Sunday, October 18, 2015

Trudeau's Liberals, Nanas and Suffrage Marches (just another day at work for me.)


This is how I want to feel Tuesday, the day after the 2015 Federal election. This is a NANA by Niki Saint Phalle from Expo67.

1967, Canada's best year ever.

I don't know how I felt seeing it for the first time at 12, but this image seems liberating these days.

I'm working on my book, Service and Disservice, about the 1917 Conscription Crisis,still being played out these days each Federal election, especially in my riding, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, where it looks like the Justin Trudeau's Liberals are leading.

The Suffragists of Canada had a big part to play in the fiasco and not just Nellie McClung as reported by historians. None of this was covered in Canada, Then and Now, the grade 8 history book I was using right at that time.

I'm poring over all the clips I have of news items and getting things straight in my head: it's all very complicated.

This fountain is at Place Ville Marie in Montreal. When I was 12, I ventured into Montreal from Rosemere with a friend to attend a huge rally there for Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In 1968, I guess.  Imagine. I couldn't even vote! I recall, we started at the front, but got pushed to the back, there were so many people there.


Yesterday, I realized that the Montreal Suffrage Association announced its imminent launch on February 29, 1913, just a week or two after someone (Caroline Kenney) threatened to organize a suffrage 'tramp' from Montreal to Ottawa in the style of Rosalie Jones' Pilgrims, who walked from New York to Washington in late February, early March to attend the huge parade there.

These pilgrims received a lot of press for their actions: they were very theatrical, after all.


So, my 'fictional' bit in Furies Cross the Mersey, where I have a group of Royal Victorial College Students try to start a march on the Mount Royal Club, is not far from the mark.

The only difference, I have their march come after the launch of the Montreal Suffrage Association.

As I've written on the this blog, the Montreal Elite did not want any young, 'excitable' women in their suffrage movement.

You couldn't join their organization unless TWO members of the executive OK'd it. Two, not one. And the MSA executive was made up of Millionaire wives, Clergymen and McGill Profs.

Read Furies Cross the Mersey here.

As it happens, there was a Canadian delegation at the Washington Suffrage Parade, made up of matronly Ontario suffragists, including Flora Macdonald Denison of the Canadian Suffrage Association and Constance Hamilton of the Toronto Suffrage League who would soon split off from Denison and create her own National Equal Franchise Union. Hamilton would be instrumental in allowing Borden to 'fix' the 1917 Conscription Election.
Ontario Delegation to March 3, 1913 Washington Suffrage Parade.


I'm going to a preview of the movie Suffragette on Thursday. Yea!

I hope I'm feeling as happy as that NANA then.
Jackie Kennedy at Expo. Very glamourous. I saw Bobby Kennedy there, or at least his hair as he was surrounded with body guards. Alas, not enough of them.