Candidate diversity

One thing I was disappointed with at the Green Party Convention was that my proposal to encourage a diverse slate of candidates didn’t pass.  All my own prospects for candidate in this riding are men, all but one are white.  Now if you know me at all, you’ll realize that I’m really quite fond of white men, and men in general, but it is nonetheless embarassing, during an election, to have to answer multiple questions about the diversity of the Green slate, with nothing positive to offer.

One day soon, I’m going to let you in on my personal thoughts about potential candidates, but I want everyone to have a voice first.  I would love to find the perfect candidate who will not only be a credit to the local Green Party, but will also help diversify our slate.  Tell me if you know that candidate.  Actually, if you know anyone out there who would make a great candidate, please get in touch with me.  And don’t forget to consider yourself.  I’d love to be in a position where we actually had a choice!

2 responses to “Candidate diversity”

  1. Andrew James writes:

    In that interminable profile on Ignatieff in last weekend’s Globe, the Liberal operative who first approached Iggy states that active recruitment of attractive candidates is a must, that it can’t just be left to whoever has enough ego to put themselves forward as a candidate.

    I would say an acceptable compromise between (a) simply allowing us visible majoritarians to continue to operate in a vacuum and (b) forcing a square peg into a round hole, would be to (c) aggressively network with organizations which reflect their major ethnic groups in the Toronto-Danforth community. That’s what we should be doing in any event. If someone emerges from such networking, so be it.

    Beyond that, we should continue to welcome any and all potential candidates, without imposing a diversity litmus test.

  2. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    The beauty of the resolution I proposed is that it was neither option (a) nor (b) above. It proposed offering practical incentives to candidates from underrepresented groups, such as candidate training or campaign financing. I hoped that by offering small advantages to underrepresented candidates, they could overcome the advantages that majority candidates had.

    In fact, the resolution I crafted was in response specifically to the hardline Liberal approach. In this very riding, candidate Deborah Coyne was parachuted in over the objections of the local riding association because she was thought to enhance the slate. I would never support a litmus test of any type. Where the best candidate is clearly a middle-aged straight white male, then that should be the candidate. I only suggested that where there was a question, sweetening the deal might make EDAs see the benefits of running a candidate from an underrepresented group.

    In workshop at the convention, I agreed with and voted for a change to include networking in the mix of strategies available to Council. I can tell you from personal experience though, that this is easier said than done. I’ve been trying to meet with community groups for months. No other political party does this kind of networking outside of election periods. The boards mostly find it an odd request, and fear appearing partisan by accepting. I hope to approach our supporters to help with this work, but it’s a hard slog.

    I welcome any and all potential candidates, and promise to work my butt off for the candidate our EDA selects.

Leave a comment

To weed out spam, your comment will not appear right away.