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Women in politics
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:35 pm    Post subject: Women in politics Reply with quote

A general thread on the topic, and I'll kick it off with a press release from Equal Voice, commenting on the record number of female candidates in the upcoming Ontario election. They're now doing an analysis of the winnability of the ridings in which women are running ...

Quote:
TORONTO: Equal Voice congratulates Ontario's political leaders for fielding more women overall in this election, but is also concerned that the uneven effort by the parties means there's no guarantee more women will actually be elected. In June of 2006 in what was called the Ontario Challenge, all three Ontario provincial political parties pledged to run many more women.

“We are very pleased that there are 22% more women running in 2007 than ran in 2003. We have the potential to reach a critical mass – 30% of women in the house. This increase in candidates is a major accomplishment,” said Rosemary Speirs, “ However, one of the major parties has not met its self-set goals. So far, there are 104 women running for the three largest parties as opposed to 78 in 2003, but that may not translate into more women in the legislature.”

Premier Dalton McGuinty pledged to find women for 50% of un-held Liberal ridings. Of 45 open seats the Liberals are running 25 women – 55%. The total number of Liberal women running is 38 or 35.5 % a significant increase over 22 % (or 23 candidates) in 2003.

Progressive Conservative leader John Tory pledged to have 1/3 women candidates. All nominations are done but the party has just 24 women candidates, or 22.4% up from 20% (or 21 candidates) in 2003.

NDP Leader Howard Hampton promised to increase the number of women running – with a goal of 50%. The NDP have the most women in the field (42 so far) – and traditionally have more women running than the other parties – in part due to their longstanding policy of priority searching for women and minority candidates for nominations. With two nomination left to go, the NDP have 42 women candidates – about 40% from 33% in ‘03. (Nominations close on September 18th.)

Equal Voice is now analyzing winnability with help from G. P Murray Research to be released after the close of nominations. “We need all the major parties to commit to electing more women,” said Equal Voice researcher, Lesley Byrne. “The eventual proportion of women in the house depends on the outcome on October 10th but without aggressive and proactive searches for women candidates by all parties, our legislature could stay stuck at the 25% level.”

The Green party did not participate in the challenge, but are planning to run a full slate of candidates – currently, 17 are women with over 29 nominations left to go.

Only 25 percent of the seats in the Ontario legislature are held by women. At the dissolution of the current legislature on September 10th, 17 of 68 Liberal members are women; 6 of 24 Progressive Conservatives are women; and 3 of 10 NDP members are women.

This proportion of women is slightly higher than the parliament of Iraq, slightly lower than the parliament of Afghanistan and about the same as the parliament of Switzerland where women got the vote in 1971.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They're now doing an analysis of the winnability of the ridings in which women are running ...


Ahhh, there's the rub. eh?
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munroe
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll shoot me I'm sure. I never consider the gender of a possible candidate, my boss, my fellow worker or in any other situation (except my spouse is of the other sex, which I appreciate). I simply could not care as it is a non-issue, outside of my bed. My dog is male; my bird female....it just is not an issue.

I'm an old guy that has been a an observer of the part of the feminist movement that works towards the great changes made in society. I actually think women have made the leap and I'm very happy for their success.

Not there, advertise, tell it, argue it...the amazing changes in the last two decades proves you (and me) have been correct all along (in strategy - the reason is self-evident).
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Munroe, it sure is an issue for me ... with consistently abysmal female representation in politics, especially at the provincial and federal levels, is it any wonder that so many issues are neglected? Like daycare? Equal pay? Access to reproductive services including abortion?

And not to get all essentialist, but I do have a sense that many female politicians are more interested in social programs and social equity than many male politicians. And we can delve into this, but I suspect it's because women still bear the primary responsibility for things like child-rearing (hence eduction is a priority) and caring for older relatives (health care).

As an example, I find it deeply distressing when I see a premier's conference and it consists of a row of white guys (except for Paul Okalik, unless I'm missing someone else). It pisses me off when women in politics get slammed for their appearance or mocked if they have the temerity to express a strong opinion. It outrages me that access to political decision-making is still concentrated in the hands of the rich and that those hands are male.

Are all women politicians saints? Hardly. Would having equal representation of women make a difference? Oh, yes, I think so.

