Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How so, Sheila?

In her column today, Sheila Copps makes this observation about the weekends delegate selection results:

The losers last weekend were Canadian women. The lone female, Martha Hall-Findlay, enters the final stretch with fewer votes that any man in the race. She has bravely vowed to stay put. But her last-place status is an embarrassment to a party that prides itself on equality.


Politics is no worse than other sectors when it comes to sexism. But to see a trilingual, dynamic candidate bring up the rear in a race of also-rans should be troubling to all of us.

While the fact she finished behind Volpe is extremely disappointing, given his time in the party and years spent organizing it's not overly surprising. Organization is hugely important, and he had a years-long head start. But Volpe aside, Ms. Copps contends the fact she finished last is "an embarrassment to a party that prides itself on equality."

I'm sorry, but no, it's not. I would love to see a female Prime Minister. I would happily vote for one. However, I'm not going to vote for a candidate for that reason alone. I'm going to vote for the most qualified person, male or female.

I like Martha Hall-Findlay. I wish she'd done better in the balloting. I think everyone likes her, and everyone wishes she had done better. And yet, she didn't get that many votes. Does that say something about how the Liberal Party values equality? Not at all.

What it says is that, having followed the candidate's performance during the campaign, the voters decided that a 46-year-old lawyer who has never held elected office was not ready to be Prime Minister of Canada. That's all it comes down to. If she gets elected to the HoC and the Liberals form a government, she'll be a dynamite cabinet minister and a real contender next time.

But this time, the voters looked not at the sex but at the qualifications and experience of all the candidates, and they voted accordingly. Isn't that what equality is supposed to be about?

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Anonymous said...

She IS the least qualified/experiences, and got the least votes.

Anonymous said...

Does Sheila (whining) Copps not realize that members and delegates include women and they have contributed to the numbers?


Lolly said...

Lamenting the 1 woman candidate being at the bottom of the pack is something all women Liberals feel, however this is about Leadership of a Nation contributing to an International world.

The 2 Doctors stepped aside because even they with elected experience could not present as Leaders. If this leadership race is truly building for the future then Martha Hall Finley is well on her way.

The equality of the LPC is in the delegations elected by the ridings, the inequality of genders is in the Members of Parliament and Ex Officio's.

Jeff said...

To the Anon that that pasted the entire Sun article into their comment, I've deleted your comment because to reproduce the entire article is a copyright violation.

I've pasted the commentary in your coment below, and a link to the full article is in the original post for those interested.

Anonymous said...

Sheila's article was actually more about Kennedy which I found interesting.

Olaf said...

Is it really copyright infringement, cause I do that ALL the time...

Jeff said...

Olaf, legally it is copyright infringment. I doubt they'd sue, but IMO posting the whole thing when a link is available isn't kosher. As a journalist myself, I get annoyed when my articles are reproduced fully on other sites without permisson.

Reality Bites said...

All I can say is, it's a damn good thing Scott Brison was in the race and finished ahead of her, or people would be claiming Hall Findlay's finish ahead of Ashley MacIsaac proves Liberals still have issues with gay Nova Scotians.