women in Politics
“We cannot tolerate this hateful language ..."
On the one-year anniversary of the election that brought us Canada's first 50/50 cabinet, a day after Person's Day and heading into the final weeks of the U.S. election, we are at a peak moment to assess how we doing both in terms of getting women into public life and politics and why it matters.
These next few days are like festival season for political people: in Winnipeg the Liberal Party is gathering for the 2016 Biennial Convention while over in Vancouver, the Conservative Party are also in the midst of their national convention. Gender equity and increasing the number of female candidates will be a hot topic for both. PM Trudeau and his core team have this made this a clear priority for this Liberal Party and for the Conservatives, a more gender inclusive party has to be an essential part of their renewal efforts.
At the provincial level, three provinces are led by women, including Premier Rachel Notley in Alberta. Women make up 53 per cent of our province's cabinet ministers. In 2006, it was a mere 11 per cent. So, in a decade, that's progress. Federally, as in Alberta, cabinet is gender-balanced, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau justified with the now oft-quoted "because it's 2015." Yet, in 2016, it must be noted that only 26 per cent of seats in the House of Commons are held by women. So, why is it that the lack of gender parity remains so pronounced in most levels of government across Canada?
While the cabinet is now 50 -50, we are still a far cry from achieving equality in Canada. Numbers alone are not the complete solution to the complex challenge of achieving equality. We can see this by looking at quotas which are unable to achieve their stated goals.
Meet Canada's new female cabinet ministers.
I do not recall anyone questioning the merits of male ministers being appointed as the vast majority of cabinets -- forever. Were all those stellar choices under Stephen Harper (Julian Fantino, Vic Toews, and Pierre Poilievre to name a few) just so unquestionably well-prepared for the job that the matter never came up? Or is it beyond obvious that questions of merit never surfaced when the expected men were put in their usual spots -- known as positions of power?
"There are meritorious MPs of all shades, genders and orientations."
But when Abacus switched Perry's photo to a more professional one, his support jumped seven points (among a much smaller