In general, not considering the gender of a person is all very well, but women do still face considerable inequities in society. So being able to ignore gender sounds egalitarian, but in reality, it's kind of a luxury that most women don't have, don't you think?
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DSquared
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NDP action plan for fariness for women:

Quote:
1. FAIRNESS FOR WOMEN AT WORK

...

2. A BETTER WORK-FAMILY BALANCE

...

3. AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

...

4. MAKING SURE WOMEN ARE HEARD – IN PUBLIC, IN POLITICS

...

5. FAIRNESS FOR MARGINALIZED WOMEN

...

6. EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AROUND THE GLOBE

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fork
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

munroe wrote:
I never consider the gender of a possible candidate, my boss, my fellow worker or in any other situation (except my spouse is of the other sex, which I appreciate). I simply could not care as it is a non-issue . . .


I can buy that you don't intentionally consider gender, but are you saying that you have no unconscious biases?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A call from The Nation for unmarried American women -- who are apparently the largest single non-voting bloc in the US -- to come out and participate. 30 million of them failed to vote in 2006. Seems there's an idea that that number might be able to influence the course of an election.

Here's a thought. Have candidates who stand up tall and proud for women's equity. That might help.

And hey, raising the fact that this is a huge voting bloc might mean a teeny bit of traction ...

Quote:
... Women's Voices. Women Vote. (WVWV) is targeting 25 states in an effort to register over one million unmarried women and reach out to an additional 3 million "low-propensity voters." (Unmarried women who are registered but didn't vote in at least one of the last two presidential elections.) WVWV Founder and President, Page Gardner, says, "We are making sure the voices of women on their own are heard in the political process. Particularly, that they are heard from in terms of the strength of their numbers. Polling shows that these women are paying attention earlier than ever before and they are motivated. They are wanting change, they are desperate for change, and we are going to see their participation go up." Gardner points to a recent study by the polling firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, that showed 85 percent of unmarried women saying they are so frustrated with the direction of the country, they are more likely to vote.

WVWV understands that it's not just about registering the voters but also getting them to cast their ballots. "Given their income, many of these women are incredibly stretched," Gardner says. "We have to not only take the registration to them, we have to take the voting booth to them too." She says that in 2006 they conducted a vote-by-mail program that was "extraordinarily successful." (All WVWV programs are tested before they are rolled out – with a control group and a treatment group – so the value of the program in gaining new voters and its cost-effectiveness can be determined.) In addition to registration forms, WVWV will be providing vote-by-mail applications so that women can vote at their convenience and take their time to study the candidates. The group also has a strong online presence, including widgets and banners that people can place on their own sites, allowing visitors to watch a "20 million Reasons" PSA campaign and register to vote.

In contrast to married women, Gardner says, unmarried women are largely driven by economic issues when it comes to their politics. She points to the fact that 44 percent of them live in households with annual incomes of $30,000 or less, while approximately 44 percent of married women live in households earning over $75,000 annually. One in five unmarried women lacks health care, and 50 percent of children who are age six or younger – and live with single Moms – live in poverty. The connection between this voting bloc's economic concerns and its potential power at the polls isn't lost on Ann Lewis, Senior Advisor at Hillary Clinton for President. Lewis coined the phrase "single anxious female" which has since gained traction in the press.

... While the campaigns vie for this voting bloc that the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner study described as "hav[ing] the power to reshape American politics further, if they vote," Gardner and WVWV will continue to do the hard work to make sure their voices are heard. She says they have partnered with both state and national organizations, including state-based and national groups, USAction Education Fund, Project Vote, Working America, and others.

"Our attitude is, ‘Steal this book,' Gardner says. "We share our materials, research, lists – anything to help [other 501c3] organizations increase the participation rates of unmarried women… anyone interested in doing that, we consider partners." Gardner says that every year since WVWV's founding in 2004 the organization's voter lists have grown in value, and their programs are increasingly innovative. "We have the best marital status model – predicting the likelihood that a person is unmarried – in the country," she says. "We have designed a model to predict who is and who is not likely to respond to voter registration and vote-by-mail efforts, so that helps organizations use their dollars wisely. And we know the issues that concern these women so we can ensure that we are talking to them in a way that resonates."

Gardner knows the impact that unmarried women can have – not only in 2008 – but the years ahead. "What we're trying to do by making this group of women heard – not just through voting, but advocating for their issues, and making sure politicians see their power – that they are the decisive factor in so many races….We are saying that their issues of concern need to be at the top of the list. Their power when they participate is astounding. We want that power realized, and their agenda to become America's agenda."


