Friday, December 09, 2005


(Bare)foot in the mouth

The early part of the election has seen various candidates (and leaders) make their share of verbal gaffes - e.g. Lapierre, Ducceppe, etc.. Today, however, marks the first day when a politician has made a punishable error. Conservative candidate (and two-term MP) Brian Pallister, when asked about his leadership aspirations, indicated that he is giving a "women's answer". This is perplexing on a host of levels.

Pallister is running for re-election Manitoba. But he's also testing the waters for a possible run to become the next leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives.

"I am copping what's known as a woman's answer, isn't it? It's a sort of fickle kind of thing," he said, responding to criticism that a federal election campaign is no time for a candidate to be examining other job prospects.

Pallister comments just entrench the notion that the Conservative Party is "scary" and is a party of angry, white males. Also, it is unclear what exactly he gains by shooting off his mouth (as he did during the David Dingwall affair). The Conservative party has worked hard to soften their image and their recent ads *attempt* to reach out to female voters.

Women have difficulty securing roles and nominations in political parties. For example, why is a Liberal star candidate Deborah Coyne asked / encouraged to run against NDP Leader Jack Layton while the other star Toronto candidate, Michael Ignatieff, runs in a rather safe riding in Etobicoke?

The Liberals were smart enough not to vote for a candidate, and former provincial cabinet minister, who made sexist comments in Newfoundland. The Conservatives appear to still be learning.

FYI - Brian can be reached for comment here.

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