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!