Friday, August 17, 2007

Compare and contrast

Two recent headlines make for an interesting comparison between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party.

First, here’s one from earlier in the week about the Conservatives:

Harper misses his chance to woo women
Gender gap might have cost Conservatives a majority in the last election

JANET BAGNALL, The Gazette

Published: Thursday, August 16


Prime Minister Stephen Harper either missed or doesn't believe a recent Canadian study that showed that if as many women had supported the Conservatives in the 2006 election as men, his party might have scraped together enough seats for a majority. Instead, the Conservative party ended up forming a minority government with the smallest share of seats in Canadian history.


Since he did nothing in his cabinet shuffle Tuesday to correct the impression that women are, in his view, trustworthy for only soft, i.e., traditionally female, portfolios such as culture, we can conclude that he apparently thinks he can win a majority without them.

And here’s one today from the Liberals:

Liberal Party of Canada Announces Michelle Simson as Candidate

August 17, 2007


OTTAWA - Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion today appointed Michelle Simson as the Party's candidate in the riding of Scarborough Southwest.

"Mrs. Simson’s strength, tenacity and passion for the people of Scarborough will make her a strong Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest. Her vast political experience is a tremendous asset to our team," said Mr. Dion, who has the power to appoint candidates in accordance with the Party’s nomination rules.


“As a step towards ensuring more equal female representation in Parliament, I committed to at least one third female Liberal candidates in the next election. I’m so pleased Mrs. Simson will be among our slate of qualified, skilled and experienced women on the Liberal team,” he added.

It’s kind of striking when seen back to back like that.

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5 comments:

s.b. said...

Yeah except almost all the sitting Liberal seats with the exception of Willowdale and the winnable ridings appointments and nominations have gone to me. I will place bets we won't be much, if any, above the 25% of Liberal caucus we are at now after the next election, certainly not 33% Outrement anyone?

s.b. said...

Sorry, we're at 20.6% female MP's now. We might get above that but not 33%, more like 25% if we're lucky and honestly we could have done better.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Yeah except almost all the sitting Liberal seats with the exception of Willowdale and the winnable ridings appointments and nominations have gone to me.

What?

I will place bets we won't be much, if any, above the 25% of Liberal caucus we are at now after the next election, certainly not 33%

The commitment was 33 per cent of candidates, and that will be met. And many of them are in winnable ridings. For example, the one announced in the linked press release.

Johnny said...

I don't understand you
people why are you in favor of quotas? I don't care if all mp's are women or men blacks jews ect.ect.ect....They should all be elected on their merits not race gender or religion. This way we don't nessacerly
have the best to lead our
country. If I were a woman i wouldn't want to be elected because of my gender' but because of my
brain my qualification that's how i have too much respect for that!!

A BCer in Toronto said...

Actually I don't favour quotas, and articulated my thoughts on that policy when Dion proposed it during the leadership race. But that's another debate for another day.

But what I do favour is taking concrete steps to overcome the barriers preventing women, and other underrepresented groups, from elected office, and encouraging their greater participation.

The contrast I found striking here was that, in a week where the Conservatives reduced female representation in the senior ranks of cabinet, the Liberals took another step towards increasing female representation in its caucus. It certainly speaks to the priorities and outlook of the two parties.