Sunday, January 06, 2008

Women...He Needs Them

Two things here.

A couple of posts back I was heartened to see Bob Fife calling the government to account.

Sadly another story I just read, not by him but by CanWest, tells me it's going to be a while before we actually see this happen.

The other obvious point of this story is the fact that Harper does need more support from women but according to his buddy Flanagan, they don't seem to care.

Nevertheless, the party's failure to gain traction among women causes some supporters to bristle. "Why are women's votes so uniquely important? Each vote counts one," Tom Flanagan, a University of Calgary professor who was once one of Harper's top aides, said in an e-mail.

It's difficult to understand how this guy thinks he is helping the party and his buddy. Moreover, it's telling to realise that Harper actually took his advice. He seems to preach deceit, disregard for what most Canadians care about and in the above comment a complete failure to comprehend the make-up of this country. This is how he suggested that Harper go about his business as PM.

So let's look at the article unto itself.

Two years ago, political pundits wouldn't have given Prime Minister Stephen Harper much chance of winning over Ariette Schoorl.
The 61-year-old, who considers herself left wing, was initially put off by Harper's "cold" personality.
But even though she doesn't always agree with the Harper government's policies, especially on the environment, she has come to admire the prime minister's poise.

"He stays cool, he stays under control and I appreciate that in the guy," she said. "He can't help it that he's a conservative."
If they hope to win a majority in the next federal election, Harper's Conservatives will need to discover more women like Schoorl.

What kind of an illogical leap is that? Is Andrew Mayeda, the author, suggesting that women will ignore issues and simply base their vote on how Harper keeps his cool in the MSM?

Nowhere in her quote do I see her saying that she'll vote for Harper. She disagrees on the environment for gawd's sake. If that is important to her, he suggests that she'll just swallow her principals because he stays cool under pressure? The other obvious comment here is that she obviously doesn't follow politics closely. She's been fed the pap on the evening news that shows us Harper the moderate. If she were to take a gander at QP, she'd see the steam coming out of his collar and the sheer vindictiveness by which he guides himself.

All she is saying here is that he is not as bad as she thought he might be. No doubt given what she is given to digest.

Darrell Bricker who produced a poll showing how low women rank in Harper's support says this:

"Women tend to not to be as interested in the big-P political-power issues. For them politics isn't necessarily about the cut and thrust of party politics or big-dollar economics or relationships among states," said Bricker. "They tend to be focused more locally; they tend to be more interested in things that affect them and their families."

Statements like this drive me absolutely mad! I'm not disputing that this profile shows up in his polls, but I personally know few women who aren't tuned in to the big picture and obviously I'm not one of them. This kind of generalisation I find demeaning. I do know a couple like this but in the end they do not even focus on their own environs in political terms.

Then we get this nugget:

"All in all, what women want, although you can't speak for all women, is a secure economy and decisive leadership, and we certainly don't see that in Mr. Dion," said Gwendolyn Landolt, national vice president at Real Women Canada, a "pro-family" organization that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.

In fairness, at least the writer told us who she is but her comment is ridiculous and based only in the rhetoric we know she spews, taken directly from the Conservative talking points.

And finally this:

One of the Harper government's most high-profile decisions regarding women came in fall 2006, when it cut $5 million in administrative funding from Status of Women Canada, an agency that promotes gender equality. Coupled with the cancellation of the Court Challenges Program, which advocates say was an important tool to fight for women's rights, the move sparked outrage among many women's groups.
"Under the radar, Harper has been eliminating funding for women," says Rebick.
But Status of Women minister Josee Verner notes her government restored $1.3 million in administrative funding for Status of Women in last year's budget, and increased funding by 42 per cent for a program that seeks to improve the "economic, social and cultural situation" of women.

What absolute nonsense Verner spews. I don't have the numbers at hand, but her 42% comment is completely disingenuous. She has an interesting way of doing math. She cuts, gets called on it, uses that as her base line, then adds back some money dispersed sporadically and bases her % increase on that. It's kind of like using 2006 as a Kyoto baseline target, while, oops, forgetting to mention that fact. Perhaps Verner like her leader thinks little of women, or at least their ability to do math. Perhaps I'm missing something but she doesn't strike me as the most congealed ice-cube in the tray.

