Educational video on women and politics and electoral reform


We Need More Women in Government

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30-tweet Argument

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Read my 30-tweet argument (boiled down from Menocracy) about why we need to elect more women and how to do so. Starts Oct 30, 2011.

Kim Campbell on Bill Maher show

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:49 AM Comments comments (0)

Kim Campbell on panel about American Exceptionalism on Real Time with Bill Maher. She defends Canada, of course.

Gender Balance Needed in Government

Posted on September 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a letter-to-the-editor I wrote. It appeared in New Brunswick's Telegraph Journal newspaper Tuesday, Sept 21, 2010.

Political Science professor Dr Joanna Everitt issued awarning in an article for CBC: "Incumbency and the tendency for both theLiberals and Progressive Conservative parties to nominate men in 'winnable'ridings may mean that unless there are some major upsets in this election, wemay actually find ourselves with fewer women elected after September 27 thanbefore the election."


Fewer? New Brunswick is already in the basement among theprovinces for percentage of women elected: 11%, or 6 out of 55 MLAs.


Does it matter? Yes. Research shows that women tend to caremore about social welfare issues (eg. education, poverty and healthcare), whilemen care more about economic issues, foreign policy and war. All are important,but we need a gender balance in government to reflect the concerns of society.


Being a woman is a plus for political candidates, somethingto consider when voting. Women bring different experiences and viewpoints tothe table.


Hon. Mary Schryer, who served all four years in thisCabinet, has done a great job as Minister of Social Development and then ofHealth. Many would argue she's our best minister. Women candidates tend to bemore highly qualified and educated than male candidates. They need to be to getpast the barriers to the male domain of Canadian politics.


Don't we need as many women as men making laws about healthcare,education, pay equity, family violence, senior care and childcare? If you'retired of a group that's 90% men making laws and setting policy, then supportwomen candidates. We need fresh points of view.


Our Justice System is Criminal

Posted on April 2, 2010 at 3:39 PM Comments comments (0)

We need more women judges to balance the male perspective that pervades our justice system. My provincial paper reports about a young man who beat his ex-girlfriend "so badly he caused her face to almost double in size." Although placed under court order not to contact her as he awaited trial, he phoned several times. This time he got a 6-month conditional sentence and was to serve that time at home. He phoned her three more times, the last time when the police were at her home listening to him say, "I just wanted to say I'm sorry and I'll always love you." He was put in jail for violating the no-contact order but called her 40 more times from jail in six days. This time he was charged with criminal harassment.

The (male) defense lawyer opposed a lengthy jail sentence, saying that to assume his client will continue to harass his ex-girlfriend is "highly speculative, wildly speculative". He said, "Young people are far too intense for their own good," and explained the 40 phone calls as being an obsession based on the belief that she was with another man. (And your point is...?)

While the (male) judge seemed to take the case seriously, saying that the unpredictable man "Has all kinds of problems," he referred to this problem as a serious "infatuation" that is "seriously upsetting to the camplainant and her mother."

The man received another three months in jail for the 40 harassing phone calls, to be followed by the maximum probation of 3 years of no-contact with the victim or her family.

He has proved that being told not to contact her won't work. How many more times do we have to read in the paper about a man murdering his partner or ex- under similar circumstances?

When will we have more lawyers and judges who understand that family violence often continues and escalates; harassment based on jealousy is not excusable; and continued harassing phone calls are not a sign of infatuation but of a destructive obsession that requires mental health intervention.

Fair Vote Canada's Petition

Posted on March 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM Comments comments (0)

Researchers and political science profs know that by switching to Proportional Representation for our voting system, used by most of the developed world, we would elect many more women and our governments would better reflect the diversity of society. To complain to the Canadian Government:

There seem to be more and more articles and interviews by both women and men saying that we need more women in government. Could the tide be starting to turn?

Finally ready for sale.

Posted on February 1, 2010 at 10:54 AM Comments comments (0)

The Canadian Learning Co. is taking orders for Menocracy in Canada! Yea. They specialize in all educational markets, including universities, schools and libraries. I'm personally targeting women's, social issue and political groups. If you're in a small group, even a book club, without funding, you can contact me.

Sexist bias in film and tv.

Posted on August 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM Comments comments (1)

I've almost finished this doc but the trouble is finding an audience, as I have neither a tv broadcaster nor dvd distributor. I know already that most men and even many women glaze over with boredom at the thought of 'women and politics'. I assume that most judges for film festivals must be men as the film/tv industry is still 85% male-run, so I'll be surprised if many festivals choose to play it.

So I'm thinking that approaching women's groups, such as Equal Voice in Canada and the Fawcett Society in the UK, may be the way to go to find audiences. I think that most women, if presented with this documentary, would come out saying, "Wow.I didn't know things were that bad. I'm angry." My goal is to stimulate people to become active in politics, especially in electoral reform.

If anyone has ideas on how to reach a broad audience, I'm all eyes and ears. I can't just post it online. It took the best part of 2 years of my professional time, so I have to sell it.

My first step is to ask national groups to view it in hopes that they'll endorse it.

Challenge parties to nominate more women

Posted on August 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM Comments comments (0)

Great to read this letter in my provincial paper, the Telegraph Journal, yesterday:

Then I read an online response to it, positive except for the last sentence:

"Nominating them because they are women will just destroy everything that the women before have fought so hard to achieve though."

- Doesn't Matter, Moncton

I strongly disagree, and my great-aunt was one of the women who fought so hard to get us the right to vote. Recent history shows that if we wait for nature to take its course, it'll be over 200 years before women have equal representation! We made fast progress during the 1980s and early '90s, but it has stagnated since then (and in the UK, women are losing ground slightly). I'm not content to wait another 20 years, let alone 200.

Most other major democracies use quotas of various forms -- some mandatory, some not -- to help women get elected in greater numbers. Our democracy is broken. Women, over half the population, have around 20% representation in government. Not fair. Not just. Not acceptable.



Need for Quotas for Women Candidates

Posted on August 2, 2009 at 11:08 AM Comments comments (4)

I keep hearing politically active people, women included, say No to the suggestion of quotas for women candidates. Why are they considered so terrible?

Quotas are one of the key ways that most of the world's leading democracies -- and many smaller ones -- have so many more elected women than we have in Canada, the USA and the UK (Canada is ranked 48th in the world for percentage of elected women). From Sweden to Belgium, Germany and Spain and from Rwanda to South Africa and Peru, quotas for women candidates are used to great success.


Some say that women who get in because of quotas won't be respected. In 2005, the Labour Party in the UK had Women-Only Short Lists for candidates in some ridings. A few years later, no one remembered which MP's were from those quota ridings and which weren't -- there was no discrimination.


We Canadians use quotas all the time: geographical quotes. This ensures no one region dominates in government. But men still dominate politics for many reasons, so we need gender quotas until the barriers to women are gone.


Some barriers?

1. party elites prefer to choose men candidates

2. the high cost of campaigning (women still earn only 70% as much as men)

3. politics is time-consuming and not family friendly, which puts off more women than men (as society still expects women to do the majority of housework, childcare and eldercare)

4. the aggressive nature of politics puts off more women than men

5. media sexism


 For info on quotas for women:

Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)