Julia Lucio

Women in Politics – Editorial by Julia Lucio

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With 31 individuals, young and old, male and female running for 10 positions on city council, it was a daunting task to cast our votes this election.

In 2010, 21 individuals, 16 men and 5 women, ran to become city councilor. 2 of these 5 women got in, with the most number of votes: Bernadette Clément and Elaine MacDonald.

2014 was a little better. 8 women ran for the job. This number means only 22% of the names on the ballot, were women. Nonetheless, council gained a third woman: Carilyne Hébert.

But three is far from being enough.

In 2017, females represented just a little under 51% of the total population in Ontario. According to Statistics Canada, in Cornwall, this is more like 53%, so what this means to me, as a woman, is that unless council is representative of these numbers, unless 5 women sit on council, it will always fail my demographic.

Our city is not comprised strictly of white older men, so why should be elect strictly white older men? It is up to us, as citizens, to elect representatives who are just that: REPRESENTATIVE of us! For that, we need to VOTE! Young people need to vote, minorities need to vote, women need to vote.

Turnout was up a bit this year, with 38.08% of eligible voters showing up at the polls. I doubt more voters would have altered the results.

As a woman, I am constantly torn between the need to augment my demographic and the want to put the right person in office. Ultimately, the latter always wins. I can’t vote for someone who does not share a passion for things I hold dear to my heart and as much as I do want to see more women hold a seat in politics, I won’t vote for them simply because they are women.

I am a bit sad that there are still only 3 ladies on the roster, but hey, we gained a mayor, so that is a BIG thing.

Bernadette Clement won by a landslide. I couldn’t be happier. Not because she is a woman but because I believe she was the right person for the job. The fact that she is a woman, and a minority, is icing on the cake.

Congratulations Bernadette. IT was indeed, your time.

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