Thursday 5 March 2009

Women in parliament

I wrote a MTM post on Ottawa, and featured a photo of the Ottawa sculptures of the Famous Five, see the Famous Five site for more information on women in Canada winning the right to vote. How amazing in our country that women had to fight to get the right to vote. They fought to have women considered persons under the Constitution.

My photos show the sculptures in Ottawa that honour the women who fought the male-dominated parliament that thought women too fragile or too ignorant to vote. For those interested in this, I suggested you research further. Their actions took place in 1927. What I did not know is that Quebec did not give women the right to vote until 1940, many years after.

I subscribe to Equal Voice, a non-partisan group that advocates for the rights of Canadian women. Despite Nellie McClung, and her group's efforts to rise to give a political voice to women, we still fight.

Yesterday, there was a by-election in the riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, north of Toronto in rural cottage country.
A well-respected WOMAN, Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott, stepped down to permit John Tory, her leader, to attempt to gain a seat in our provincial parliament. My suggestion, based on these practices, is that it is an increasing number of women who are stepping down. I could speak to Mr. Tory' mistake in running against Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, and losing in the last election, perhaps it was his arrogance that he thought he could win over this woman? But that is another rant!

Laurie Scott won her riding by 10,000 votes in 2007. She was popular and won easily. Her father was an MPP for 28 years. She has history and continuity and the trust of her riding. Why would she step down? There is some discussion in her riding, as articulated by elected Liberal Rick Johnson this morning in an interview, suggests that she let her riding down. Despite a dearth of women who can devote their time and energy to the demanding life of a politician, she somehow was convinced that she should step aside and let a man run in her riding. I am appalled.

I see a pattern. I cannot recall which election, federal or provincial, but I recall women stepping down to allow a leader of a party to run in order to be elected to a safe seat in parliament. I am shocked and disappointed.

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