Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 electoral gains by women nice, but simply not good enough!

Sitting in Greece reading an excellent summary of electoral gains by women ("Women take stock after historic vote" by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa) in the Herald Tribune.

If 81 women are indeed seated in the House, that will make 18.6 percent, about a 2-point rise -- better than the last 4 cycles, but still pretty lame with all the seats that were in play. This is in a redistricting year, and I will be interested in finding out how many open seats were won -- out of all open seats, not just the ones women ran in the General Election. Pickings will be much slimmer in 2014!

Siobhan Bennett of the non-partisan Women's Campaign Fund is calling for the political parties to guarantee "that women will make up no less than 30 percent of their political tickets." At last someone gets it and is willing to double down to make something happen by engaging men as well as women with concrete goals: "If we make it just for women, like women's organizations, it's not going to happen" -- referring to getting over the 30 percent benchmark hump. Amen sister!

Will EMILY's List, for example -- a veritable Democratic Party appendage -- be a team player in putting pressure on the political parties (meaning also it's de facto head Barack Obama) to fashion a quantifiable campaign for parity in the U.S. Congress? Or will they continue to hog the playing field and contributions with their polarizing rhetoric and tangential programs to elect Democrats men and women?

Let's stay tuned...and not resting on the laurels of what happened last week. Congratulations to the women who won hard-fought campaigns (not totally attributable to help from women's groups BTW) -- but the overall electoral gains for women were simply not good enough.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


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