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Cover Image of The Plot Against America : A Novel by Philip Roth published by Houghton Mifflin Co
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How Would These Famous Authors Have Voted?

abstract:The Huffington Post came up with a feature looking at the political persuasion of a list of famous authors based on their books. I include the list of authors with an "R", "D" or "L" for Libertarian: Aldous Huxley, D; Virginia Woolf, D; Langston Hughes, L; Ayn Rand, R; Jane Austen, D; C.S. Lewis, R; Alan Ginsberg, L; Upton Sinclair, D; and F. Scott Fitzgerald, D. You can easily predict which bias they'd take but I thought it would be interesting to apply a similar exercise to Canadian politics, which due to the fact we've got 4 national parties (19 officially registered ones!) makes the job a bit trickier. See what you think. I've limited the choices to: Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green on the basis that the rest of the parties do not have support in all jurisdictions.

Margaret Atwood: her writing spans genres and she defies categorization having won Science Fiction awards (she prefers Speculative Fiction) and feminist fiction (she prefers "writing in the feminist genre"). She has railed against the Harper government over cuts to the arts and the national arts institutes like the CBC and essays against the Free Trade Agreement. Influenced early by her father, a forest entomologist, her rural upbringing (did not attend school full time until gr8) may have helped to set her on the path of greenie. She and her writer-husband are staunch supporters of GPC.

Robertson Davies: son of a newspaperman and Liberal Senator, Davies had a wonderful education and in addition to writing 30 books (The Deptford Trilogy is about a newspaper family) purchased several newspaper outlets. He taught literature at Trinity College, was a playwrite and lover of theatre and Jungian philosophy. A close friend of John Kenneth Galbraith. Stephen Heuser's eulogy of Davies categorized him as a "Libertine Rascal". I can't place him in a party. I'd say he was a Humanist who voted Liberal.

Margaret Lawrence: this Manitoba writer lived with her civil engineer husband in Somaliland and Ghana when it was colonially run. She had two children in Africa. Her early writing reflects her life there in reaction to colonial rule. Her later novels, The Diviners and Stone Angel have characters who span the changing roles, attitudes and opportunities of women in Canada. An advocate for world peace, human rights and Canadian aboriginal rights, she would have voted for the party who best served those values.

Will Fergusan: Humorist and novelist Why I Hat Canadians, Beautry Tips from Moose Jaw among other titles won him Canada's prizes for humor. His recent novel won him the Giller Prize. Born in rural Alberta 800 miles north of Edmonton then time in Regina then Saskatoon, he eventually moved to Japan to teach English where he met and married his wife Terumi. An anti-royalist in his politics who curiously wore his clan kilt to pick up his Giller Prize, I would definitely say the gent swings toward middle-left.


November 16, 2012
Alice Munro: Canada's quintessential shortstory writer is credited with a "power to express what her characters experience as a more or less permanent condition of uncertainty and ambivalence. Her skill lies in rendering these layers of consciousness in the idiom of her time and place, and conveying them in deceptively simple fashion." (Canadian Encyclopedia) She has lived and set most of her work in rural Ontario, and sprinkled some writing with experiences reflecting her time on the west coast in BC. Because rural Canada is much like rural America, I think that Munro would vote Conservative. Damn the windfarm generators.



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