We were puzzled the other day to hear that Ontario liberal leader Steven Del Duca has pre-picked ridings that will have a female liberal candidate in the coming provincial election. Having worked with both male and female candidates over the years, I certainly agree that our female candidates often need that little extra bit of encouragement. And there are many ways of doing it, without designating the sex of a candidate before the person is chosen.
There is much to be done before choosing a candidate. Steven Del Duca’s job since becoming liberal leader was to rebuild the liberal electoral district associations throughout Ontario. Maybe he knows more about those ridings than he has chosen to tell us. At least, let’s hope he did not draw the names of the ridings out of a hat.
There is a lot I would like to know about a riding before suggesting that it would be a suitable riding for a female versus a male candidate. And you know that by being in constant contact with people there. Is there a trained and well organised team ready to support a good candidate? Do they know how to build a winning campaign? Do they understand the political history of their part of the province? And do they have good intelligence about who they will be up against from the other parties?
And here we are seven months from the coming provincial election. Any well-organized riding association should have at least three to four potential candidates with whom the executive is talking. Any riding without that many prospects had better get to work. And any sudden decision that only a Ken doll or a Barbie doll will do borders on the ridiculous.
And yet, my riding, which is not designated as for a female, would have little problem with having a female candidate. This area of Ontario has had winning female candidates in the past. What we do not have is a trained and motivated campaign team.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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