Women come out for Hillary!

So, it would seem, from a quick review of what's being said, that Hillary's win in the New Hampshire primaries is as a result of women coming out for her in the last few days. This is confirmation that in politics gender certainly matters.

And once again, I ask myself in a country where women make up 52% of the population why we don't take more electoral advantage of those women who do put themselves up for a selection; particularly in target, by election and vacated held seats. As Lib Dems we may not think the gender of the candidate relevant but it looks like voters do. Even in the UK there is a 2% increase in female turnout if there is a female candidate (and a neutral impact on male voters); 2%, well, that can make quite a difference at times, can't it?

You see, although I do think that diversity is 'a good thing' in it's own right, I do find the fact that diversity helps win votes an even more compelling argument for having more of it!

Lynne in her blog post this morning can almost be heard sighing over how far equality has to go if male BME MPs are having to defend their choice of Hillary vs. Barack lest they should be seen as disloyal. Lynne looks forward to a time when colour or gender doesn't matter when choosing a candidate, when all that matters is whether they are the best.

Well, I think that's wishful thinking. Firstly, because I believe that for the vast majority of voters the decision of who to vote for is intuitive and a response to an engaging political narrative or (and this may be the same thing) an identification with the candidate. It is rarely a rational assessment of the pros and cons of the candidates skills set and policies, so hankered after by us political activists.

Secondly, even if voting wasn't such an intuitive matter that still leaves us with the problem in defining best; this is entirely subjective. It may be, if I had a vote in the US elections, best for me that I vote for a woman who has experienced all sorts of below the radar prejudice herself and is conscience of all the invisible, non legal hurdles that women have to climb even to compete in the workplace, for example. That would be quite logical for me, I guess.

And to prove my point, If I did have a vote in these elections I would be voting for Obama...for the intuitive reasons outlined above; I have completely fallen for his political narrative. That doesn’t mean though, I would be outraged if Hillary got the nomination.

However, what is most exciting is how riveting the democratic nomination process is this year!

As someone who is much more interested in the issues that politics has sway over rather than the game itself, this is the first time that US politics has captured my imagination. And it would seem from the increased turnout that it has captured the imagination of many voters in the US who previously couldn't give a fig for primaries!

It surely can't be that the idea that, if the Democrats win, they will either be putting a women or a black man into The White House for the first time, has nothing to do with it? Imagine if we had such diversity at the top of politics in the UK, might not that lead to a resurgence of interest in politics that we Lib Dems could capitalise on?


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