Mom the Vote for our Children

As we all know, there are very few moms in politics. Granted there are very few women in politics, whether they be moms or no. I have pondered the many reasons why women in our country enter politics far less often than men.

There are so many factors, but I believe the biggest to be the one that stops me short. It is simply far too great a sacrifice of my role as a mother. The long hours, the instability, the travel… Of course today’s men with children at home are making great sacrifices too. That may be why our public offices are filled with grey-haired grandfatherly types.

I don’t think any of the reasons that women are absent on the floors of legislative assemblies are insurmountable. Most of which can be overcome in time. I have to believe that.

Why IS it so critical that women become involved in the legislative process? Why IS it so important to vote? If we DON’T make our voices heard, we will continue to see policies incongruent with the needs and values of families. If we don’t stand up and stick our necks out, we can expect the same old boys’ club to prevail in our political forums.

For me the question has become HOW can I be involved while still maintaining my own family’s balance? Perhaps one day it will seem appropriate to step into the ring. Perhaps one day I will find the solutions I am looking for around how to make it work. In the meantime, I must get involved in some other way.

I have chosen to support two candidates in this federal election. One is the candidate for whom I will vote on Election Day. He’s a fantastic family man with values that closely align with my own. The other is a female candidate from a neighboring riding. Megan Leslie has been a remarkable Member of Parliament and speaks to the values of my family. She is doing what I so wish to see many other women doing.

How exactly can one person support women in politics? How can women, and especially moms, become engaged in the electoral process?

I began with information gathering. I have found this to be time-consuming and at times confusing.

There are many ways to become engaged. Going out to forums to meet the candidates in person, seeing how people present publicly is valuable. But I like to get to know the candidates. They are seeking to serve us and should willingly welcome the opportunity to speak with constituents in person. In the past I always waited for the candidates to come to me, canvassing at my door – only to meet very few this way.

In a federal riding there can be in the vicinity of 70,000 constituents. A federal election campaign lasts 35 days. Realistically, they are not going to make it to my door. But I can go to them! Every candidate has a campaign office. I don’t think you can find a more welcoming place than a campaign office.

Once I identified my pick, I became more engaged by supporting their campaign. There are so many ways to do this, from following their tweets and status updates and sharing with friends, to making campaign donations, and volunteering on the campaign doing anything from data entry to foot and phone canvassing to delivering signs.

As I mentioned before, I am a busy mom. I have two girls age 7 and 10. The only way I could find time to support my candidate(s) was to bring them along. They have helped me stuff envelopes, attended rallies and are a part of the everyday conversation about election activities. I can think of no better way than to encourage better representation of and by women (and their families) than to raise them up to be actively engaged!

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two