Women In Politics

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Elect Her

Elect Her

Still Struggling to be Recognized as Equals
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INTRODUCTION During the process of writing this book, several people, both male and female, asked why I was so curious about women in politics. Well, sometimes you don’t have to look far for answers. In my hometown of Essex, Ontario, near the bustling, labour-heavy city of Windsor, I had the privilege to write about and ultimately befriend a woman who served as the lone female on our local municipal council for eight years. Along with other female politicians I’ve met during my journalism career path, she led me to a following biased conclusion: women make better politicians. As negotiators, they’re just as good, if not better, than their male colleagues. They have more patience and leave their egos at the door, even in the midst of a heated debate. As the ones who have to get home and take care of the children, they’re better at time management. They’re also not as prone to except the status quo and they tend to ask more questions. Former Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps quantified the sad main reason why women shy away from politics. When they’re asked to speak up, they’re immediately labeled as “nasty bitches.” Canada is one of the few countries in the world that struggles with the concept that women deserve an equal voice at the table. Contrary to the fact that women make up 52 percent of the population, they are woefully underrepresented at all levels of government. A little while back I received an editorial cartoon from one of the women I had the pleasure of interviewing. It depicted the all-male premiers of Canada at their July 2019 conference with a caption underneath trumpeting their intention to talk about “women’s issues.” Sadly, this is a common occurrence. Earlier that same year, Rachel Notley was defeated in Alberta and the number of female first ministers in the country dropped to zero. During my research for Elect Her, my on-line browsing led me to Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Neither of the prairie provinces have elected a female premier and they continue to lag behind the rest of the country when it comes to gender-parity in their legislatures. This is hard to fathom, considering that Manitoba and Alberta were instrumental in procuring women’s right to vote over 100 years ago. Women like Nellie McClung and Agnes MacPhail led the suffrage movement and their ultimate victory didn’t happen overnight. It took decades for women to get the vote, to be accepted as equals and serve in public office. We’re now in the midst of yet another revolution. If it continues, more women should be encouraged to not only run for office but become influential leaders such as Canada’s only female Prime Minister Kim Campbell, Rachel Notley, and Kathleen Wynne, just to name a few. Within these pages you’ll read about crusading organizations like Equal Voice and their “Daughters of the Vote” program, along with “No Second Chances” sponsored by Canada 2020. You’ll see how movements and events like this are attracting more and more women, and even a few men like me who want to hear 52 percent of the population has to say. To every woman I had the honour of speaking with for this book, particularly Essex Councillor Sherry Bondy, Winnipeg’s Susan Thompson, and political advocate Dr. Kate Graham, I want to say: thank you, all. You are all true leaders, and an inspiration for women who know that they have a voice.

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Let ’Em Howl

Let ’Em Howl

Lessons from a Life in Backroom Politics
edition:Paperback
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Gendered Mediation

Gendered Mediation

Identity and Image Making in Canadian Politics
edition:Paperback
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Doing Politics Differently?

Doing Politics Differently?

Women Premiers in Canada’s Provinces and Territories
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Women on the Ballot

Women on the Ballot

Pathways to Political Power
edition:Paperback
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