The Better Voter Series: This week on the campaign trail…

It ain’t easy being a girl

Being a woman may cost sole female mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis the election, according to University of Winnipeg politics professor Shannon Sampert.

“If she loses it will be because she’s a woman,” Sampert affirmed last weekend during the annual Prairie Political Science Association conference, as reported in Winnipeg Free Press.

Sampert and University of Alberta political science professor Linda Trimble, who specializes in women and gender, went on to explain how most female politicians face adversity when running for office even though they are often more educated and politically experienced than their male opponents.

Politically-aspiring women have be conscious of how they are seen by voters and their colleagues to be successful, Trimble told the paper.

“It’s a delicate balance for women running for office: do you perform as a man, and get accused of being too masculine or aggressive, or as a woman, and be accused of not having the right stuff?” she said.

Mayoral race a dead heat: Probe poll

According to a Probe Research poll released last week, current mayor Sam Katz and high-profile candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis have the equal attention of Winnipeg voters.

The poll, commissioned by the Winnipeg Free Press, stated 50 per cent of 439 intended voters questioned planned to vote for Wasylycia-Leis while 47 per cent pledged to put an “x” next to Katz’s name on Oct. 27.

Gender is splitting the voting pool as well with the research showing that Katz has a seven per cent advantage with male voters while Wasylycia-Leis has won over 13 per cent more women.

CTV reported that the difference between the two front-runners is within the margin of error.

Probe states that the poll is accurate within 4.7 points 95 per cent of the time. This survey was conducted by phone via modified random digit dialing.


Published in Volume 65, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 7, 2010)

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