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.