10.23.2015 06:24 AM

Well-behaved women seldom make history

This tweet, about the possible candidacies of Rempel and Raitt:

Elicited sexism, some subtle, some not. Example here. Disappointing.

I do, however, expect more of this sort of thing. Even from people who should know better.


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    Steve T says:

    Want to compare and contrast? Lisa Raitt, versus Elizabeth May. There is no doubt I’d rather have Raitt representing Canada in international affairs. It’s no different than Trudeau versus someone like Pat Martin. Being vocal about your positions is one thing. Being a “loud-mouthed schnook” (as Foghorn Leghorn was once described) is something else. The obvious example is when Raitt tried to rescue May from her own drunken idiocy. It’s clearly not a woman thing at all – it’s just a matter of character.

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      P Brenn says:

      all these women could be great leaders…really sad in this day and age to discount any of them….if conservatives do that ie leave these leaders out of a serious attempt to lead the party they are shooting themselves in foot….they could end up with another Hudak type who was not a leader in any stretch of the imagination ….and may have done it again by putting Brown in instead of Flaherty at provincial level…not to say McKay or one of others may not be a good leader its the need to be inclusive and open that is neccessary

      Their party needs a redo like liberals did ..same old same old ..well will be the same old

      Is Mulcair really gonig to be able to stay as NDP leader ….did they disband the band they had playing at the beginning of the election

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    Maps Onburt says:

    Right you are Warren. It’s disappointing in this day and age that there are those (on all sides) who criticize women politicians on the basis of their sex. It’s also clear however that by and large Canadians have moved beyond this as evidenced by the strong wins (usually against male candidates) by women political party leaders such as Premier Clark of BC, Premier Notley of Alberta and Premier Wynne of Ontario. I agree that Michelle Remple would make a promising Conservative leader, as would Lisa Raitt, Kellie Leach or my favourite Laureen Harper (hey if Hilary can do it why not Laureen?). PM Margaret Thatcher proved once and for all that women can make brilliant leaders and frankly most of us should know better by now.

    You’ve just managed to marry a whip,smart, capable woman. My wife is also the smartest person I know – especially from an EQ perspective which many of us males are more weak in. I’m not impressed by Trudeau’s pledge to have fifty percent of women cabinet ministers because I really think it taints women by suggesting they couldn’t get the job otherwise but he’s absolutely right in that there should be close to fifty percent women in the House of Commons (although practicably there may be less as more women choose to stay home with the kids than men do). Good on you for calling this out. I noticed yesterday that Michelle’s provincial riding counterpart was complaining of similar harassment. It crosses all party lines.

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    Dr Nosworthy says:

    I agree there are elements of sexism in the impugned tweet. However, there is something much more common involved: branding conservative thought “radical”.

    The left (and their compatriots in the media) never refer to “left wing radicals”. It is as if the ideological bell curve had only one wing – the right one. Indeed, if we had a balanced media and intellectual class, Trudeau’s first announcements would be brandished as radical left-wing (if he is opposed to airstrikes against the most heinous and metastasizing foes known in our lifetimes, then he is de facto opposed to any military action ever – radical indeed).

    But it is only conservatives who own their “wing” of the right wing label. I look forward to watching the radicalization of any and all conservative candidates who come to the fore. After all, if one is standing on the left side of the ideological bell curve (as virtually the entire media class is) anything to the right becomes “radical”.

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      Russ says:

      Pulling out of the air strikes is not ideological position. They are not the best use of our resources in this campaign. Western governments use air power because it is a low risk way of being seen to do something. The more effective but riskier intervention is the ground campaign, which can range from training to active involvement. In the end you can not defeat an insurgency from the air.

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    Dr Nosworthy says:

    An addendum to the above:

    As Chretien/Martin were well aware, the left wing media class did not represent the core of Canadian thought (which is why every single poll shows widespread support for bombing ISIS, and non-support for the Niqab). Chretien wisely refused to be seduced by the left wing media echo chamber, and thus ruled from the center (some would argue his policies and Harper’s were quite indistinguishable, particularly on the economic front).

    Trudeau’s first announcements as PM elect appear to be the opposite. If he continues to confuse the generic demand for “change” as a wholehearted endorsement of a far left-wing policy, he will have a difficult tenure as PM indeed.

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    A, Voter says:

    The Liberals only have privileged white males from Central Canada as leaders. Maybe the Conservatives and NDP should both consider an alternative to that scenario for the next election.

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      Maps Onburt says:

      They’d do better to make sure who ever they elect is a good leader and a good candidate. Simply putting someone in because they are of one sex or another is silly. The old PC’s tried that with Kim Campbell… look how well that worked out for them. Margaret Thatcher on the other hand…. That said, I think the Conservatives have no shortage of women that could do a good job… Lisa Raitt, Michelle Remple, Shelly Glover, Laureen Harper, and even Rona Ambrose who seemed to grow into her job (although she did have some stumbling initially).

      I don’t think Mulclair is going anywhere… the NDP doesn’t eat their leaders for failures like the Liberals do. Look how many chances they gave Broadbent. I get shivers just thinking of Peggy Nash, Heather Malick or Libby Davis in that job. I got the sense that Megan Leslie might have been good but she lost her seat in the Red wave.

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        Bluegreenblogger says:

        Wow! Just WOW! Did I just slip back into the eighties?

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    PJ says:

    I agree with your tweet re sexist and am reminded of something Justin Trudeau spoke about when he eulogized his father at his funeral.
    Justin Trudeau told the story of when he was on Parliament Hill with his father and he made a joke about the leader of the official opposition, Joe Clark.
    The elder Trudeau responded: “Justin we always attack the idea passionately if we disagree but never the person.”

