Episode #18: Elections, Part I
Charlotte and Emma discuss glass cliffs, ticking the wrong box and how proportional representation is a lot like a bag of pick and mix. Plus: why losing an election could be a good thing.
- We’ve said this before, but Emma’s thesis – for those of you who want to know exactly how many women were elected to the Swedish parliament 1960-1994 – is available here;
- Here’s a bit of propaganda on gender equality in Sweden;
- The anti-racist foundation Expo covers the Nazi and racist roots of the Sweden Democrats here; tabloid newspaper Expressen recently revealed that former members of NSF, the Swedish National Socialist Front, were among the Sweden Democrats’ candidates in the election this year;
- The Inter-Parliamentary Union compiles data on the gender balance in elected national parliaments worldwide. The latest figures are available here; the archive goes back to 1997;
- Charlotte has written about the Labour Party and how overseas aid is connected to its values here;
- The 'glass cliff' is a term coined by Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam in 2005 as an alternative to the 'glass ceiling'. It is used to describe the phenomenon by which women are only promoted to senior leadership roles - or elected to high office - when the institution they are to lead is struggling; when they inevitably fail, it is concluded that women just can't do the job. Here is the article written by Ryan and Haslam explaining their research and here is an article in The Conversation that explores some of the wider ramifications of this phenomenon;
- Only five women have so far held one of the Great Offices of State (Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary) in the UK: Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister 1979-1990), Theresa May (Home Secretary 2010–2016; Prime Minister 2016-), Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary 2006-2007), Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary 2007–2009) and Amber Rudd (Home Secretary 2016–2018);
- Here is how Margaret Thatcher left Downing Street on 28 November 1990;
- Spitting Image was a British satirical puppet show that ran on ITV. Their depiction of Margaret Thatcher became iconic, as this piece by one of the creators explains;
- ...and here is one of the most famous sketches:
- Charlotte recently wrote a piece about her memories of the 1997 election, her emotional relationship to Tony Blair, and what she thinks he might smell like...
- Here’s video footage of Cherie Blair opening the door to the Blair’s house the morning after the election in 1997. Years later, Cherie wrote about that incident for The Guardian: “I was very upset when the press said I was wearing some sort of nylon thing: it was a high-quality, cotton nightie from Next and I bought it especially for the campaign. We were travelling around the country and there were always people coming in and out of our bedroom. It was a lot better than you might expect from a mother of three.”
- ‘So where were you when Portillo fell?’ The Independent, 12 May 1997;
- The Electoral Reform Society explains the First Past the Post system here and proportional representation here;
- These are the parties that make up the Swedish parliament (no new parties crossed the 4% threshold in 2018);
- This is how the Lib Dems account for their own history - pretty impressive for a party officially born in 1988;
- On the Bill Clinton saga: the impeachment took place in 1998; Monica Lewinsky wrote about her experiences at the White House and at the hands of the press earlier this year; season two of Slow Burn – the Slate podcast – is about the impeachment;
- James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford, wrote ‘Do we really become more conservative with age?’ for The Guardian on 3 November 2015. You might also enjoy this article on how Supreme Court justices become more liberal as they get older;
- Charlotte was seduced by the Lib Dems promising to abolish tuition fees in 2005 and Nick Clegg was punished by voters in Sheffield Hallam for his u-turn on this policy during the 2010 coalition government;
- All you need to know about a Swedish fika, thanks to Scandi Kitchen (itself an excellent fika destination);
- British voters visit polling stations in a number of weird and wonderful places...
- ...and sometimes take their dogs with them;
- Here’s a story from the University of Washington on the hanging chads of the 2000 US election;
- This is the moment Oona King lost Bethnal Green and Bow to George Galloway in the 2005 election;
- Charlotte read from Bad New Government by Emily Berry:
- Emma recommends Caroline Slocock’s People Like Us: Margaret Thatcher and Me (London: Biteback Publishing, 2018);
- Charlotte recommended Anne Perkins' book Red Queen (London: Macmillan, 2003) about Barbara Castle. There is a piece written by Anne about Barbara here and a review of the book by Jack Straw here. We spoke about Barbara in ep #2 on what women wear in politics - listen to that here.
THE NEXT EPISODE…
…will be Elections Part II: all about populism, Brexit and polarisation.
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