Women's Voices Women Vote website.
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is the NDP using the term "fairness" instead of "equity" or "equality"? The only time they use the E word is with reference to women around the globe.

We have not achieved equality in our own society so why can't the NDP stand up for women and say so. And to demand equality for women in other societies is to imply that we have already achieved it here.

In general, I really find the use of the word "fairness" by the NDP over-used and wishy washy. It's pretty non-committal in my view.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to be fair ... Wink

... a quick glance at the NDP website under Issues sees women's concerns featured very prominently, and "equality" and "equity" are mentioned often, including pay equity and women's representation in politics.

Although it does start off with "working families first" and I'm tired of "working families."
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
A call from The Nation for unmarried American women -- who are apparently the largest single non-voting bloc in the US -- to come out and participate. 30 million of them failed to vote in 2006. Seems there's an idea that that number might be able to influence the course of an election.


Y'mean... it wasn't Ralph Nader's fault? Shocked
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DSquared
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparqui wrote:
In general, I really find the use of the word "fairness" by the NDP over-used and wishy washy. It's pretty non-committal in my view.


Not to drift, but I don't think the issue is so much the substance of what the NDP policy is, it's that the Powers That Be think it has to be wrapped up in focus-group tested buzz words to be effective.
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elmateo
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fairness is patronizing. It is what you would say to a child to explain why their sense of justice is being offended. "Well Jimmy, it is only fair that Billy gets to use the fire truck today for 2 hours instead of just 1".

To me, when someone uses the word "fair" it is not committal to the injustice being addressed.

Overall I think it just demonstrates the lack of commitment the NDP has right now (for whatever reason, my vote goes under lack of confidence) to supposedly core values and this includes women's equality.

The NDP is too afraid to put their neck out on the issue of representation of women. Why? Because popular thinking believes feminism is done and over with, the big leap has been made and anyone still claiming to being a feminist is just out to get themselves into a fight for kicks. The undermining of feminism has been a conscious effort on the part of purveyors of culture: look at the women who do get positions of influence and power, in particular major newspaper female columnists. The "star" women in the major newspapers (Margaret Wente as an example) are reactionary and conservative women. Their presence in the print media is to undermine feminist calls for equality.

That I think is another issue about representation of women in positions of power: in our unequal representation (even if it was equal this question wold be important), what kind of women are actually making into the circles of power? Are they empowering and creating the potential for greater equality? Or are they simply token representatives to prevent criticism?

Women have made advancements yes but partly this has come at the exploitation of their labour (as economies needed to grow they needed a new source of labour, 50% of the population became unemployed). But I don't think they have gotten to a place where we can use patronizing words like "fairness" to address the real continuing severity in the disparity of power between genders. Sparqui is right - equality and nothing less.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spotted this over at Feministing. Linked to this letter to an editor at a Washington (state, not DC) newspaper, the Tri-City Herald.

Quote:
Men Presidents Only

I think that having a woman president would be a bad idea for our country. Women are not meant to rule countries and be in charge. They are meant to make decisions but not confirm them.

Our president deals with some countries that don't respect or allow women in leadership positions. I wonder if the United States would have more terrorist attacks because we would be seen as weak with a woman leader. I agree that women can do many things, but leave the ruling of the countries to the men.

BRITTANY BAYLES, 13, Kennewick


Erk.
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TS.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What have that girl's parents done to her that she thinks that?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming, of course, that the letter was actually written by a 13-year old girl named Brittany. I'm sure the paper would have checked that, of course.

Assuming that she is in fact real, that letter's going to be out on the net for a long, long time. Hopefully she has a revelation sometime in the next 10 years that her parents or whoever else influenced her are full of crap. And hopefully she is able to move past her name being associated with such idiocy ...
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granny
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TS. wrote:
What have that girl's parents done to her that she thinks that?


Some more extreme Christian groups teach their kids traditional roles like that. There was a girl in my daughter's (public) high school class who had a lot of difficulty doing assignments asking for her opinion on social issues, etc. as she was not allowed to have such opinions, but only to follow what her parents decided for her. The other students defended her rights, and the teacher had to accommodate. Laughing

Those 'archaic' attitudes are real to some.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Some more extreme Christian groups teach their kids traditional roles like that.


