|NOTES ON GETTING MORE WOMEN ELECTED IN NEW BRUNSWICK|
|Tuesday, 03 May 2005 00:00|
In April 2005, the N.B. Advisory Council held 3 public meetings and a conference call with women interested in women in politics in New Brunswick. A provincial meeting will be scheduled soon. (May 7 is postponed) Here are some quotes and notes from the recent meetings and call:
"Women are involved in politics, just not elected politics."
"Women don't support female candidates." (which provoked the following comments) "Well, I wouldn't have voted for Margaret Thatcher. I vote on issues, not sex." "Actually, women win more often than men: the success rate of female candidates in the 2004 Canadian election was 21%; men's, 17%. So the problem isn't that women don't get elected, it's that they don't get nominated."
"I want to run someday but for now, I am concentrating on my children. I am not choosing a party now, because their policies change; when I am ready to run, I'll look at their policies."
"Often, men in political parties prefer a male candidate because they are not comfortable with female candidates, with advising and talking about the issues with women. It's about their level of comfort."
"Women's groups could provide some of the political training for their members, about how parties work, how to become a candidate in municipal elections."
"The major political parties in the province do not require that both men and women sit on nominating or search committees and don't require that a short list of potential candidates include at least one woman.
The unappealing atmosphere of political life and the need to be partisan are chief among obstacles to women's involvement, along with their preference for grassroots work, which is seen to be more effective and some women's lack of confidence.
How to encourage more women to enter electoral politics: