Courting the Women’s Vote in 2011

Every party is courting the women’s vote. They are The Undecided – more women than men are still parking their vote.

That’s typical of most elections. Women listen for longer, decide later in an election campaign. When the time comes, they will be the kingmakers, if you’ll pardon the term.

It leaps to mind because Stephen Harper just said, in the middle of the election campaign, “The successor to the throne is a man. The next successor to the throne is a man. … That’s our position, and I just don’t see that as a priority for Canadians right now at all.” He is, of course, correct that how the next monarch gets selected is not an issue for Canadians during this election campaign. But it was a surprising answer to a question about how he would address systemic bias against females in the rules about succession. (Lucky Steve wasn’t around when Liz was queued up for the job 59 years ago.)

His position (or, as he says, “our position”, in the royal tradition) lines up perfectly with what he put on offer for women on the very first day of this campaign. It’s a bold new initiative, a “vision” really, since it wouldn’t kick in til 2015: income splitting for young families. One breadwinner. One homemaker. Never mind most young families cannot take advantage of this sweet tax deal. Harper knows best.

And now, the latest: The Harper government, which if you will recall is in the middle of a job interview to assess if it still has that position, is cutting Planned Parenthood.

Now that’s straight out of the Bush League. Or what’s left of it in the U.S.

The Republican manoeuvre to cut Planned Parenthood was featured on The Daily Show last night.

There was a clip of Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl lying outright about what Planned Parenthood does – “90% abortions” was the quote. When caught flatfooted with the facts (abortion accounts for 3% of what they fund)  he said, I kid you not, “that statement wasn’t meant to be factual”.  (By the way, 97% of Planned Parenthood’s resources goes to STD treatments, cancer screening and prevention, contraception, etc, in that order)

Not intended to be a factual statement. LOL. Coming to a neighbourhood near you. Courtesy of SUN TV.

So barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen is what they think women want ,eh?  That’s probably not what these men want.

Tasha Kheiriddin has a tour-de-force column today about SUN TV’s portrayal and use of women. “If this is the tone they want to strike, I won’t be watching.” Harsh, coming from a “small-c conservative”. By the way, Kory Teneycke, former director of communications for Stephen Harper, quit Sun TV a few months back, but he’s now baaaack.  Which may account for the incessant pro-Harper message track, and a little insight on how big-C Conservatives really view women..

Today, on the front page of the Globe and Mail on-line edition, there’s a link to a video that’s gone viral – The Best Pickup Line.  (Spoiler alert: It’s “I’m not Stephen Harper”.)   It’s a sassy indictment of the Harper record on women, and well worth considering as women head to the polls.

Fed up with turkey yet?

Fed up with turkey yet?

To the age-old question “what do women want?” on May 2nd Canadian women should resoundingly answer with the age-old answer: “Not a turkey”.

4 comments

  • You should all watch Colbert’s coverage of Kyl’s ridiculous attempt to excuse his lies about Planned Parenthood, if you haven’t already. Here’s a convenient link:

    http://gawker.com/#!5791100/watch-stephen-colberts-defense-of-planned-parenthood

  • Armine,

    You are brilliant. Let me count the ways. Now get that sharp wit on twitter.

    In Sol
    Lana

  • Yep full of he-man marketing. What I am baffled about is the schedule. Why the skin before dinner? Maybe I am daft but it seems like they have their programming totally backwards. Or maybe they are trying to pander to the unemployed male who dreams of a job and a skirt with a turkey when they come home. I am baffled.

  • Denise Freedman

    Even though the NDP seems now, as if often does at this point in a national campaign, to be shoving the Liberals out of second place, even the NDP is ignoring issues that affect women, and others marginalized, disproportionally.

    I haven’t heard anything in the national campaign about the long gun registry, or if anyone has mentioned it, it isn’t as if it is anything anyone wants heard–even the NDP has its rural gun supporters; but guns in rural areas kill women just as much as in urban areas.

    Or the Mandatory Long Form Census?

    I don’t always get the figures right, but isn’t the information gathered by the Mandatory Long Form Census significantly more important to those marginalized in society, women, people with disabilities, children, GLBT/T, than to those who are running the campaigns–and what we actually hear in the campaign?

    Was Brad Trost, of Saskatoon-Humbolt, just a one-day wonder?

    Speaking about urban areas, Christopher Hume on The Toronto Star’s website points out “Harper’s Canada does not include cities,” unless they are “ethnic” or maybe “very ethnic.”

    Who is speaking for cities in this election?

    Hume amasses large numbers of statistics, for those so inclined, on the relative powerlessness of urban riding constituents relative to rural. The overwhelming significance of urban areas regarding job creation, and the need for social services, disproportionately needed by women and children, seems invisible in this campaign.

    I would be happy to have the NDP end up being second largest seat winner in the new Parliament, though listening to Don Davies last evening on CBC News Network on crime issues I thought, at moments, I was hearing a Conservative speak.

    Recently, Michael Bliss spoke on the TVO about the NDP’s race to the centre–and our loss of a distinctive and, dare I say, heterodox, voice on policy.

    Given the silence of even the NDP on issues that are important to women, and others marginalized, why would it be anything other than rational to park our votes, or simply to support “none of the above”?

    What is the value of statistics and statistical analysis when this campaign is govern by fantastical visions of “the Family”? And whatever statistics and statistical analysis offered is in support of the values creating these visions, not grounding them in reality?

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