And some of those "more extreme Christian groups" -- evangelicals, and "charismatic" types -- are among the fastest-growing religious groups in the United States today.

Yup, the problem is actually getting worse.
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elmateo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the fastest growing group was actually the non-religious?

The Christian population isn't necessarily growing, they are migrating from other sects. Not complete doom and gloom. And there does seem to be a backlash against them. Huckabee their candidate is getting lampooned, and look at who they are going to have to vote for: McCain or Romney. McCain may be opportunistic in getting the votes, but he isn't a big evangelical and a Mormon? They are still overly influential and produce crap like that letter but they are hardly on an upward trend to domination. The capitalists still rule the US.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carol Goar in the Toronto Star points out the difference in how issues related to women are being handled differently between the federal and Ontario governments. She points out that the different proportion of women in cabinet and caucus between the feds and the province is pretty striking, and that might have something to do with how social programs and women's issues are being ignored federally. Hopefully not provincially.

Quote:
... Jim Flaherty's 416-page federal economic plan devoted just one paragraph to "advancing equality of women."

... At the request of Parliament's committee on the status of women, Armine Yalnizyan, an economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, presented a gender analysis of Flaherty's budget to MPs last week.

She pointed out that there were six references to women in the entire document. She enumerated some of opportunity costs of the $200 billion in cumulative tax cuts that Flaherty flagged proudly in his budget speech: lost child-care spaces, unbuilt social housing, inadequate immigrant services and underfinanced job training programs. And she reminded parliamentarians that women have been waiting 11 years for the improvements in public services that the post-deficit era was supposed to bring.

But her central argument was that women have lost out badly in the tax cuts the Tories have distributed. Using figures from Statistics Canada, she showed that every $1 in tax relief that has gone to Canadians in the lowest tax bracket (those with taxable incomes below $37,885) has been matched by a $12 tax break to Canadians in the three higher tax brackets.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know Carole James wants a certain amount of females to run here for the NDP.

Myself i do not vote for anyone appointed to run as a candidate regardless of sex, if the leader decides to by pass the membership, I vote Marijuana Party or Independent or will spoil my ballot if I do not like anyone.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm more in favour of providing strong incentives for parties to recruit women, rather than leaders appointing people. Because among other things, leaders can say yeah, look, we have 40% female candidates, when they've put them in marginal ridings they don't have a chance to win.

But riding associations also need to do due diligence in finding and recruiting good female candidates. The let's-wait-and-they'll-come-to-us approach hasn't worked. If it did work, we wouldn't be in the unfortunate position of having only slightly less than 80% male MPs in Parliament.
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TS.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's far more important to look at the number of elected women than at the number of nominated women. The NDP federally has a caucus that is 40% women. This is much better than any of the other federal parties. Dion can appoint all the female candidates he wants in unwinnable ridings, but the truth is that strong female candidates who win their nomination battles have a better chance of being elected in their ridings. Look at Libby Davies, Judy Wascylycia-Leis, Irene Mathyssen and Olivia Chow among others.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And to think, the Conservatives were the first party to actually achieve parity...as much as two elected MPs constitute a party.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it also goes into building up the talents and experience to win in an election. There has to be a serious proactive effort to make equality tenable. If your culture is to keep women politically inexperienced and inactive, then you aren't going to find "winning women" out of the blue (sorry for the pun). I am not saying that Canada is devoid of enough women to make up 50% of the house of commons, but some level of interference is required... and it took the NDP a while of official party policy to reach only 40% gender parity.
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HeywoodFloyd
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What chaps my ass about the push for gender equality in politics is that people won't cross party lines to achieve it. In Calgary in the last provincial election we had two absolutely stellar candidates for the PC's (Jennifer Diakiw and Leah Lawrence) yet the ridings chose old white men instead to represent them.

If you want to achieve gender parity, just vote for the good women who run, regardless of party.
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elmateo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know those women, but no matter the gender inequality and all the old men lined up against her, I would never vote for Margaret Thatcher. So I do not know if I accept that people should "cross the floor" to vote for ANY woman because of their gender. And therefore I have to say that it really is the parties responsibility to increase female representation in parliament. And those Conservatives are really good at not doing that and they really cannot blame anyone but themselves.
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HeywoodFloyd
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then you should love the Alberta PC's.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HeywoodFloyd wrote:
Then you should love the Alberta PC's.

