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EDITORIAL – The case for better gender balance in civic election slates

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE CIVIC ELECTION in Kamloops continues to warm up with yesterday’s announcement by former councillor Nancy Bepple that she’ll be in the race for a council seat.

Based on the history of Kamloops elections in years when the incumbent mayor steps aside, we can expect three dozen names on the ballot for the eight council seats, and probably a half dozen for mayor.

It’s notable that all four candidates for mayor so far are men. Reid Hamer-Jackson, Arjun Singh, Ray Dhaliwal and Dieter Dudy each brings his own qualities to the race but a little more gender balance would be a good thing. Kamloops has had only one female mayor — Kenna Cartwright — in its history, though others have tried.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Nancy Bepple’s weekly column in ArmchairMayor.ca is on hiatus until after the civic election.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (9118 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on EDITORIAL – The case for better gender balance in civic election slates

  1. Bob Gamble // April 14, 2022 at 3:20 PM // Reply

    The arguments put forth by those adding comments to this piece are old and worn-out.

    Isn’t time we had an affirmative action plan for elected positions? I like what the US Supreme Court has made clear. “…that affirmative action or programs that claim to be affirmative action are illegal if:
    (1) an unqualified person receives benefits over a qualified one;
    (2) numerical goals are so strict that the plan lacks reasonable flexibility;
    (3) the numerical goals bear no relationship to the available pool of qualified candidates and could therefore become quotas;
    (4) the plan is not fixed in length; or
    (5) innocent bystanders are impermissibly harmed.”

    The above five safeguards are present in most affirmative action programs. Aren’t these conditions sufficient. Isn’t it time we recognized that 50% of our voting population is under represented and take steps to make it right?

    • What the heck are you taking about Bob? Who is a “qualified” and who is “unqualified” to be on council does not depend even remotely on the sex of the person. And in regards to the other four points I wish you could explain further. Perhaps a deeper meaning, which I presently cannot fully grasp, may be within them.

  2. I can’t think of any significant contribution the 3 current ladies on council have contributed. The only thing which differentiates them from the men on council in my opinion is that they don’t say as much stupid sh*t as the men. Well maybe Bass does, but the other 2 seem like wall flowers. I don’t see any leadership nor passion on council with the possible exception being Walsh, but his stance as an anti covid vaxer is disappointing and hopefully sees an early end to his political career. Is quiet incompetence preferable to loud incompetence?

  3. John Noakes // April 13, 2022 at 11:36 AM // Reply

    Gender balance for the sake of gender balance can be a good thing but what matters more is the “proof in the pudding” after the honeymoon of the election is over.
    The last time around, we hosted a lawn sign and I carried election propaganda to places around Westmount subdivision.
    We got sold out and blindsided by a shelter; then mention was made of a shelter idea being like a concentration camp.
    That was a bad move politically for any future votes or assistance from a big part of the voting public.

  4. Mindful representation and “healthier democracy” are not gender specific. We have three women on council now. Have they stood out for consistency, thoughtfulness, toughness, etcetera? And similarly in the past.

    • Mac Gordon // April 14, 2022 at 4:46 PM // Reply

      You lost me Bob, you seem to be all over the map. Your first quip is nicely worded but completely off the mark as none of the 3 previous comments was for or against gender equality in politics. Secondly, you seem to be arguing that you’re pro affirmative action but then provide 5 points against affirmative action which you state you agree with, huh? Could you rewrite your position for clarity? Also could you be more succinct in your criticism of which of the 3 commenters were using “ old and worn out” comments and what about them were? Lastly, the voting population is almost 52-48 female with close to 40% for elected municipal members being female, 8 of the 10 Vancouver councillors are female so is it really that far out of whack?

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