VOTE OUT POVERTY (a few days later…)

On Monday October 1st, Mary Walsh hosted a timely event at Toronto’s Massey Hall, entitled VOTE OUT POVERTY. Musicians, politicians and other well-known and not-so-well-known faces joined together to rally for attention to the cause.

Observation: Mary Walsh is quite funny and incredibly intelligent.

The Frommage: The Nylons reminded me of a period in my life that I would rather forget… I kept thinking someone was gonna mention Jesus and how I have yet to accept him as my Lord and savior, but they didn’t. They did, however add a certain CHEESE factor to the evening that made it feel like a Christian rally.

Political Highlights and Low Blows: 3 representatives from certain choice political parties were available to answer the question, “How will your party make poverty history?” They each had 3 minutes. The Liberal representative answered first, and immediately made me angry.

Now it must be noted that much of this rally felt like an NDP orgy, it was very evident who the audience was and what they cared about. Kudos to the Liberal representative for anticipating her audience, noodles to her for name dropping (read: exploiting) a popular, recently deceased woman, who’s work is respected particularly by the NDP-ers . Her first sentence was something about her wanting to note how glad she is that the liberals did work with June Callwood. I seriously stopped listening after she said this, because I figured I would start yelling profanities if she continued on this stream of thought.

The next candidate to speak was the PC representative, and she was actually decidedly dumber than the liberal. Good to sandwich her in the middle. She literally spent the first minute reiterating the fact that poverty is bad and it sucks that we have it. From the moment she opened her mouth, I though, “Duh!” Articulate, I know. Thankfully Mary Walsh was feeling the same and chose to chime in with “WE KNOW THIS ALREADY, THATS WHY WE’RE HERE, NOW WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT!?” It was hilarious, but useless. The lady spent the rest of her speech being repetitive, and the crowd spent the rest of her speech hissing.

Next was the NDP representative. Everyone immediately loved him -NDP orgy, I told you, But this fact shouldn’t undermine the fact that he actually gave some valid points without using blatant bullshit tactics. There was talk about affordable housing, and increasing the minimum wage to $10/hr, which is necessary, immediately…etc.

But good ol’ Mary didn’t let him off that easy. It can’t be all hoots and whistles for him after the other two trainwrecks.

“What about the Rae days?” I believe he actually stood by certain actions of that time…I don’t really remember, but I do remember him reiterating the other promises. Repetition is key. Repetition is key.

The Green Party representative was not absent. He showed, but was called away for a personal emergency, or something less alarming sounding.

Ding, Dong, Ding: Maybe it was the Xylophone, maybe it was me (its usually me), but Toronto’s Hidden Cameras reminded me of my high school band. Thats not a bad thing, but its not a good thing and it is a weird thing.

George Stroumboulopoulos Presents…: Our very much appreciated host of The Hour was in attendance to hose down the cheese factor, and bring us an excellent and very passionately delivered speech to introduce The Mr. Stephen Lewis. No noodles, just Kudos George.

THE Stephen Lewis: His speech began and ended the same way: with standing ovations. Stephen Lewis is a compassionate man and an articulate and inspiring speaker that is dedicated to making poverty a primary political concern. The ovations were well-deserved.

His speech was saturated with facts, figures, notes and finely crafted sentences highlighting the problem of poverty in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the world. He noted that our governments are not doing enough, and we need to use our votes and our voices to change that. I distinctly remember one thing he said, and I think it sums up the point to the evening.

It is degrading to argue over pennies

when we have billions

and people are starving.

All cheese and political manipulation aside, we were all there to acknowledge the reality of poverty and provoke change. The unfortunate part is that (I believe) they were preaching to the choir.


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