Name Recognition Matters
Letter to the Editor
Name recognition can be a challenge for women running in politics, particularly when they are running against an incumbent, who has had four or more years to become a household name in their district.
The story of two battling candidates named Matthew MacKay in District 20 has gotten lots of humorous coverage across North America. Less known is that the Matthews, running for the Green Party and the PCs, respectively, are running against two women candidates, Nancy Beth Guptill, for the Liberal Party, and Carole MacFarlane, for the NDP.
On the serious side, name recognition can be a challenge for women running in politics, particularly when they are running against an incumbent, who has had four or more years to become a household name in their district.
On the less serious side, a bit of fun with name recognition reminds us of some historical facts...
- We've had more members of the Ghiz family as premier (2) than women premiers (1) in our history!
- We have as many men named "Robert" (2) as women (2) in the current provincial Cabinet!
- Many more men named "John" (dozens) have sat in the Legislature than women (27 all-time total)!
- More men named John MacDonald (5) have been MLAs than women have been elected as non-interim party leaders (4 all-time total)!
We wish good luck to the Matthews, the Nancy Beth, and the Carole who have put their names forward in District 20. We're looking forward to a future where candidates and legislatures are full of diverse names - women's names, non-binary names, newcomers' names - to fill the future history books.
PEI Coalition for Women in Government