As Rebick says and I don't quote her often, women represent 52% of this country. I can think of few men who revile me more than Harper, well, I could delve into his cabinet but I won't bore you.

Even if he made an attempt, he's incapable imo. Women who read here will get that right away, so will good and clever men.

So here we are in 2008 and Harper etal still none the wiser. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Harper thinks longevity plays in his favour. He misses how many examples he given us to portray him as he really is.


Gayle said...

I actually do not have a problem with the article itself. Putting Flanagan's quote at the end concludes the article on a negative note.

I am quite happy he put "pro-family" in quotes. I hate organizations like Real Women calling themselves pro-family. It is not like I am anti-family just because I do not support RW. It is kind of like suggesting I am anti-life just because I support a woman's right to choose.

As for Bricker's comments, he seems to imply what he refers to "Big-P" political issues are more important than poverty, and the environment.

wilson said...

Curious. Endless articles and polls on Cons not getting the womens vote.
The reverse is true for the Libs.
Men are more likely to vote Conservative than Liberal.
Does that give Libs reason to be concerned?

If poverty is a priority in the next platform, will the Libs quit voting against the Coservatives on giving Native Women rights?
Will Libs quit voting against the Conservatives on including Natives under the Charter?

The Conservative agenda is about the family.
That would include women, but not exclusively.
Dads, Grandparents, all caregivers, all women (pro or anti abortion, pro or anti SSM, all women).

clh said...

Too bad the poll and article wasn't more informative. What are the gender breakdowns for the other parties?

Certainly a 15% gender gap is very significant and shows a polarization of the type George Bush attracts. However, as Wilson implies, a large gender gap for one party results in opposite gender gaps somewhere else, and it would be interesting to do the work to determine what is causing the gap. For example, women being repelled by Harper would cause an opposite gender gap for Dion, but men being repelled by Dion could cause a gender gap for Harper. Some of the quotes in this article support the former, but it could also be a combination of the two.

Wilson - you say the Conservative agenda is about family, but the "pro-family" language has become owned by the religious-right and so many see the political use of it as really supporting "conventional" families with stay at home mothers. Many families were counting on more accessible, affordable daycare, among other things, and Harper let them down.

Jeff Davidson said...

harper can't reach out to those beyond his philosophy.those who subscribe to the narrow vision offered by REAL WOMEN wouldn't vote for ANY liberal leader.

i don't know many women in my world who want anything to do with REAL WOMEN.

clh said...

Real Women is part of the religious right -- their mission statement includes:

To promote, secure and defend legislation which upholds the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage and family life.

To support the right to life of all innocent individuals from conception to natural death.

Ryan said...

Hmmm. I'm getting the feeling that the Conservatives may have picked up all the dupes that they can, hence their stall in the polls.

They've been laying on the rhetoric and cutting taxes and still haven't made any major gains. For some reason his cheesy macho antics don't appeal to women. Go figure.

wilson said...

chl, a pro-family agenda has nothing to do with religion.
Where is the religion in these issues:
-reducing poverty
-raising the age of consent to 16 to protect children from preditors

And google:
..NDP Faith and Social Justice Caucus (Dec 2007)
and you will see that the 'religious right' does not own pro-family issues.
Our manipulating media would have you think so, tho.

I haven't found any current poll data on the women's voting numbers.
But if this 14 month old data is any indictation, there is a 6% difference between Libs and Cons in women's voting intensions.
Not significant enough for the endless 'women don't like Cons' articles;
but shoring up the 6% gap would be the difference between a minority and majority Conservative govt.

Reminder- Chretien formed a majority with 38% and a divided right.

CTV Oct 2006
'The Decima Poll was conducted between October 12 and October 16 based on a sample of 1,038 Canadians, with a margin of error of 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
It suggests 34 per cent of female voters support the Liberals, 28 per cent support the Tories, and 16 per cent support the NDP.'

wilson said...

If Dippers are successful in appealing to religious lefties, Libs will be in opposition for
a l o n g while.

