Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Laurie Blakeman Was Like "Donna" Quixote in Her Chase for the Speaker's Chair

I admire the pluck and posturing of the Liberal MLAs Blakeman (Edmonton Centre) and Pastoor (Lethbridge East) efforts for their personal ascension to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker position. Kind of reminds me of Don Quixote.

All Hail “Donna Quixote” (a.k.a. Laurie Blackman) and Sandra Panza (a.k.a. Bridget Pastoor) on their Quixotic excursion and parallels and spoofs the same over-the-top chivalric romance of the Cervantes original “novel” idea.

Still these two Liberal MLAs showed some independence and spunk in putting themselves up for election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Alberta Legislature. Their rationale was Ken Kowalski has been there long enough and it is time for a woman to hold these positions - simply because no woman has done so before.

Hummm...I wonder if basing such a decision on gender really makes sense as sufficient justification? We sure need more women in politics and I acknowledge the system is stacked against them. However, when women really want more women elected to public office they have a large enough voting potential to influence the outcomes and to make it happen. They have to show up and engage - particularly in party politics.

Maybe this effort by Blakeman and Pastoor will help focus the attention of women and attract more of them to a more active political engagement. That would be a good thing...regardless of party and policy preferences. Time will tell.

Still this was an interesting proposition these two put forward - but futile politically given the size of the PC majority in the Legislature. Yesterday their futility came to fruition as Ken Kowalski was once again ensconced into the Speaker’s Chair.

The Liberal’s did score a political point or two by helping to elect Calgary PC MLA Wayne Cao as Deputy Speaker - and not the preferred first choice of the reigning government. I know the small Liberal opposition will have to enjoy this political "victory" while it lasts. This is likely the last time the PC Caucus will split in a way that the Alberta Liberals will actually determine an outcome.