There seems to be nothing more tiring in politics than media people who say there have to be more women in politics. They seem to have a funny idea that women would bring less partisanship and a more collegial atmosphere to government. I think that before reporters are allowed to write that BS, their editors should send them to watch women in politics at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. It has never been my experience in politics that women are less partisan.
And I date back to the era of Judy LaMarsh. There might be a fund for women candidates administered in her name by the liberal party but Judy was one of the toughest (and smartest) sergeants in the Women’s Army Corps in the last half of the Second World War. She ended up learning to speak Japanese and working in Intelligence. I am sure she deeply regretted not seeing the CBC microphones when she accidently ended her remarkable political career at the liberal convention that chose Pierre Trudeau.
Municipal politics attracts many women and two of my favourites in Ontario over the years were True Davidson of East York (now part of Toronto) and then Hazel McCallion of Mississauga. They were both friends and allies of mine at different times.
But I have worked for both male and female candidates at all levels. There have been winners and losers. It is tougher to lose with a female candidate. I think I tried harder for them.
One of the interesting differences between campaigns was that women tended to accept more of a policy-based campaign while men more often wanted their ego burnished. In today’s highly personalized campaigning techniques, there is a better opportunity for women.
Just give me five minutes each at the door with enough householders and I will have enough information for five weeks of policy-based ads and e-mails to weaken any of those households’ intent to vote for a different party. You can hardly win them all but you might be surprised how few households you need to shift sometimes.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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