'But almost 80 per cent of Canadians, according to the 2001 census, identify themselves as Christian'

Also, Stats Cda reports that less than 15% of children in daycare are in public facitiies.
The majority of childcare is provided by a parent or family member.
Providing Universal Childcare, as prescribed by the Conservatives, is ultimately better for families than is trying to buy that 6% target group of women who are most likely diehard Libs (as I am a diehard Cons)

wilson said...

At the risk of being pesky (sorry)
I just found a 2007, Oct, poll with womens voting intentions.
Ready for a shocker?
Of decided voters, 33% of women intend to vote Conservative, and 29% of women will vote Liberal.

In a male:female by party
Cons 40:27
Libs 24:33

The regional breakdown also shows that where Cons lost women support, it went to the NDP, NOT to the Liberals.

huh...perhaps it is the Libs that need to worry about womens' votes going to the Dippers!

Why aren't Libs concerned?
Only 24% of their voters are men, and Dippers are enjoying the Cons losses of women voters.

Ryan said...


"And google:
..NDP Faith and Social Justice Caucus (Dec 2007)
and you will see that the 'religious right' does not own pro-family issues.
Our manipulating media would have you think so, tho."

Unfortunately, they (left and right religious voters) for the most part have different definitions of "family values," i.e. what exactly is a family, and most aren't about imposing a strict definition of family values on the society. Nice try in lumping the two together.

You are right about one thing though. Right-wingers don't have a monopoly on family values. Another paranoid right-winger who thinks that "liberals" want to destroy civilization as they know it. I don't know about you, but for me, and most Canadians, being pro-gay rights is a family value. Anti-poverty is a family value. Being a feminist is a family value. These values create strong, diverse, and above all accepting families, versus narrowly defined patriarchal dad, mom and 2.5 kid suburban mythology of the right.

clh said...

Wilson said: Ready for a shocker?
Of decided voters, 33% of women intend to vote Conservative, and 29% of women will vote Liberal.

I assume you meant the other way around, otherwise the Conservatives would be ahead by more than 15%.

And just because people identify themselves as Christian does not mean they want politicians to appeal to them using religion. I believe the NDP means to only use religion selectively to openly religious groups and not use it more generally. Just like the Conservatives plan to target Jewish households and Asian households differently. Such is what Canadian politics has become.

Dame said...

You have a Choice with Harper you can Go backward way way back in time ... or with the Liberals going forward ....

I Got To the point with this guy I want him NOT To Change anything his rhetoric his policies his arrogance his dumb wooden boring insensitive bullyboy attitude his ignorance about women..his manipulations /mostly using OUR hard earned money/ I could Go on with the List.
Hope he will stay as he is now so people will have a clear choice when the time comes..

wilson said...

I totally agree Ryan. A family can be a gay couple, or a religious couple or a single parent or grandparent of either gender.
-And anti-poverty, childcare and environmental issues are NOT women's issues, they are family issues.
-Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives would destroy Canada.
-Women's rights mean to include ALL women, not just pro-choice and pro-SSM women, ALL women.
-It is disturbing to read women bloggers stating they 'hate' a group of women they don't agree with.

if women are so turned off by Conservatives, and can vote for one of 4 other more 'women appealing' parties, who gave PMSH his minority government? only men?
Men represent 48% of canadians.

Gayle said...

"It is disturbing to read women bloggers stating they 'hate' a group of women they don't agree with"

If you are referring to me, you are wrong. I did not say I hate Real Women, I said I hate the implication that those of us who do not accept their definition of "family" to be anti-family.

I do not like RW, and I do not support them because I think they are regressive. Women have the right to live the way they want, and I do not support organizations that pursue policies that would restrict that right.

"Also, Stats Cda reports that less than 15% of children in daycare are in public facitiies.
The majority of childcare is provided by a parent or family member.
Providing Universal Childcare, as prescribed by the Conservatives, is ultimately better for families than is trying to buy that 6% target group of women who are most likely diehard Libs (as I am a diehard Cons)"

Have you considered most women who need day care cannot afford it - so they leave their children with a parent or sibling? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I suspect many people would use daycares if they were affordable - and for too many women they are not affordable.

Harper's policy does nothing to assist the poor. He is giving my tax dollars to millionaires for goodness sake. Please tell me how that is anything but an attempt to purchase votes.