The woman’s vote

My mother, from whom I inherit my Tory endowment, did not flinch at the usual Tory scandals, nor fall for any of the Whiggish lies about “equality” and so forth. She did, however — on only one occasion, so far as I am aware — vote for a Liberal candidate. That was during the year of “Trudeaumania,” AD 1968. She confessed to having been briefly seized by the disease, from which by year-end she had completely recovered. By the grace of God, I was then too young to also vote for that affliction, though in the event of War Crimes Trials, I would have to admit some transient, debilitating forays.

Well, I was young, then. Imbecilic stupidity is common in the young, who are subject to fashionable excitations. My mother, on the other hand, was older. As a Tory, she of course doubted whether women should vote at all; but as my father was of old Ontario Methodist farmboy stock, his congenital propensity to vote Liberal had to be acknowledged.

“I have to vote Conservative, for his sake,” she reasonably explained.

She had compounded his characteristic error in 1968, however, and felt she owed an explanation to her son. This began by reminding me of her fragile, female sex.

“One thinks of the party leader on the analogy of going for a date.”

And true enough, the Tory leader, Mr Robert Stanfield, was the sort of man you could present to your father. He could be relied on, to get you home safely, and on time.

“But there are times when a woman does not want to get home on time,” mama added.

She, a registered nurse acquainted with the eccentricities of mental patients, called my attention to a phenomenon I had not previously noticed. Whenever a truly monstrous (male) psychopath is strapped away in gaol, the prison receives adoring letters for him, from women. These correspondents have never met him, and know him only from accounts in the yellow press. He may have been found guilty of heinously murdering a succession of wives and lovers. But they promise to be waiting for him on the steps of the penitentiary; and as the police will confirm, they are still there.

My mother had never comprehended how a woman could be so crazy. But when she realized that she had herself just voted for “Pierre,” she suddenly understood.