Thursday, 11 November 2010

p is for politics

i've been meaning to put this up for ages, and now it's a little late, but i'll be speaking at the women's studies association conference this year. it's going to be from 19 - 21 november, and i believe registration is already closed.

i'll be speaking of my experiences as a political candidate, focussing on issues around identity, minority rights & racism. i've titled my talk "p is for politics", and here is the abstract:

Being visibly different has an impact on each of the factors which determine political success, and I’m fortunate enough to be different in a variety of ways. This is a sharing of my personal experience as a candidate for central government, which will be used to highlight the difficulties in achieving political success.

Political success is dependent on a number of crucial factors:
- the people you can influence to support your cause and your own candidacy;
- your ability to navigate the political process;
- the perceptions of the wider public about you and your party;
- the strength of your personality in dealing with the challenges you will face;
- the profile you have built up before entering politics; and
- your ability to match the priorities of your party and the wider electorate.

How much of my success or failure is dependent on my individual strengths and weaknesses; and how much is determined by the processes and institutions developed from a demographic and cultural framework that is alien and often forbidding? Politics is never pretty, but we need good people from a variety of backgrounds to step forward if we are to have the best representation possible.

and, i get to be on the same panel as sue bradford - woohoo!

one of the problems i'm going to have with this particular speech is to share my experience without it being a criticism of the labour party. because i think many of the issues i've faced aren't particular to the party, but would equally be issues for any political party - and probably a greater problem in some of the others. and there's plenty of stuff that i just won't be able to share for reasons of confidentiality. so it's going to be a pretty tight balancing act. wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

I am going to the conference and I look forward to hearing you speak. I'm so looking forward to the conference, and getting to meet so many smart and interesting women. It looks like a really good programme.

Good luck,


Anonymous said...

Are you standing for the Te Atatu electorate?

Are you Ann Pala? Or are you Farida Sultana?

- Sorry just wondering if I've worked with you before. Your writing style seems vaguely familiar to me.

Best of luck,

- Mr.F

stargazer said...

haha, Mr F, i'm neither of those very capable women. ann is a friend of mine, and i've known farida for many years as well. my name is anjum rahman, & i've only ever been a list candidate for the labour party, based in hamilton.

thank you for your kind words, and also to you L. hope you'll introduce yourself to me at the conference.