When asked why he chose equal numbers of men and women to form his cabinet, PM Justin Trudeau said, “Because it’s 2015.”
Boom. Pretty much the equivalent of dropping the mic.
Not all Canadians appreciate this. But I can’t fathom why. If it’s because of sexism, whether willful or through pure ignorance, that’s total bunk. Anyone who has a mother should be ashamed of themselves for that sort of patriarchal nonsense. Personally, I think this decision is a moot point. It doesn’t matter where anyone is on the political spectrum, there is no point debating this. Any debate speaks to bias and sexism because any Canadian citizen age 18 or over, male or female, of a particular race or religion, immigrant or indigenous, ALL PERSONS, have the right to run for elected office. Ever hear of the “Famous Five”? Or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Since 1960. (Go ahead and google it; the history of this is dreadful.) So 55 years later, why is this even a thing?
For those who contend that he chose gender over qualifications or experience like some political publicity stunt, I doubt that, because puh-lease, do people really think there aren't 15 women capable of these leadership roles? Even if some lack experience, it doesn’t mean he chose the wrong people. For eons we’ve had qualified/unqualified, experienced/inexperienced, predominantly male politicians who’ve misrepresented their constituents and our country in numerous and appalling ways. See the Senate for several recent examples. And no, of course, not all are corrupted by power, but definitely a few too many. Anyone, regardless of gender can be nominated, be elected, and be really shitty at their jobs. We Canadians have that right too.
Justin Trudeau could also have answered that question this way: “Because it’s my choice.” It was and it is because Canadians elected him. That’s democracy and despite its misgivings, when I look around the world, I don’t see government better than democracy. So considering it’s November, let’s pause for a moment of silence and reflect on why we have a democracy. And let’s remember how fortunate we are to live where we live.