Make it the law

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The recent municipal election in St. John’s resulted in an all male city council. This is really strange, since females make up 50 per cent of the population.

In the House of Assembly there are seven women and 40 men, one seat vacant, so roughly 15 per cent of our MHAs are women. In the last federal election, 76 women were elected to the House of Commons compared to 232 men, so roughly 25 per cent of members in the House of Commons are women.

These  facts illustrate a disturbing phenomenon regarding women, politics and decisions made by politicians.

Women have certainly demonstrated they are every bit as intelligent as males, outperforming males in grade school, making up the majority of university graduates, forming the majority of medical and law school graduates.

So, why are women doing so poorly in things political? The answer is that while females have broken most of the traditional oppression they have been burdened with since day one, the baby boom generation of men have continued the old boys club mentality when it comes to politics and things political.

For example, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent appointment of Marc Nadon to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada will result in twice as many men as women in the court. He could just as easily have appointed a women.

Another example of men making it difficult for women in politics is found in the Quebec Charter of Values put forth by Premier Pauline Marois. It is, among other things, an attempt to free women from the tyranny of religion, and she finds herself attacked by three former premiers, all men. It should be noted it’s not men who are  forced to wear a veil or burka, the outward signs of oppression. The final example of men holding back the equality of females is seen in the attempt by some enlightened women, including former prime minister Kim Campbell, to get the lyrics of “O Canada,” back to the previous gender-neutral composition rather than the masculinized form we now have. Our male politicians won‘t even allow females this bit of equality.

How to overcome the political second-class status of women? Simple, mandate that all municipal, provincial and federal governing bodies must be 50 per cent female. What could be more fair and reasonable? And there is no downside.


Doug Smith

Grand Fall-Windsor  

Organizations: House of Commons, Supreme Court of Canada

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Recent comments

  • JT
    November 05, 2013 - 07:34

    If there are forced quotas' it can't be called democracy, simple as that. 'May the best person/candidate win' should remain the order of the day. Voter turnout is low enough now, forcing a 50% quota may turn even more voters from the booth. We have women in politics now (Dunderdale, Michael etc.), and they are no better or worse than their male counterparts. I say leave it the way it is.

  • Doug Smith
    November 04, 2013 - 09:29

    Craig, why is mandating 50% representation of females in political office a bad idea? Give a reasoned not childish explanation please. Mr. Burke, the point of your comment was?

    • Colin Burke
      November 04, 2013 - 20:18

      Mr. Smith, the point of my comment was that the blinkered feminist mindset doesn't get that kind of point. QED. Are you, a male, trying by law to force female voters to vote for females whom those female voters don't want to represent them? That's what your proposal amounts to since woman are "under represented in politics," your law would have to be made by males, right? You don't, therefore, have to convince women it would be a good law; you need only persuade the old boys club who support the glass ceiling, that they themselves know what's good for women whether women vote for that or not. Any ordinary human female knows that it's easier to persuade men to do what she wants than to command another woman.

  • Colin Burke
    November 04, 2013 - 08:32

    It may seem strange to the feminist mindset, but it seems that more than 50 per cent of the females who make up more than 50 per cent of the population actually like men, even in politics. Who could have guessed it?

  • craig
    November 04, 2013 - 08:21

    We have laws that make it illegal to discriminate based on age, gender and religion. There is no one preventing an 18 year old female who is Roman Catholic from running in any election (municipal, provincial or federal). To somehow legislate a "Quota" system based on age, gender or religion would be the biggest brain fart that any government has EVER enacted in the democratic world!

  • Doug Smith
    November 03, 2013 - 18:15

    Mr. Adey, the fact that some other community has an all female council proves my point. The media played this up because it is such an aberration from the male dominated councils people take for granted. Also, nothing could be more equal and democratic than a 50% standard for elected office. Mr. Adey you must be blind to the “glass ceiling effect”. Your “old boys” way of thinking has nothing to offer to the advancement of democracy. I suggest you educate yourself regarding oppression and discrimination before you make yourself look like a Neanderthal. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

    • Dave Adey
      March 30, 2014 - 15:04

      What are you getting on with? I don't care there are more men than women or more women than men. If women don't want to run then they don't want to. That's not a "man's" fault. If you think something is being done wrong and women are being blocked then point it out to the right people to deal with it. What you're yapping about with your big 50/50 deal is basically reverse discrimination. Ugg! Ugg!

  • Dave Adey
    November 03, 2013 - 09:41

    The way I see it is that if women want to run for political office there's nothing stopping them and there's nothing stopping anyone for voting for them. Just like men, there are some women that would be bad and some that would be good. It's up to the individual how they let the public see them and it's up to them how they conduct themselves in public. I don't think it would be setting much of a democratic and equality standard by forcing people to elect 50% women for office. If anything it would be nothing more than degrading women by giving them an easy pass. As far as I'm concerned there is equality in political elections, people are electing who they think will best serve them and not voting on gender. Sin Jawns has an all male council, well there's another community that elected an all female council. What does that tell ya?

  • Doug Smith
    November 02, 2013 - 16:23

    Tony, you called my letter “idiotic” but failed to explain why ending the political discrimination against women is a bad idea. Females have as much conviction and genuine passion as males or are you saying they don’t? Tony that would be a prejudice against women. We end discrimination first by enacting laws and that is the bottom line . Just wondering Tony , why you didn’t sign your last name, it’s not that you are afraid of the women in your area? Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

  • tony
    November 02, 2013 - 11:08

    Yes by'e what are you smoking how is that going to help the province can't just put people in office because they are a woman or a man. This is the most idiotic thing I have heard about politics lately people need to have conviction and a genuine passion to help their communities must be on the outs with the women in your area and trying to score some brownie points.