diversity of opinion.

It’s more than ok to be different in Canada. Diversity is encouraged, prized and celebrated, both in Canada and at York.

That’s why I won’t vote Liberal – because I won’t vote for a party that defines “Canadian” by political ideology or that wants me to think inside the red Liberal box. The Liberal party of Canada is jeopardizing Canada’s true values by their desire to be Canada’s sole voice.

York students have a lot of reasons to vote. OSAP is hard to get. We have futures in this country, and the decisions made this election will impact our post-secondary education and our lives in the workplace after York.

In many ways, things are not so great. The four major party leaders – Duceppe, Harper, Layton and Martin – are all blue-eyed white men. Female participation is lower than it should be.

But as Bob Dylan wrote, the times, they are a’changin.

Canadians are learning that every vote counts.

Canadians are sick of lies and broken promises and they are sick of the government taking baby steps, when any are taken at all. The Liberal party has proved themselves to be fickle, indecisive and adherent to no major values. They have done more bad than good in the last 11 years and don’t deserve their position of domination in Canada’s political system. Canadians are mobilizing for change, and demanding that the next government do a better job of running our country.

Every York student who has ever complained about OSAP, education, taxes or foreign policy has a duty and an obligation to vote on June 28. Every major party has a website – the information is out there. History has shown that every vote counts and every person matters.

Demand better transportation. Demand better student loan funding. Demand coherent, moral foreign policy. Use your voice, and demand a government that is responsive to you.

If you’re unhappy with the status quo, demand better.

- Editorial published June 9, 2004 in York University's Excalibur