The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Sept. 24, 2014
Zero per cent of mayoral candidates and roughly 15 per cent of ward candidates seeking a seat on city council this October are women.
Only nine women decided to seek municipal leadership out of a total of 66 candidates — 12 seeking the mayor’s seat and 54 seeking a spot on city council. The number, in my opinion, is low.
It’s not that there aren’t incredibly intelligent, competent and politically motivated women in Windsor, trust me, there are. Political constituency assistants, executive directors, senior managers and administrative staff, sales managers and account representatives, entrepreneurs … the list goes on and on. The statement “there aren’t any competent women” in Windsor is both offensive and doesn’t hold true.
And this isn’t to suggest the current crop of female candidates aren’t suited for the roles they are seeking, indeed they are motivated, community driven, passionate and intelligent.
However, the issue of fewer women being involved in politics is hardly relegated to the political world and it’s well known that the same conversation is had in many facets of life, business and social.
For too long there has been a society-wide gender disparity and it needs to be addressed.
At the same time, it’s useful to examine the total number of candidates seeking office as a whole and not separated along gender lines.
A small number of residents decided to seek higher office overall and we need to do more to engage residents to get them active in local politics.
Generally speaking, municipal politics affects residents far more than provincial or federal politics, and residents need to remember this at all times.
Clearly a half credit in civics taught in Grade 10 doesn’t do enough to motivate students politically outside of that one and a half month period.
Perhaps municipalities, with financial assistance from the province, should hold public forums on the political process, local politics and how the city operates on a daily basis.
Or perhaps residents should simply care more about where they live and actively take part in learning about the community which surrounds them.
Either way, something needs to change because there aren’t nearly enough women or residents as a whole seeking representation at the municipal level.
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LETTER: More women needed in politics (archive.org)
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.
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