Because they've increased the proportion of women in cabinet from infinitestimal to small?

Just to be clear, you could be as female as all get out and running for the Conservative Party, you don't get my vote. But I do think it's incumbent on all parties to nurture female candidates, particularly in safe ridings. The proportion of women we have in federal and provincial parliaments is disgraceful.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, well, Spain puts us to shame. The cabinet is now more than half women, including (and I love this) a 7-month pregnant Minister of Defence.

Quote:
... Over the weekend, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero named the country's first majority female cabinet, with nine of 17 ministries headed by women.

Among his appointments was 37-year-old Defence Minister Carme Chacon, the government's former minister for housing and a constitutional law professor who studied in Toronto and Montreal, and is expecting her first child.

... Her high-profile position in the new government came after Mr. Zapatero's Socialist Party won its second four-year term in a March 9 election and the Prime Minister named women's issues as his priority, placing female ministers in charge of Science and Innovation, Development, Housing, Sport, Environment and Public Administration.

He also named a woman as Deputy Prime Minister and created a new Equality Ministry, which will be filled by the country's youngest-ever minister, 31-year-old Bibiana Aido. The new office was created to promote opportunities for women in Spain, address violence against women and combat what Mr. Zapatero has dubbed "criminal machismo."

... Last year, Spain introduced a bill requiring certain firms to employ 40 per cent women at top-ranking positions, and Mr. Zapatero has proudly referred to himself as feminist.


Globe and Mail.

Er, let's see, Canada?
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTG Spain!!!

I think that in a just society, you would have more representative government such as a 50-50 split across gender lines and appropriate representation of minority groups. That said, I am not going to support a female candidate no matter what party she is running for since certain platforms are the antithesis of achieving a just society. Thatcher is always a great example.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an interesting comparison of the percentages of women MPs in Europe:

Quote:
Women MPs in EU countries

Percentage of women MPs (equivalents) per member state:

Sweden 47.0

Finland 41.5

The Netherlands 39.3

Denmark 38.0

Spain 36.6

Belgium 35.3

Austria 32.8

Germany 31.6

Portugal 28.3

Luxembourg 23.3

Lithuania 22.7

Bulgaria 21.7

Estonia 20.8

Poland 20.4

Latvia 20.0

UK 19.5

Slovakia 19.3

France 18.2

Italy 17.3

Czech Republic 15.5

As of 31 December 2007. Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union


From today's independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/closing-the-gender-gap-why...

Also brief backgrounds on the women ministers in Spain's new government.
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Cartman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
Well, well, Spain puts us to shame. The cabinet is now more than half women, including (and I love this) a 7-month pregnant Minister of Defence.

Quote:
... Over the weekend, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero named the country's first majority female cabinet, with nine of 17 ministries headed by women.

Among his appointments was 37-year-old Defence Minister Carme Chacon, the government's former minister for housing and a constitutional law professor who studied in Toronto and Montreal, and is expecting her first child.

... Her high-profile position in the new government came after Mr. Zapatero's Socialist Party won its second four-year term in a March 9 election and the Prime Minister named women's issues as his priority, placing female ministers in charge of Science and Innovation, Development, Housing, Sport, Environment and Public Administration.

He also named a woman as Deputy Prime Minister and created a new Equality Ministry, which will be filled by the country's youngest-ever minister, 31-year-old Bibiana Aido. The new office was created to promote opportunities for women in Spain, address violence against women and combat what Mr. Zapatero has dubbed "criminal machismo."

... Last year, Spain introduced a bill requiring certain firms to employ 40 per cent women at top-ranking positions, and Mr. Zapatero has proudly referred to himself as feminist.


Globe and Mail.

Er, let's see, Canada?

Unreal. It will be interesting to see how the status of women in Spain changes due to this cabinet. It is a fascinating country.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got this press release from Equal Voice via email, although it doesn't look like it's posted on their site yet. Parties are failing to nominate enough candidates in order to increase the number of female MPs in the next election. Equal Voice is tracking both nominations and "winnable ridings" which is a good way of doing it.

All parties are showing improvement but none are where they should be. Compare, though, 16.8% female Conservative candidates to 39.5% NDP. And in winnable ridings? 11.4% Conservative versus 42.3% NDP. Pretty stunning.

Think we should be highlighting this? I'm thinking and hoping that more and more women will be looking at the Conservatives and saying no thanks, for a bunch of reasons, not least that they obviously have no desire to encourage women's voices in government.

