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North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

With the exception of the Port McNeill town council, male politicians continue to out number female politicians in Port Hardy, Port Alice and on the regional district board. It isn’t an unusual state of affairs but one that I’ve always found puzzling, given that women have a 51 per cent share of the western world’s population.

It’s a curious statistical quirk where we males, despite our minority status, still get to decide everything and pass all the laws. It’s nothing new and has been going on for centuries but a couple of things are happening that make me wonder if change is underway.

There is an old adage that warns of becoming the author of your own misfortune and I’m beginning to think the very men – older, white, republican/conservative legislators – who so obviously repress while simultaneously fearing women have, through iron-fisted abortion legislation, accidentally set the final stage for change.

It would be ironic but in character, as my gender doesn’t have a stellar track record when it comes to making good decisions. In fact, that definition of insanity often characterized as, ‘doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’, seems to sum it up quite nicely.

It would seem we have difficulty learning that if you want different results, you have to try different solutions. For a contemporary example of the potential and potency of that kind of thinking, you need look no further than New Zealand’s current Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Prime Minister Ardern along with others like, US Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Denmark’s newly elected Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen are examples of female politicians who are ignoring the old ways and in the process, beginning to rewrite the book of politics. They are not playing by the rules, especially the rule that requires a female politician to think and act like a male politician.

For these women, a different way of thinking and responding is okay. One example would be P.M. Ardern’s immediate response to the recent mass shooting in her country when she banned the sale of military assault style weapons in New Zealand.

More recently, Prime Minister Ardern’s latest budget was tabled as a, “Wellbeing Budget”. It is the first of its kind and built around a government spending mindset that is focussed on improving social outcomes instead of the traditional GDP based measurements.

Currently, there is no male politician in North America with the same type of personal conviction or principled beliefs who is willing to take a stand similar to Ms. Ardern.

We’ve consistently demonstrated that guys don’t ban weapons specifically designed for people killing nor implement fiscal policy around words such as wellbeing, mental health or empathy. It’s just not the kind of thing we do. Banning abortions? Yes.

Restricting rights? Yes.

Weaponizing tariffs? Yes. But working for the wellbeing of the electorate? Hell no!

But this column is not about gun control or enhanced national living standards, it is about women having a statistical majority that has to date, not been used to their advantage. I’m not suggesting that every woman run for office. And I’m not saying that all women are smarter or less greedy than men, or in some cases and like some men, even deserve to be in office.

However, there are some new female politicians, role models with new ideas and ways of doing things that don’t fit the centuries old and unworkable mould of business as usual. And in my opinion that is a good thing.

Bill McQuarrie has lived and worked in BC for over 50 years. A former publisher and more recently an entrepreneur in the science and technology field, Bill retired to Port McNeill where you’ll find him still pursuing his passion as a photo journalist and political opinion writer.

You can follow him on Instagram #mcriderbc or reach him at or maybe even bump into him fly fishing on the many streams in the area.

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