Do women really do politics differently?

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Rachel Notley. Image: Connor Mah/Flickr

The dust is settling on the 2019 election and we're all still figuring out what it all means. Minority governments can be messy, but it can also be a time for creative solutions too. In theory, it means that more voices will be heard, not just the governing party. Hopefully that will mean that some of the marginalized voices will be able to speak and be heard, including the voices of women.

This time around, a record 98 women were elected on Monday. That's up from 88 in the previous Parliament, but still less than 30 per cent of the House.

Last time around, the Liberals made big commitments to increase the impact and role of women in the government. How much that really happened is of course, a matter of interpretation. We will see in weeks to come if the commitment to women in positions of power continues in the same way it did during the previous Parliament. And whether or not the presence of more women will result in substantive change in how our government operates and the priorities it identifies.

That's a big question -- if there are more women in power, does it make a difference? Today's guest on rabble radio looks at that question. Sylvia Bashevkin is the editor of a new book called Doing Politics Differently? Women Premiers in Canada's Provinces and Territories. It's a collection of articles about 10 women premiers from coast to coast, an analysis of how they rose to power, what kept them in power and what caused their exits from the office of the premier in their various provinces.

Sylvia Bashevkin is a professor in the department of political science at the University of Toronto. Her primary research focus is gender and politics, notably women's impact as public leaders.

Image: Connor Mah/Flickr

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