I look forward to growing Old and Wise and Audacious.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Judy Erola & Pat Carney....today's interview on CBC

2007 All political Party's are busy recruiting woman candidates, and this interview with 2 of the very few women elected to the House of Commons 20 plus years ago were very candid in their discussion on CBC radio this morning.Both these women came at it from a different perspective.Neither of them were really aware of what they were getting into.

What they didn't say. Both of them were single parents;Pat Carney had a teenage son, she represented Vancouver Centre a 3,000 mile 3 hour time difference to and from work, which included night sittings, committee work and the constant concern for her son. When asked if she would do it over again, she cautiously stated not with a teen age son, but definitely later in her life.Pat Carney, made the National headlines when she raised the topic of Air Canada Passes for the spouses of Member's of Parliament and not for the children of same. All Members of Parliament can thank Pat Carney for the change that resulted where the children of MP's did get passes to fly Air Canada with their parents.

Judy Erola,the mother of 2 daughters, from Sudbury,the same time zone, where her base was close to the riding she represented. When asked if she would do it all over again, she answered in a Heartbeat.Judy, had been active in her liberal riding association where she believed building a base of support from within the party is critical.

What they did sayAll the credentials, degrees and formal education doesn't interest Pat Carney, it is how many bums you can get into seats at the nomination meeting that count.

Judy, is a strong believer in the nomination process, she made it sound like the ritual of initiation preparing you for the long term. Being a Candidate is not for the faint of heart.

Pat Carney also talked about recruiting the right candidate, over the years she has been the point person for the Conservative party on the recruitment of women candidates in British Columbia. Women who have young children, teen agers or adopted children really have to consider where they plan on raising the children, she commented that maybe the Municipal or Provincial level is best.

My own thoughts.
Times have changed, there are more married women seeking nominations and getting elected then ever before but it still lags well behind the number of men. It is not news any longer when you hear of spouses who are both active as candidates, as operatives in their chosen political party. Now, is the time to have more women up front and elected.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sharing The Keys to Power.............Stephane Dion is !

IWD International Womens Day

Today is a good time to provide some information to all women Liberals who think they are ready to use the keys to Power.
The NWLC and all the affiliates across the country have renewed their efforts to encourage the participation of women in the LPC.

Herefollows a recent email sent to the women in BC which is a good starting point.It is worthy of sharing with the readers of this blog.

e-News from BC Women's Liberal Commission
March 8, International Women's Day

Liberal Women's Caucus

Liberal Women's
Top Ten Ways the Harper Government has Failed Women

Removed "equality" as the main goal of the Women's Program at Status of Women Canada;

Cut $5 million, or 43 per cent, from the operating budget of Status of Women Canada;

Changed the rules of the Women's Program to eliminate equality-seeking organizations from qualifying for funding;

Changed rules of the Women's Program to prevent groups from advocating on behalf of women;

Changed the rules of the Women's Program to allow funding for for-profit groups. The struggle for women's equality is not a money-making venture but a grassroots effort of committed activists;

Gutted the research and policy capacity of Status of Women Canada, which will deprive groups of valuable information for use in public education products, government briefs, and for the development of public policy;

Closed 12 of 16 regional Status of Women Canada offices, which will eliminate the connection between the federal government and women in their communities;

Eliminated the Court Challenges Program and disbanded the Law Commission, handicapping the ability of women, particularly Aboriginal and minority women, from defending their human rights;

Eliminated $17.7 million from literacy programs, making it even more difficult for women to gain the skills they need to make a better life for themselves; and

Eliminated the Liberal child care agreements and replaced them with $20 a week and no new child care spaces, in spite of the fact that almost 71% of mothers with children under the age of six are in the labour force.

Thanks to Sean Holman at PublicEyeOnline I have perused this website www.equalvoice.ca where you will find a link to Online Campaign School " Getting to the Gate".

