[Linda Slobodian] Don't blame gender, Notley just wasn't up to the job

[Linda Slobodian] Don’t blame gender. Notley just wasn’t up to the job

Opinion
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“Notley’s defeat certainly trains a spotlight on what are the opportunities for women in politics and the difficulties they face.”

Professor Sylvia Bashevkin, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

VIDEO: [The Iron Lady] Margaret Thatcher issues the order to sink the ARA General Belgrano in the movie. [2011].


Gender study experts (mostly radical feminists and pundits existing in bubbles), figure that when women in high political positions lose re-election bids, it’s because they are victims of double standards, intolerable scrutiny, archaic beliefs and awful, nasty misogynists.

So, when these females were first elected, were those neanderthal thinkers so busy gnawing raw meat off bones that they forgot to drag themselves on their knuckles to the polls to vote against them? Were the misogynist hordes taking a nap?
Ridiculous gender excuses aside, there are reasons why voters boot politicians out of office.

They failed.

They lost touch.

They lost trust.

They either lied when making campaign promises or didn’t bother to honour promises made. They were fiscally inept and didn’t fiercely fight for those they were supposed to protect and represent. They prioritized meaningless, expensive, sometimes destructive causes that defied the majority’s will.

Crying gender inequality is a pathetic excuse for failure. Defeat doesn’t come because someone wears lipstick. Evidence? Male politicians who disappoint also get turfed.

There’s something unique to Canada though. No female politician elected to high office has ever served a second term.

Canada’s only female prime minister Kim Campbell came to office in 1993 through a party leadership convention. She lost a general election four months later. Campbell miscalculated badly and away she went. Campbell resurfaced briefly in January to tweet a vulgar comment about U.S. President Donald Trump. And some women don’t know why they get no respect.

In 2013 almost half of Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders were female. One by one – B.C.’s Christy Clark, Quebec’s Pauline Marois, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Kathy Dunderdale, Eva Aariak in Nunavut, Alberta’s Alison Redford and Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne – were turfed when election time rolled around again.

Wynne blamed her defeat on a phantom misogyny permeating Canadian society and a disproportionate amount of criticism against women in public office. Apparently, her failed policies weren’t an issue.

This month, Alberta’s election added the New Democrat Party’s Rachel Notley to the list of one-time female premiers when Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party defeated her. Predictably, hand-wringing pundits spewed excuses. In a nutshell, it seems beleaguered Albertans are too backward to embrace gender equality and stuff like that.

In her speech on the heels of defeat, Notley urged women to ignore setbacks that impede them and “fight’ for a seat at the political table. Canadian voters have placed a setting at that table for many females. After seeing them operate, they just chose not to invite them back.

Had Notley served Alberta well, farmers and rednecks would have joined the bowtie and pink-haired crowd to re-elect her.

University of Calgary professor Melanee Thomas, gender inequality researcher, lamented that female leaders face a double standard. University of Ottawa political studies professor Genevieve Tellier opined that women are voted into leadership when their organizations are in crisis, then ousted when things improve making them hapless victims of the “glass cliff.”

Oh dear. Now we have a glass cliff, just when we can’t bear to hear anymore bleating about women having to break through the glass ceiling.

Think Hillary Clinton. Her relentless ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ mantra during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign nauseated successful women. How did that gender card ploy about becoming the first female president work out for Hillary?

President Donald Trump is breaking records and doing a fantastic job taking care of ordinary Americans.

Hillary was dull. Alleged corruption accusations still under bubbling multiple investigations stalked her. Claims that women must break though some ceiling insult visionary, heroic female political leaders who, for the sake of God and country, stood up to the devil of their time and defeated him.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: Thatcher stared down a hostile Argentinian military junta. In 1979 she became the first woman to be elected British prime minister and was the longest serving one of the 20th century.

One of the Iron Lady’s finest moments was during the 1982 Falkland Islands crisis. Colonial citizens inhabited the Falklands and wanted to remain under British rule. Argentina invaded Falkland territory. Thatcher dispatched a naval task force. She learned that destroyers and the General Belgrano, an Argentinian cruiser, appeared to be moving toward British vessels.

“Sink it,” she said calmly. The Royal Navy did. Argentinian troops soon surrendered. British voters brought Thatcher back in 1983 and again in 1987.

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir: Meir faced a surprise coordinated attack from multiple forces – Syria, Egypt, nine Arab States and the Soviet Union – who were hellbent on wiping Israel out in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Just 180 Israeli tanks faced 1,400 Syrian tanks, 436 Israeli infantry faced 80,000 Egyptian troops. The slaughter of Israeli troops and destruction of equipment was swift and severe. Arms and ammunition were almost depleted. A plea for help to then U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was met with a cold: “Let Israel bleed a little.” Meir was urged to surrender. Instead, she placed a 3 a.m. call to then U.S. President Richard Nixon who recalled that his Quaker mother told him that one day Israel would need his help. Nixon said: “You get the stuff to Israel now. Now. Now.” Some 815 sorties quickly brought Israel 56 combat aircraft and 28,000 tonnes of munitions and supplies – enough to save Israel and end the war. Meir served as prime minister from 1967 to 1974.

India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi: Gandhi was drawn into war with Pakistan in 1971. She has been praised for conducting herself with patience and restraint, which contributed to a decisive win. This brilliant woman gained respect and prestige as an international leader who promoted peace and opposed colonialism and racialism.

She served as prime minister from 1966 to 1977, then again from 1980 to 1984 until her assassination at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards.

Mercilessly, not all politicians must rally the troops to war. But all are duty-bound to fend off whatever poses a threat to the people they represent.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley: Notley’s faced standing up to a drama teacher. OK, a former drama teacher able to cry on cue and dress up in costumes. She retreated, time and again, letting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have his way with Alberta to carve a path of economic destruction. Notley served one term.

During this last election campaign Notley made grand promises. Nobody believed her. She had claimed to fight for the oil industry, yet cozied up to Trudeau to help him destroy it by blocking pipelines; blindsided Albertans by implementing a carbon tax; pushed the province into deeper debt by mandating social programs few wanted; and created regulations that choked the private sector. Notley protested not when Trudeau rammed through an extension of the equalization payment system forcing crippled Alberta to heavily subsidize public services in other provinces. Investment in Alberta dried up, tens of thousands lost their jobs and homes.

Not getting re-elected has nothing to do with gender nonsense and everything to do with clueless leadership.

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, comes to mind. France was starving. Failed crops and rodent infestations contributed to a severe bread shortage. When informed, Antoinette’s famous reply? “Let them eat cake.” She actually said: “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” which is a sweet French bread.

She was clueless too.

Sadly, the people of France could not toss her out.

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