Disclosure: I write a blog from a left libertarian perspective here, and if interested you can see my personal About page by visiting the site. However, this site is intended to be free from a left vs right slant as the focus is ‘Women’.
Because each article relating to the participants is not a simple Q & A format, its helpful to contextualise each article by explaining the kinds of questions asked and the purpose of selecting those particular questions.
The questionnaire is comprised of four parts.
The first section contains general profile type questions about age, education, ethnicity/nationality and so on. The reason this is important is because it tells us about the diversity of the candidates, and what demographic they might relate to or represent best.
The second section contains questions on the general background of each candidate such as why they entered politics, who influenced their political values, what motivated them to join their particular party. This reason for these questions is that it helps us determine their general political ideology from a personal standpoint, and to see how they consider their values fit with their particular party. It is also useful for assessing how they might approach issues decided through conscience votes.
The third section focuses on women specific issues such as abortion/reproductive rights, economic contributions of women, wage disparity and whether the appropriate support systems are in place for all women who are solo or first time mothers, victims of crime, suffer from mental health and/or chronic illness or whom have physical disabilities etc.
The fourth section is more general in nature. The reason for these questions is that they allow us a snapshot into the humour, quirks, personal values of the candidates. However, because I am not a psychologist it would be incredibly inappropriate for me to draw conclusions about answers provided which is why I have left them as raw Q & A data.
The purpose of each of the questions in this section is explained below:
What is the one skill you wish you had (that you don’t already)?
This question helps to show us that women in politics are not perfect beings and like all of us , aspire to increase our skill base whether in the workforce or in our personal lives.
In everyday life, what is your pet peeve?
This question, similar to above, helps us to see what little things bug these candidates and may elucidate why they choose to deal with particular matters the way they do. It also helps us to relate to these women on a more personal level since we all have pet peeves of our own!
What do think is the biggest problem facing the world right now?
This seems like more of a political question, but I think its important that we understand what the candidates think – outside of their political parties, are the bigger global problems.
What is the best gift you’ve ever given?
This is an odd little question, but it helps us understand the type of person the politician is, whether they are givers of experiences, tangible gifts, handcrafted gifts which also elucidates something about their personality for example are they creative, or encouraging of experience, or practical givers etc.
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
Like the question above it tells us about the candidates personality, but more about what they value for themselves and why, e.g. was their gift something that was functional or something that was experiential? Was their best gift something connected to romance, family or community?
Describe a time when you wanted to quit, but you didn’t.
For me this is the most important question. It shows us that it is perfectly normal to want to give up when things get really tough. It also shows us how these women got through those times and may also help other women borrow from these tactics if they are feeling like they want to give up on something important to them.
If you could have a special power/magic what would it be and why?
This is obviously more of a light-hearted question that allows for comical or serious responses. The reason for it is that it acknowledges we are all human and cannot solve all our or the world’s problems on our own.
The candidates were also all asked to supply a candid picture of themselves because I think these are more personable than the professionally posed head shots used on their official party pages.