    Yes it is fair to comment on a potential leader’s capabilities and accomplishments and liabilities but we can do it without the sexist comments.

    I must say though, all potential leadership hopefuls who were part of Mr. Harper’s caucus in the last term, will have to answer for remaining silent while the Prime Minister pandered to Islamaphobia and why his caucus lacked the courage to oppose C-24. I think it will take more than a change of leader for the Conservatives to challenge for the right to govern going forward.

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      MoeL says:

      Yes, Raitt, like all CPC candidates, remained silent when this hateful Islamaphobia stuff was coming out. Shame on them. Remple, on the other hand, was a fixture on P&P selling the CPC message. I think this sad episode will haunt them all… especially Kelly Leitch. Chris Alexander is irrelevant.

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    cs says:

    John Baird can be described using the same traits they called Rempel on, and with Baird it was acceptable, and even admirable.

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    Kelly says:

    You’re right. I think there are pockets of sexism out there that will react to women desiring to lead the conservative party, but at the end of the day any Conservative party leader who was part of Harper’s caucus is going to have to answer for some really terrible policy and general incompetence within the Conservative administration. Some of the policy was truly breathtaking in its stupidity -) such as cancelling the long form census, and attacking Libya militarily which has only created MORE terrorists. And this isn’t even touching on all of the anti-democratic stuff, weakening of food safety and transportation laws and not correcting them until people had to die first.

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    Jack D says:

    Several problems here, least of which are the “looks and style” of these women vying for leadership.

    First off, the Jason Kenney factor –he’s coming for that leadership chair like a runaway train and there is no stopping him. He will undoubtedly win the leadership because that base, that Tenyke rightly referred to as granite-like, is going to be looking for a leader thats familiar enough without being exactly like Harper. That individual is Jason Kenney; he’s Harper with a warmer demeanour. The CPC base despises Justin Trudeau and the idea of having anyone that’s slightly as friendly as him is going to result in a reflexive response of dismissal.

    Second (tying into my first point), the Conservative base is looking for vengeance and they want a guy who they think will tear Trudeau to shreds. They won’t pick Lisa Raitt or Michele Rempel due to that exact reason. They won’t think they’re “up to the job” of taking Trudeau and Liberals on. Its going to be a self-perpetuating cycle of emotional decisions and not rational ones.

    Third, Lisa Raitt specifically is perhaps the best leader the CPC could possibly ask for. She’s everything that this party has been lacking for a very long time. They have been deprived of a leader with a humanistic touch and she’s a progressive conservative. Which is why she needs to wait out at least one election before the CPC base realizes that the staunchness of the Harper’s and the Kenney’s of the party is no longer effective on a leader like Trudeau who will always go on the charm offensive to counter that negativity.

    Any formidable candidate would be wise to wait until the party can cleanse itself of its old habits. Its just like the Liberals, whether Dion or Ignatieff, the problem was that voters just weren’t interested.

    My prediction: At least 8 years (two consecutive Liberal majorities) until the Conservatives are competitive again. The sort of rhetoric I’m hearing from some top Conservatives right now tells me the road to contrition is a long one. Voices of rationality will fall on deaf ears until the party can be refreshed from the top down.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Laureen Harper? Shouldn’t she have served in public office as either an MP or Senator before being seriously considered for leadership? Something about being PM not being an entry level position.

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      Maps Onburt says:

      Trudeau just proved you only need to have lived at 24 Sussex before. She’s more than qualified.

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        Bluegreenblogger says:

        You guys just got your clock cleaned by Trudeau, yet you still repeat the stoopid talking points that lost you the election. Well, keep it up. I would prefer to clobber you again in 4-5 years, so DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING.

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    Danny says:

    I am hoping the Conservatives set a long time frame to a new leader. I think they need a good bit of soul searching, policy discussion and future planning. There is no rush.
    They are in a good spot. They have almost 100 seats and a good organization. They have a very solid base. And as the official opposition they have resources and exposure that will serve them well. They are Canada’s government in waiting if/when the Liberals lose the plot.
    There are lots of potential leaders. Women like :Michelle Remple, Lisa Raitt, Rona Ambrose. Outside the box, maybe a Christie Clarke or Carol Taylor. Men, lots: Jason Kenny, John Baird, Peter McKay, or my favourite Maxime Bernier. (Have I mentioned I lean Libertarian) I sure I have missed tons.

    There are two kinds of churches. Those that bring in new converts and those that chase out the heretics. The Conservatives have leaned towards the latter lately, they need to move towards the former. I am hopefull.

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    Bluegreenblogger says:

    Hmmm. Why would it be that when a Conservative woman raises her head, we all wait for the axe to fall? Nobody would think twice about a dipper, liberal, Green, or even Bloquiste woman running for and winning the top job. Well I just read a quote out of Boessenkools mouth in Akins column in the Sun. I guess in between making babies, women can be useful:

    “Boessenkool has been freely dispensing his advice about the party’s future since Monday’s loss.

    Among the most interesting observations he’s offered is that the party should seriously consider the advantage a female candidate would have over Justin Trudeau in 2019.

    “It’s quite remarkable. Women don’t lose,” Boessenkool said.”

    These guys, and I use the word guys advisedly, just do not get it. Elections will always be gimmicky marketing efforts to them.

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    sloan says:

    Who cares about her gender?

    Michelle Rempel can win in safe Calgary suburbs. Does she know how to win in Liberal or NDP territory?

    And how does highlighting her constant presence on CBC help her? She spent more time in the TV studio than her own riding as one of the nation’s most prominent Conservatives and the voters soundly rejected their message.

    And for crying out loud, the 3 a.m. twitter rant, preemptively whining about sexism doesn’t exactly scream “Future Prime Minister”. You want to be a head of state? Act like one. This ain’t high school.

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