Quote:
Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan organization, is releasing the latest results from the Canada Challenge, tracking the number of women nominated for the upcoming federal election by each political party. The research is based on Elections Canada data, media reports and information from party sources. This election resource has been provided by Equal Voice since 2004.

“With nominations three-quarters complete, not enough women have been chosen as candidates to ensure more will be elected to the next Parliament,” says Equal Voice’s National Chair Raylene Lang-Dion. “We as Canadians hold high the values of fairness and democracy. Yet we continue to have under-representation of women in political office. Women are 52% of Canada's population yet only make up an average of 21% of Canada's municipal councils, provincial legislatures and the House of Commons.”

Current low numbers of elected women to the House of Commons places Canada 49th internationally in terms of women elected to national legislatures. Canada ties with China and falls behind such countries as Rwanda, Sweden, Argentina, and the Netherlands. The U.S. is 68th, which may help explain why Hillary Clinton is having such a tough race for the Democratic Party leadership—as in Canada the political culture is still male dominated.

According to Equal Voice researcher Vicky Smallman, “To date, all parties show improvement in the numbers of women being nominated.”

Smallman’s tracking shows that as of May 21, the Conservatives have fielded 42 female candidates, or 16.8 per cent of their total candidates so far, and an improvement over the last election. The Liberals have nominated 82 women, or 35.5 per cent of their candidates. The New Democrats have nominated 72 women or 39.5 per cent of their candidates. The Bloc Quebecois has nominated 18 women, or 31 per cent of their candidates.

“We’re not ready to celebrate, however”, added Smallman. “Our analysis reveals that too few women candidates are being nominated in ridings where parties stand a good chance of winning the seat”.

In winnable ridings - where the parties hold the seat, came in second a margin of 10 per cent or less, or were in tight three-way races in the last election – the Conservative women make up 11.4 per cent of their candidates. Women candidates are running in 25.9 per cent of the Liberals’ winnable ridings, 42.3 per cent for the NDP and 32.7% for the Bloc. “At this rate, it seems that Canadian women may not see many gains in the next election”, said Smallman.

“On April of 2007, all political parties joined in the Canada Challenge by rising in the House of Commons and committing to electing more women,” says Lang-Dion. “With almost a quarter of nominations still to go, there is still time to get more women nominated if party leaders are willing to make this a priority.”
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can say that all other things being equal, I will cast my vote in the NDP nomination race in Halifax for a woman. But obviously we need a more structural reform. The business of government has to be dragged out from the back rooms, and the old-boys culture needs to be broken. And if that takes a whole whack of "humourless" and "uppity" feminists in Parliament, then so much the better.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe we should just clone Libby Davies?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hephaestion wrote:
Maybe we should just clone Libby Davies?

I like that idea. Libby Davies is awesome beyond all reason.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly doubt that there will be a female PM or President in the US during my lifetime. I am sure that there are many great candidates who would like the job, but I find it hard to imagine. Frankly, Hillary Clinton surprised me how close she came.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cartman wrote:
I highly doubt that there will be a female PM or President in the US during my lifetime. I am sure that there are many great candidates who would like the job, but I find it hard to imagine. Frankly, Hillary Clinton surprised me how close she came.

Wasn't Kim Campbell PM for a while?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diane Demorney wrote:
Cartman wrote:
I highly doubt that there will be a female PM or President in the US during my lifetime. I am sure that there are many great candidates who would like the job, but I find it hard to imagine. Frankly, Hillary Clinton surprised me how close she came.

Wasn't Kim Campbell PM for a while?

Nah, she never got elected PM and when she did go to the polls as PM, they fell from a solid majority to 2 seats and lost official party status IIRC. A lot of that had to do with lyin' Brian, but I suspect some of it had to do with her gender.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cartman wrote:
Diane Demorney wrote:
Cartman wrote:
I highly doubt that there will be a female PM or President in the US during my lifetime. I am sure that there are many great candidates who would like the job, but I find it hard to imagine. Frankly, Hillary Clinton surprised me how close she came.

Wasn't Kim Campbell PM for a while?

Nah, she never got elected PM and when she did go to the polls as PM, they fell from a solid majority to 2 seats and lost official party status IIRC. A lot of that had to do with lyin' Brian, but I suspect some of it had to do with her gender.


