Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Agnes McPhail, Ken Dryden, and debts unpaid

- All more-women-in-politics reform isn't necessarily good more-women-in-politics reform. Let's consider this beauty offered up by Ken Dryden, which I expect Sheila to pick up on at some point. It is not just absurd but more than a little offensive to suggest that women are kept out of politics because they can't cope with foul language in the House of Commons. I'm reminded of Agnes Mcphail. When a male colleague suggested she had no place discussing penal reform, she famously responded:

"I'm gonna slap that f***ing smile off your fat face, you big-headed motherf***ker."

*(Agnes's words, not mine - I love Ken Dryden's face... and most of his platform actually. Damn good candidate but he's got this wrong)

- I received a noteworthy email recently. Someone had visited my Canadians For Kelowna website. On the site I include a quote from Michael Ignatieff:

"[Kelowna was] serious commitment, a matter of honour, a matter of justice. I'm sure we all agree to stand absolutely solid to convince Canadians that this is a debt of honour, this is a debt of justice and it's an investment in our future.”

Not bad, eh? The email tipster agreed that this was indeed sparkling oration. However, he wished me to note that when the House faced an opposition motion in late June to ratify Kelowna, Ignatieff was elsewhere. Couldn't make it to Ottawa on the day of the vote. His website suggests he was in New Brunswick. The good news is he managed to lasso a "stellar list" of New Brunswick MLAs, etc. C'mon.

Free advice for Ignatieff (which I seem to produce a lot of): In the run-up to Decemeber, your inexperience is going to be questioned. The only way to counter is to demonstrate how active you've been in Ottawa since your election. That means you don't miss a vote on a "debt of honour". It's also hard to "convince Canadians" that this is as important as it is, if bbqing in Quispamsis takes precedence.

- Encouraging signs of life from the Gerry K crew


Blogger Sholdice said...

Gerry is the light which the party needs to escape this time of darkness.

1:15 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

I accredit "Gerry K" to you, by the way Sholdice

1:33 PM  
Blogger Sinestra said...

As a woman, I disagree. The culture of Parliament keeps a lot of people away - not just women. Agnes McPhail needed to adapt to a man's world and she did it famously well. A lot of people aren't happy with the juvenile shouting and swearing - men and women. Does that make them wimpy or just wanting to ne part of more dignified partisan debate?

Caroline Bennett also thinks parliamentary culture is keeping women away - is she wrong, too?

2:49 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

IF the male politicians are so gung ho about inviting more women into their party then why don't those same male politicians step aside and let Hedy, Caroline, and whats-her-name duke it out for liberal leadership?

8:52 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

Of course Caroline Bennett is also wrong. You correctly note that "the culture of parliament keeps a lot of people away - not just women." This is why enforcing decorum shouldn't be included in a plan for more women in public office - it falsify attaches this purported wimpiness to women alone. If this is just a question of "wanting to be a part of more dignified partisan debate" why are we applying a gender?

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about - a lot of woman are just not interested?

Or, don't want to spend that much time away from their children?

Or, don't want to be part of the immature men in there now?

Or, everyone is making too much of this - OK, I no, it's a little vote getter for the leadership candidates!

10:38 AM  

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