Michelle simson interview

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Michelle simson interview

  1. 1. Michelle Simson Interview <ul><li>1. What does being a woman in politics mean to you? </li></ul><ul><li>Women are currently grossly under-represented in Canada's Parliament, a situation that will remain unchanged unless and until we can engage more women in the political process. As one of just over 20% of sitting female MPs in the House of Commons, in addition to representing my constituents and their interests in Ottawa, I feel a certain obligation to raise the profile of women in federal politics to hopefully attract more to our political arena. I have found that with more women &quot;at the table&quot; the tone and discourse changes dramatically, that consensus tends to rule the day, as opposed to playing petty partisan games that do little, if anything for Canada. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Michelle Simson Interview <ul><li>2. What inspired you to be involved in politics? </li></ul><ul><li>I became very interested and engaged in Canadian politics in my late teens when Pierre Trudeau became our Prime Minister. To that point, I felt our political leaders were old, stodgy and boring.....in other words, uninspiring. Trudeau, while not chronologically young perhaps, but possessed an energy and pizzaz unrivaled by any Canadian politician in our history. He created a frenzy in his travels across the land, had what the media described as huge &quot;sex appeal&quot; and was a remarkably intelligent man. </li></ul><ul><li>I had the pleasure of seeing him once, in person, during a visit to Ottawa and that encounter made a lasting impression. His love of our country and ability to articulate that was truly inspirational to me at the time. As a rather ironic coincidence, when I took my seat in the House of Commons for the very first time after being elected in 2008, my seatmate was none other than Justine Trudeau, his son. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Michelle Simson Interview <ul><li>3. Do you have any advice for young women who are interested in becoming involved in politics? </li></ul><ul><li>My first piece of advice would be for anyone, regardless of gender to start by joining and volunteering in their local riding associations, regardless of political stripe. A good working knowledge of the &quot;party machine&quot; is absolutely critical if one is even contemplating running for federal politics.....you have an edge with that knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Once involved, do not believe everything you see and hear in the media with respect to &quot;parliamentary soundbites&quot;. Many women have based their negative views of Canadian politics on &quot;clips&quot; they see on TV of the daily Question Period, which tends to be scripted and more theatre than anything else. The real work is done in committee and can be extremely satisfying. That doesn't mean to say it can't get difficult. You have to have confidence and a very thick skin to get through some periods in a Parliamentary session. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Michelle Simson Interview <ul><li>Before running for office, I also believe a bit of a career track record and life experience is extremely valuable.....you bring this experience to the table, which makes things substantially easier during an election transition period. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, if a woman contemplating a run in politics has a significant other (spouse, life partner, etc) it is absolutely essential she have the unwavering support of that spouse. Politics is unduly hard on personal relationships at the best of times. Long hours, longer separations, travel all strain family life. Without that support going in, either the relationship will fail or the political career will suffer. </li></ul><ul><li>Notwithstanding the foregoing, I have found my first two years as an MP extremely rewarding, something I shall never regret doing. I have met thousands of constituents and am proud and humbled to represent them in Ottawa. </li></ul>

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