The left has always used women’s issues as a wedge against conservatives. Aided and abetted by the media this long standing propaganda has served them very well. However, history does not support the left’s assertion on this issue. Once again this preposterous and inaccurate assessment of conservative values has been proven wrong with the election of the Hon. Rona Ambrose as interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).
Already lauded by the media the Trudeau cabinet which is composed of equal number of men and women, this notion should be put in a more informed perspective. While the number of women in cabinet is significant, it would be wrong to assume that conservatives have done less. The last Harper Conservative government had 13 women in the cabinet out of 166; the new Trudeau government has 15 women ( 5 junior ministers) out of 184 members. The disparity that the media would have you believe is far from being huge. In fact it is that the Liberals have 3 more women in cabinet; a difference of only 1% based on the size of the government.
Comparing the left and conservatives throughout history is even more revealing. There have been more conservative than leftist women leaders. One of the greatest leaders of recent times has been U.K. Conservative Margaret Thatcher. In Canada there has been only one woman Prime Minister, albeit for a short time; it was The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, a conservative. Flora MacDonald was Canada's first female foreign minister; she was also one of the first women to vie for leadership of a major Canadian political party, the Progressive Conservatives.
In the United States Republicans have more female staff in higher staff positions. There are four Republican Governors: Jan Brewer, Susana Martinez, Mary Fallin, and Nikki Haley compared to one Democrat – Maggie Hassan.
Republican Condoleezza Rice was the first female African-American secretary of state
On the other hand, arguably we have very few national leftist/Liberal leaders of note, who have made their mark, The Hon, Sheila Copps never made it as leader of the Canadian Liberal Party. Shirley Williams was never elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, let alone leader of the Labour Party. Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democrat Presidential nomination for 2016, can only be remembered for her loss to Barack Obama in 2008.
While the departure of Stephen Harper, a great leader, has left a gap in the party, I believe that the elected CPC members have made a very good choice in The Hon. Rona Ambrose. This selection may be for a short time until the CPC has a leadership race. But that does not exclude other female candidates to throw their hats into the race. There are many qualified women in the CPC who could challenge and lead the party. For the time being Ms. Ambrose will not only provide a fresh face, but will most certainly bring another tone to the Party’s conservative principles.
There is no danger of conservatives disappearing in the shadows. Women in the party are not only strong but have more experience than their newly elected opposite counter parts. In fact Rona Ambrose has more parliamentary experience than both Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair.
So let us not discard the appeal of a woman leader for the party, but in fact revel in the notion that conservatives have been more favourable to women leaders than the left. The war on women by conservatives is a myth perpetuated to create a wedge among women voters and a growing, less informed younger electorate.
Hang on to your hats, if the CPC elects a woman as their next leader. The vitriol used against Harper will be nothing compared to what will be coming, because if there is a politician that the media hates the most, it is a conservative woman. Then it will be the true war on women.