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• Tuesday, March 01st, 2011

Christy Clark was not expected to win the BC Premiership.

At least, not if you looked at the BC Liberal Caucus, where only one member (Harry Bloy) supported Christy. Nor if you listened to pundits, who noted that she had left the liberal caucus six years ago, and is not currently a sitting MLA.

She becomes only the second woman to serve as Premier of BC, and only the fourth woman in Canadian History to serve as a premier, in any province. In 2001 she became the second woman in Canadian history to have a baby while serving as a cabinet minister.

According to Clark, she had left politics for good in 2005 to spend more time with her family, but found that many people were asking her to consider running for Premier, and so took up the race for the leadership of the BC Liberals, and by extension, to become premier of the province.

Her platform? Families First.

In the Elections Canada document titled “Women Beneath the Electoral Barrier” the following information is given:

When asked what action he would take to promote the nomination of women, leader Stephen Harper replied that he would leave it to the local riding associations. Furthermore, he noted that women in his party were successful due to their own hard work. In the end, only 36 of the Conservative Party’s 308 candidates (12%) were women,while 12 of the 99 members elected from the Conservative Party are women.

I don’t like to play the woman card, but it is hard not to draw parallels between Christy and myself. Other than the obvious fact that we’re both women, and that we both prioritize families, there’s the fact that she was not planning on running until she was asked by a number of people.

In my case, I had several high-ranking people in the conservative party strongly encourage me  to run. To be honest, it was something completely off my radar. Federal office? Me? But I’m just a small town councillor, mother and business owner. Just an ordinary Canadian. Why would I run for Federal Office?

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. This is, after all, a democracy we live in. We are ruled by the people. That means you. That means the person down the street. And that means me. Someone who sits in office in Ottawa is not someone sent there to rule over us. They are our representative, someone who speaks for the members of this riding.

More than that though, they need to be someone who can listen to the members of this riding. We do not send them to Ottawa because of their own merits—though that certainly plays a part—or because of their great ideas or their golden tongue. We send them there to represent us. You. Me. The fellow down the street. And in order to do that, they need to listen to us.

And that’s why I am doing this. Because I believe in listening to a variety of voices, and concerns and hopes and dreams and ideas. Your voices. Your hopes. Your ideas.

Ultimately, the question is: do you want to be represented by someone who can speak to you, or who can speak for you?

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One Response

  1. 1
    Jerrilyn 

    I’m sorry it took so long for me to reply…I have been rather busy with the election. Thank you for your comments. You are right, it sometimes does feel like it is not us who rules but that is what needs to change. Government should be of and for the people and that is what my campaign was based on.
    The HST is provincial and I think the Premier realized his mistake with the HST a little too late.
    Now it will cost us 29 million to hold a referendum to either reverse it or leave it…such a waste of money.
    The whole carbon tax is an interesting concept and one that I would love to talk about but I don’t think I could say it all in this reply..it is a complicated issue..
    I agree that we need to ensure that our seniors..are treated with honour and given what they need to live out their years comfortably and with less stress. I always say that seniors are not only our past but they are our future as well…and we must treat them as such.
    The election is over and Bob Zimmer won. I believe he will work hard for this riding and I’m looking forward to the next few years to see how it goes.
    Jerrilyn

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