The first ever Sophia Leadership award goes to…

Throughout this federal election, I have been watching to see whether any of the people hoping to get elected to represent Canadians in Ottawa would exhibit the qualities of Sophia Leadership. I had almost given up the search (oh, politics is such an ugly game, isn’t it?), until I watched the acceptance speech of the first Green Party representative ever elected to Parliament, Elizabeth May.

When I watched her speech, I thought “Now THERE’S a woman who deserves a Sophia Leadership Award!” And so a new award was born out of that thought. Because I think that, along with encouraging more people to unleash the power of feminine wisdom in their leadership and their life, it is my responsibility to celebrate it when I see it in practice.

With that in mind, I honour and acknowledge the work of Elizabeth May.

Elizabeth, I hereby present you with the Sophia Leadership award:

– for your courage to restore civility and respect to the House of Commons

– for your determination to end heckling in Question Period

– for your deep and unwavering commitment to the environment

– for modelling integrity and authenticity in a political arena where those things are not often valued

– for speaking truth to power

– for refusing to embrace the politics of spin

– for giving us all hope that a new leadership paradigm is possible

– and for demonstrating that women can be strong and fierce without compromising those things that make them feminine.

THANK YOU ELIZABETH MAY! You have given me hope.


My kids want to stay up late tonight. Not because there’s a movie they’re dying to watch. Not because there’s a sporting event that they can’t bear to miss the end of. Nope – they want to stay up so that they can watch the results of the provincial election. They’re pretty sure they won’t be able to sleep until they know who will be Premier. And their daddy (who’s currently out of the house volunteering for the candidate of his choice) couldn’t be more proud.

Yes, that’s right, our kids could very well be the only kids in Manitoba who begged to turn on the TV tonight so that they could watch the polls coming in. They know who’s running for every party in our riding, they can spout off the names of the leaders of all of those parties as though they were the finalists in American Idol, and they can do a bang-up job of mocking most of the campaign ads. And they can even tell you who Nellie McLung is and what year women got the vote in Manitoba (the first province in Canada, by the way.)

Thanks to Julie’s project over the weekend (which ended up consuming almost the whole family – yes, I suppose that makes us geeks), they could even list some of the policies of the four parties. Probably because our family already has a reputation (the same teacher marveled at Nikki’s political knowledge last year), Julie was invited to be the “director” of the mock election in her class. That meant that she had to prepare posters for each of the candidates, research the policies of all the parties, and prepare ballots for the whole class. (None of the other kids had work to do over the long weekend.) She did it as happily as some kids might have planned a birthday party or designed a video game.

Yeah, okay, so we’re raising little nerds. That’s perfectly alright with me. They get so caught up in the political machine that even a walk in the rain couldn’t deter them from joining me at the polls earlier this evening (okay, so the truth is, the rain added to the appeal – at least for some of them). For the first time ever (they’ve been to every federal, provincial, and municipal polling station with us since they were born) they were shooed out of the ballot box by a crotchety poll clerk. “Just in case they go to school tomorrow and tell everyone who you voted for.” Um – whatever. The sign on our front lawn was probably a good clue if any of their friends had really cared in the first place – but thanks for looking out for my privacy, Mr. Crotchety Poll Clerk.

Gotta go now – the election results are coming in…

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