I daresay almost ALL of that had to do with that traitorous maggot, Mulroney.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wake-up call for so-called representative western democracies. Rwanda has become the first parliament in the world to have a majority of women MPs.

Now, they are constitutionally bound to reserve 30% of the seats for women (24 out of 80). And yet in the last election, 45 of the seats went to women. That means that even without those guaranteed seats, unless my basic math is wrong, 38% of the non-allocated seats went to women. They have a proportional representation system so it's up to the parties to place women high on their candidate lists.

Contrast that with 21% of Canada's last Parliament being female.

Quote:
Women contesting in Rwanda’s second parliamentary elections since the 1994 Genocide, held on 15–18 September 2008, have secured 45 out of 80 seats, or 56.25 percent, making the incoming Parliament the first in the world to have women in the majority.

The Constitution of Rwanda provides for a 30-percent minimum quota for women in Parliament, or 24 seats. In the run-up to the election, gender advocates called on parties not only to have equal representation of women and men in their party lists, but also to position women close to the top to ensure the presence of women representatives. The ruling party, the Rwanda Patriotic Front, placed a woman at the head of its list, and of the 42 seats it won, 17 went to women. Of the further 3 seats won by women in the general election, 2 went to the Social Democratic Party, and 1 to the Liberal Party.

... The preliminary report of the EU observer mission stated that the elections were generally well prepared and held in a peaceful and calm environment. Chief Observer Michael Cashman congratulated the Government of Rwanda on its achievement in women’s representation in Parliament.

The election results are expected to be announced formally by the National Electoral Commission on 25 September. Approximately 98.5 percent of the 4,769,228 registered voters participated in the elections.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Equal Voice press release I received about Tuesday's election results.

They're calling for Harper to follow Charest's example in Quebec and appoint women to 50% of the cabinet seats. That would pretty much use up all the female Cons who got elected (23).

Oh, and we're up to a stunning ... wait for it ... 22% of seats in the house. Still under a quarter. Up 1% from the last one. Amazing. Not.

Quote:
Ottawa – October 14, 2008 --- With modest gains in the election, women MPs have finally shattered the 21 per cent glass ceiling in the House of Commons, but Canada is still far short of fair representation, says Equal Voice.

At the latest count, there were 68 women elected to the House of Commons, up from 64 in the previous election. Women will now occupy 22 per cent of the 308 seats in the House, compared to 21 per cent in 2006.

"Congratulations are due to the record number of women who stood as candidates in this election, and to the women who were elected in all parties," said Raylene Lang-Dion. She is National Chair of Equal Voice, the influential non-profit organization that works with all major parties to improve the numbers of women elected to all levels of government in Canada.

However, while the result demonstrates progress, Lang-Dion noted that experts say and experience demonstrates the need for at least one-third women in Parliament to make sure women's perspectives are fully reflected in the nation's agenda. Last night's result means that Canada will still rank far behind other democracies in terms of the number of women elected to its national legislature. Among world democracies, Canada will rank 46th.

"Mr. Harper's new caucus includes some experienced and talented women MPs, whose merits would justify a strong female contingent in his cabinet," Lang-Dion said.

Eighteen months ago, on International Women's Day, the leaders of the four major parties in Parliament took up the Equal Voice Canada Challenge—issued by Lang-Dion—promising in statements in the Commons to run more women in this election. They have all lived up to this pledge, with different degrees of success.

The Liberals ran the most women (113), but elected just 18 women MPs, while the Conservatives, who won the most seats, ran 60 women candidates, of which 23 were elected. The Bloc Quebecois elected 15 women, and the New Democrats 12. Overall, the showing for women was disappointing considering that more women ran than ever before—they were 29 per cent of the total candidates.

Equal Voice researcher Vicky Smallman had warned that many of the women candidates were running in "unwinnable" ridings where their parties did poorly in the past. A breakthrough for women depended on whether the parties running most women made substantial gains, which did not happen last night.

"Despite the result, we are pleased all parties tried harder. We see many signs of growing awareness by Canadians that we need more women in elected office," Lang-Dion said. "We urge Prime Minister Harper to respond by appointing women to half the cabinet positions—and ensuring that women are represented well among the senior ministries."

Equal Voice Founding Chair Rosemary Speirs is already looking to the next election, and urging all parties to lay the groundwork now for future success.

