How did the civic election get so off track? If it's not the NPA's weak attacks on Vision Vancouver's wheatfields and chicken coop policies (minor issues if there ever were ones), it's Vision's overheated obsession with a "date matrix" that in the party's view degrades women. I beg to differ.
NPA council candidate Jason Lamarche is being raked over the coals for a date matrix he set up in 2007 on a blog that lists 13 questions to rate a woman's compatibility with him. Here are the questions he posted on a blog:
Is she intelligent?
Am I attracted to her?
Can she be polite?
Is she active?
Would we have cute kids?
Is she NOT materialistic?
Is she nice?
Is she good in bed? Guess if don't know.
Can I trust her?
Is she a professional?
Is she creative?
Is she unique?
Is she single?
Apparently, men in Vision find these questions absolutely appalling and are demanding an apology from NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton and the rest of the party. Talk about an overreaction. We're with Anton on this one.
"What is the message for women meeting the NPA's Lamarche on the campaign trail?" asks candidate and incumbent councillor Geoff Meggs in a Vision media release. "How can they think he will take their views and needs as citizens seriously if they know he is rating them and trying to prioritize within his dating criteria?
"Clearly, Anton and the NPA don't understand that Lamarche's rating system at the very least shows a lack of judgment. This is not about 'wanting dates,' this is about systematically rating women based on their worthiness. This is the wrong signal to be sending out to the women of Vancouver," Meggs said in the media release.
Aren't we all rated on our worthiness, Mr. Meggs? It's part of human nature to size people up. At least Larmarche's list has substance and free of references to physical attributes.
Guess which of Lamarche's questions the party included in the widely released media release? If you said, "Is she good in bed?" you've won a date with an untrustworthy, sexually unsatisfying partner who is impolite, mean, and stupid. Good for you.
It should also be known to civic election watchers that when Lamarche, who I've never met or even heard of before this nonsense hit the fan, ran a campaign for Vision Vancouver's Sarah Blyth park board run in 2008, nobody in the party raised an eyebrow over his matrix. But now that he's with the NPA, it's open season on the man. Go figure.
Seriously, aren't these 13 questions what most of us silently mull over in our minds when we meet people we might want to date. People like to make lists and people want to have good sex. Big deal. It's not as if he revealed any women's name or personal information.
While such a matrix isn't something I would create to put on the Internet (it's all too silly for me), it's hardly degrading to women. At least not to me. Compared to a U.S. college student's PowerPoint "f***" list that went viral (a female student's by the way), Lamarche's date matrix is so innocuous as to be irrelevant.
Anton is quoted as saying to a CTV reporter that it's "No big deal, all young men want dates."
And so do women. It is a tempest in a teapot.
Oily politics aside, what Lamarche might fail to realize about relationships is that no person can satisfy 100 per cent of their partner's needs. (And I'm not referring to sex here.) You're only setting yourself up for disappointment if you go into a new relationship believing love and romance will take care of everything. Relationships take work.
But back to Lamarche's matrix. His first question is "Is she intelligent?" How scandalous.
Even politicians need to be loved.