Sometimes, prime minister Justin Trudeau can be a pain in the ass. What the hell has gender got to do with someone’s qualifications for being in the federal cabinet? He can have all women in the cabinet for all most people care. I know he has to have people from each region. That is a given. Would it surprise you to learn that, at least in the past, it was so that there was a minister responsible for political patronage in each region across the country?
But who gives a damn about the gender of a cabinet minister except their now or future significant other? Having a gender balanced cabinet is just simpering silly. In this day and age, women have the right to be respected for their capabilities and not to play second fiddle to the men in the room.
For the prime minister to make a game of it is to take women back to the dark ages when they needed to be so much better than any man available to have a chance at the job.
But this silliness about gender parity is what caused Trudeau some problems in his first cabinet. A good example was Miriam Monsef former MP for the riding of Peterborough-Kawartha. Heralded as one of the youngest in the cabinet, she also lacked any political experience. Yet Trudeau gave her the politically sensitive job of minister for democratic institutions. She was in trouble from day one. Here she was to pilot the prime minister’s foolish promise that 2015 would be the last time Canadians would use first-past-the-post voting.
Trudeau went down with that ship along with his gauche minister. And yet he kept her in cabinet, though switching her to first to international affairs and then to rural economic development. Her star did not shine in either of those jobs and the voters finally send her to defeat in the 2021 election.
What probably puzzled many Canadians was that Justin Trudeau, a professed feminist, did not have a very good record in dealing with women who worked with him. One need only read parts of former MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes’ book about her experiences as Trudeau’s parliamentary secretary to wonder why he handled her as he did. And the awkward relationship with former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould was front and centre in the news for much too long.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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