"Our goal is unchanged—we want fair representation of women in Parliament," said Speirs. "That means we need ALL parties nominating at least one third women, as the Liberals and NDP managed to do, and even better will be the day when half or more of the parties' candidates are women. Only then will women be full partners in running our country."
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, since the NDP lost Peggy Nash and Catherine Bell, as well as seeing Penny Priddy and Alexa McDonough retire, from the last caucus, the NDP made no net gain in female Members of Parliament. We gained Nikki Ashton, Carole Hughes, Linda Duncan and Megan Leslie, but all the other new NDP MPs elected were men (Jack Harris, Malcolm Allen, Claude Gravelle, Glenn Thibeault, John Rafferty, Bruce Hyer, Jim Malloway and Don Davies). And since the NDP gained in number of seats, that means that we declined in percentage of women in the caucus, from 40% at dissolution to 32.4% today.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
Oh, and we're up to a stunning ... wait for it ... 22% of seats in the house. Still under a quarter. Up 1% from the last one. Amazing. Not.

Somewhat interesting though, the Conservatives elected the most new women to the house - 11, just about a third of their 35 new members. Which also means half of the women in the caucus were elected for the first time this election.

Other parties -

Liberals - 6 of 13 new members
NDP - 4 of 12 new members
Bloc - 1 of 7 new members

The Liberal numbers are also interesting, because apparently Dion made good on his promise of at least 1/3 of the party's candidates being women and not only that, they were just as electable as any other Liberal candidate.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Hampshire becomes the first state to have a majority of women in legislature.

No Canadian province has achieved this yet, have they?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
New Hampshire becomes the first state to have a majority of women in legislature.

No Canadian province has achieved this yet, have they?

Looks like New Brunswick might be getting close . . . to achieving the opposite:
Cabinet shuffle: just one woman out of 21 ministers
Quote:
After Graham promoted three backbenchers into new cabinet positions and dropped two MLAs, including Carmel Robichaud, the Liberals have just one woman out of 21 ministers. . .

Graham said he'll try to recruit more women candidates to run for the Liberals in the next election. He made that same promise before the last election when Robichaud was the only female in his entire caucus.

Well, thanks for trying, Shawn. We can't ask for more than that, can we.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unreal. And the Conservatives are complaining about this!?

Quote:
Premier Shawn Graham's new-look cabinet is almost exclusively male, a discouraging signal for women, according to the Opposition Conservatives.


Maybe the federal government could fund some sort of government initiative to deal with women's status? Maybe something to do with equality too. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eva Aairiak becomes Nunavut's first woman premier
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bitch and the Airhead. Women-bashing makes a comeback.

http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/107855/the_bitch_and_th...

Quote:
Now that the election is over and racism is ostensibly down for the count, has sexism gotten a new dispensation? Has the "unlikability" (not to mention "unfuckability") of Hillary not only cost her the presidential nomination but brought out the streak of misogyny that runs deep in American culture, affecting the way men think about women and the way women think about themselves?

And what about Sarah Palin, the breeding babe who has emerged as a comely figure of fun with seemingly not a mote of self-doubt in her constitution? Has she furthered men's natural instinct to write off women as light entertainment, chattering nitwits with a shaky hold on the hard facts, and also triggered the self-hatred mechanism in the women who refused to go along with her as a "you can have it all" representation of how far feminism had come? (Legs! Clothes! Family! Career!)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're SO advanced in the Slocan Valley....

All-female council takes over reins in Slocan village

Quote:
Voters in Slocan have given birth to an all-female municipal council -- the only one in B.C. "The good candidates just happened to be women," Mayor Madeleine Perriere told The Province yesterday.

She racked up 104 votes in a landslide over John Gates, who received 56 votes, in a battle of two incumbents from the previous council. The new council held their first meeting Wednesday.

Officials at CivicInfo B.C., a group that keeps tabs on local governments, haven't found another case of distaff dominance in B.C. political history.

[...]

[Patricia] McGreal, a mother of three who works in a grocery store, campaigned on a platform of change.

"There was just a bit of lack of respect among the people at the meetings, not necessarily council," said McGreal. "People were not always patient and willing to listen to others.

"It will be interesting to see if things do change as a result of having an all-woman council," she said.

[...]

The distinction of having the first all-woman council in Canada goes to the Acadian town of Rogersville, N.B., which accomplished the feat in 2001.

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