It’s election time in Canada and there are plenty of highly criticized tools, like CBC’s Vote Compass, that you can use to figure out how you should vote. If none of those do it for you and you still don’t know where to place your X on May 2 (you are going to vote, right? right? RIGHT?), maybe this post will help. Just figure out which party’s platform is the closest fit with your parenting style and you’re good to go.
Conservative Bad Moms
You do the crime, you do the time. These moms believe in maximum punishments for deviance and plan to keep increasing the length of time outs. Punishment is prevention for these moms…no need to create an environment where crime rates would be lower, just punish, punish, punish. That’ll teach ‘em.
When their old car is falling apart, Conservative bad moms go down to the SUV dealership and buy the biggest, safest-looking SUV on the lot without comparing the prices or features with other available models to get the best value for money. School buses aren’t safe enough — these moms drive their children to school and pick them up every day in the Hummer. They will brag to their friends and neighbours about the great job they are doing keeping their family safe with this expensive new car. They may even set up an “I Love My Hummer” Facebook page, provide daily updates on how great it is, and block anyone who says anything to the contrary.
Allowances are kept to a minimum. These moms expect their kids to get a paper route, start up a lemonade stand, or find some other way of earning money outside of the home if they want or need anything. The price of school lunches is going up, but there are no increases in the kids’ lunch money. They are expected to eat less or make up the difference by getting a job.
These moms are secretive and evasive, e.g. “Never mind why you can’t go on the school trip…I said no (by inserting “not” on the permission form your dad signed)…and that is that…discussion over.” Conservative bad moms spend a lot of money on whatever they want, but don’t give anyone else in the family any say over family expenses.
Liberal Bad Moms
These moms tell their kids they can be anything they want to be. They help their kids with their homework, take care of them when they are sick, and take them on international vacations that allow them to learn about the world and understand their place in it. They serve healthy meals, ensure their kids get enough exercise, and limit access to junk food. They use flash cards and memory games to keep their kids’ minds sharp.
Liberal bad moms tell their kids that if they get good grades, they can go to university… but there is a catch: they’ll only cover a tiny fraction of the cost. The part that they do cover is going to come directly out of Dad’s golf money, so the kids had better stay clear of him on Sundays. The rest they’ll have to figure out on their own (perhaps they can create a high-tech start-up in the basement like that kid from Facebook).
Checking and re-checking the budget is a priority for these moms. Saving always comes first and planned family expenses and indulgences will be canceled to ensure the bills can be paid (poor Dad won’t be getting those new golf clubs and the European cruise vacation will be replaced with a 3 star hotel in Punta Cana). If the family finances do come out ahead, mom will pay down the mortgage, replace the water heater or install solar panels on the roof instead of reinstating privileges.
These moms are open and happy to discuss any issue with their kids. Liberal bad moms also constantly remind their kids how much nicer they are than the evil mom next door. She is ruining her kids’ lives and this mom ensures that everyone knows it.
New Democrat Bad Moms
Recycling, cutting energy use, and reducing their impact on the environment are big priorities for these moms. They drive compact cars or use public transit and are known to frequent the local farmer’s market. They make their kids wear hand-me-downs and when they do buy new, they buy “made in Canada” products. Instead of buying the latest Disney movie for their kids, they buy arts and crafts materials and encourage the kids to make their own puppets and theatres to create home-grown productions.
These moms believe that all of their children deserve a fighting chance and they may take away from the more talented, beautiful, intelligent children in order to give more attention, gifts, or opportunities to the less fortunate children in the family to help them succeed and overcome their difficulties. The talented, beautiful, intelligent children will resent their mom and their siblings for this forever.
The kids are all expected to help out around the house and are compensated for doing so. Chore assignment and allowance rates are established through bargaining at family meetings that take place at least twice per year. Coming to a consensus on priorities is important to these moms — successful families are those that work together. The kids get some of their allowance money now, but some of it is also put away for them to help them establish themselves when they move out.
Instead of focusing on punishment, New Democrat bad moms arrange for appropriate supervision (parents, babysitters, teachers) and ensure that their kids don’t start hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Green Bad Moms
These moms always have a positive outlook on life and are very focused on investing in the family’s future.
Green bad moms realize that the lemons the kids are buying for the lemonade stand cost almost as much as they are earning with their little venture. Because of that, and the pollution from idling cars lining up at the“drive thru” counter, mom has decided to stop investing in the lemonade stand and is encouraging the kids to come up with more environmentally friendly business ideas.
These moms believe that everyone in the family, kids included, deserve to be treated with dignity. Everyone in the family gets a say in things like vacation planning, menu planning, educational choices, and so on. All voices are equal and even the smallest and weakest family members have an equal say. Information is shared freely in the family at the dinner table, through family calendars, and family meetings. The family values focus on making decisions that benefit the whole family and that demonstrate leadership in the neighbourhood.
Community is extremely important for these moms. They discourage their kids from signing up for competitive hockey. Instead, they would like their kids to spend their free time helping out elderly neighbours and weeding the community garden. Green bad moms think it is extremely important that everyone be on their best behaviour all of the time and set an example when it comes to reducing, re-using and recycling.
Bloc Quebecois Bad Moms
Family traditions and culture are very important for these moms and they work extremely hard to protect their children from outside influences and mainstream culture that may erode their own culture. These moms only speak French to their children and refuse to answer when their children speak to them in English.
Bloc Quebecois bad moms have been threatening a divorce for years and dragging the kids through the mud the whole time. The problem is, mom hasn’t figured out how to divorce dad without giving him some access to the kids. So in the meantime, she’s staying married and fighting for what she thinks is right for the kids at the dinner table each night. Dad desperately wants to stay married and alternates between pretending to pander to mom’s every whim and desire and telling her that if she doesn’t want to be part of the family, she doesn’t get a say at all.
These moms try to control as much of the family budget as possible. They have interesting ideas for investing in the family’s future, but they are costly too and they need to retain control over the purse strings to make things happen. For example, Bloc Quebecois bad moms really want to get rid of the old gas guzzling family van and replace it with an electric car. They also want to invest a lot of money in improving the family home and property.
Square Peg, Round Hole
When it comes to parenting styles, there is rarely a perfect fit between a mom’s chosen approach and a by-the-book parenting style. The same goes for political parties. It is rare to find one that meets all of your expectations. With parenting, we can pick and choose what we like from one style and combine it with another. We can also slack off a bit, “bad mom” style. When it comes to politics, however, we’re only allowed one X. It isn’t a perfect system, but being able to choose from a variety of imperfect political “bad moms” is better than being stuck with the worst of the bad moms (whichever one you think that is), isn’t it? VOTE!
Note: This is intended to be a fun post on an otherwise serious and often contentious topic. The political “bad mom” write-ups are my quick interpretation of the very long and detailed platforms of the political parties (which I would encourage you to read). Please do not take the characterisations too seriously! If you do want to learn about the real issues facing families, tune in this week at PhD in Parenting as I dissect the family, parenting and women’s issues in each party’s platform. Also, don’t forget to check out the Mom The Vote facebook page to discuss election issues with other Canadian moms.