Monday, December 18, 2006

Alberta goes macho and rural

In choosing his new cabinet, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has given short shrift to women and the cities. Although Calgary and Edmonton make up over half the population of the province, they have only four out of 18 ministers. Under-representing the two powerhouses of Alberta's cultural and economic life would not seem to be a smart move toward governing a modern province. Rural ridings have smaller populations generally than urban ridings, so country folk are already over-represented; they hardly need yet another advantage.

That women are also under under-represented in an Alberta cabinet is no surprise. Alberta has the lowest proportion of women in its legislature of any province except New Brunswick: 16 per cent compared to the Canadian average of 21 per cent. (And that Canadian average is a sorry sight as well. Women make up 47 per cent of Sweden's legislature).

Alberta constantly frets about not having enough influence on the national stage. It would do well to get its own house in order and offer a fair deal to its cities and its women.


At December 18, 2006 1:52 PM, Anonymous Kuri said...

Not to mention that most of these rural ministers are basically politically unskilled, having won essentially without campaigning most of their careers. Let the dysfunction begin!


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