Earlier this week, the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party, led by a woman, Heather Stefanson, lost the Provincial election, despite having achieved a strong budget turnaround, a promise to reduce taxes, and a realistic plan to finally remove Manitoba as a “have not” province. Only one female premier in the history of Canada, has ever won re-election, and that was Christie Clark, who lost a second time, after serving only six years. No female premier has served more years than Ms. Clark. The federal Liberal party has never had a female leader – even on an interim basis. The worst political loss in Canadian history was in the 1993 Federal Election when our 1st and only female PM, Kim Cambell (who had yet to face the voters), led the Federal Progressive Conservative Party from 156 seats down to only two seats, thereby losing their official party status. It took over a decade to rebuild the Conservative Party after that defeat. Of note, in the same election, the female leader of the Federal NDP, Audrey McLaughlin, went from 44 seats down to only 9 seats.
Despite the enormous efforts of all Canadian political parties to recruit and promote women leaders, it seems that Canadians may still not be ready for women as Premiers or Prime Ministers. At least in the USA, they have had several successful female governors, and in the UK Margaret Thatcher was a remarkable leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister (of note, despite having had three British Conservative PMs, there has yet to be an elected British Female leader of the Labour Party, let alone a PM).
Click below to view last week’s poll question results: