Friday, May 16, 2008

Women: Us vs Them

Women are big in politics in the US this year.  We haven't had a woman in a key position of political power in ages, many columnists have written about this before.

I was just looking at the numbers again, and the Senate is surprisingly better than the House; I guess that's because women live longer, especially with Hugh Segal stealing all the guys' lunch money.  Imagine those frail male bodies, spare a little change for food?

Senate: 32 (34.4%)
House of Commons: 65 (21.3%)

I get the feeling Harper would only appoint men to the Senate.  The number of women should drop further.  Imagine the House of Commons numbers and how they would plummet if there was a Conservative landslide.

Worldwide, we are 49th (fitting maybe).  I thought the US was going to do better in their Senate or House, but nope:

US Senate: 16 (16%)
US House: 73 (16.8%)

And our parents, the UK and France?

#58, UK (tied with Cambodia)
House: 126 (19.5%)
Lords: 148 (19.7%)

#62, France (tied with the Grenadines)
Lower: 105 (18.2%)
Upper: 60 (18.2%)

None of this is close to the equality in Cuba and Scandinavia, but we are working towards it.  I wonder how many people vote for gender more than anything else.  That would be an interesting poll.  Maybe it's one that Dion did back in his days as a sociology prof?


jay said...


Currently (and historically) the NDP has been incredibly proactive in running women and running them in winnable ridings. The present NDP caucus is made up of 41% women MPs ( whereas the Bloc has 31%, the LPC has 21% and the CPC has a pathetic 11%.

In the 2006 campaign, the NDP nominated 108 female candidates whereas the other national parties stacked up as follows: Libs 79, Greens 72 and the Cons a shocking 38.

For people who are looking for a party that unabashedly and enthusiastically supports issues of importance to women (choice, national child care, renewed healthcare/pharmacare, green economy, etc) then I think the choice is clear (

jay said...

PS: The federal NDP is also the only party with elected MPs that supports electoral reform that would have some kind of proportional representative. Countries with a version of PR have far higher numbers of women elected.