There was a time when the BCWLC ( late 70's early 80's) ran annual workshops at the AGM,s designed to encourage women Candidates in every aspect of a campaign from nominations through to the reality of (role playing) door to door canvass.It is the personal contact that gets the vote.

By the early 1990's there was a group of women (triparty) who held annual "Winning Women Campaign" workshops, bringing in the professional Communications people and really assisting women at the Municipal level, noteably more and more women have been successful at both the Municipal and Provincial levels. That is a good thing.

What really needs to happen and it is confirmed on the www.equalvoice.ca website is the need for federal political party's to nominate more women candidates. Getting to the Gate sounds great, but.... you still need the key to get inside.

The Liberal party has it's challenges as do the other political party's because we do not want to see the headlines that "Men need not apply".

Friday, March 02, 2007

Thoughts on nominations !

It was all tha gingseng in the ColdFX that had me believing that appointed candidates are the way to get the nod. The reality is that I am a democrat, I beleive in the full participation of people in the political process.Although I will not outright dismiss the extra special appointment of a Candidate, I like to see a real contest at the riding level.

Whilst the federal riding president of VIN, I pulled together a very eclectic group of Liberals from every area within this riding. Ideally a person in every Poll with the target of an election day always the driving force. It is the Human Factor that skews everything in Theory, and putting together a organization takes time, years in fact. For the better part of 3 years, we had monthly meetings alternatively between Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Hardy and even one in Gold River driving through a snow storm to get there. This was in the lead up to the 2003 leadership and the 2004 election which followed shortly thereafter. The building of the organization started to gel when we had our Twin MP Andy Scott (Fredericton N.B.) into the riding one hot July week.

Three very strong potential Candidates went on a recruitment membership drive. This was no easy task at that time because the 5 membership forms at a time were the rule ( ludicrous) a constant bone of contention for all three and one that was never lifted during the entire process. In spite of that the riding saw membership grow to 1140 which was a major feat given the BS we had to put up with and I attribute to the anticipation of Paul Martin Leading the Liberal Party of Canada.Because of the growth in our riding the LPCBC Campaign set our Nomination into motion immediately upon the lifting of the Green Light committee. It was the one and only window of opportunity to get a Liberal Elected on VIN.

We scheduled the nomination meeting in the Comox Valley and had polling places in Campbell River, Port Hardy and Gold River so it was up to each Candidate to GOTV.My thoughts on this was that each of them would show their organizational abilities and we just might be able to hobble together a 1 person 1 poll for E Day.

We were so well organized we did it all in our own riding without intrusion from the LPCBC Campaign altough there was a flying swat team that came to see and hear us on the day of, they didn't stay around long but they did show up.

A candidate was nominated 4 months before the writ an Ideal situation.

Not really, the Candidate decided he did not need the Liberals to guide him, he had his own parallel organization and laid down his plan with no consultation because damn it he had a campaign organizer who was going to show us how to get elected.A campaign organizer who beleived in deficit spending.They blew off the liberal association but blamed the associtaion when it all started to fall apart..

How many riding assocations go through this same sort of thing? There are all kinds of stories like this one, and sadly this organization fell apart. Here we are 3 years later and no one knows what kind of deal was set between the 2004 Candidate and his recruited Candidate in 2006 ( neither of them even live in the Riding anymore), not even in British Columbia.

What's even sadder was the Guy from Northern Ontario who became the Riding President in 2005 attending the Federal Council Meetings but never calling a meeting in the riding. Once again he was going to show us how to get the job done, because damn it in Northern Ontario they can elect a Liberal MP.He talked the talk but never walked the west coast walk.The LPCBC was contacted by other executive members and all the pleas for help fell on deaf ears.Here we are in March 2007 with another federal Election looming, a VINFLA AGM set in 2 days time, no potential candidates, we have a new leader in the person of Stephane Dion, will his Environment Platform work here, it should but it won't.

A harsh as this may sound, this may just be one of 308 ridings that should have a name on the ballot because without an organization or any fundraising, it just is not fair to ask anyone............. seriously.