Campaign

Robert Fothergill, Peter Janecek & Eleanor Dudar
1975|29:26 min

Campaign was filmed during the 1975 provincial election campaign of Barbara Beardsley, New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in St. Andrew – St. Patrick. It opens with footage of Beardsley’s speech at the nomination meeting when she says, “I’ve tried to state how my views of feminism are integral to my views of socialism.”

The film follows the candidate and her campaign right up to election night, and her close loss to Larry Grossman. It also includes clips of those running for the Conservatives, Liberals and Communist Party, and covers different events and a range of issues, including preservation of communities. However, the question of feminist politics is a recurring one.

Beardsley speaks about her commitment to the NDP and her belief that more women need to be involved in public office at all levels. As she says, “…what happens is that issues which affect women are not given any kind of priority. It’s not a deliberate thing, perhaps. It’s just, to a male legislator, it is not important that he cannot get credit… it is not important that he is not making equal pay for work of equal value…”

Beardsley quickly learns that she enjoys canvassing, meeting voters in her community, and listening to their concerns. Her campaign draws support from other women, including her campaign manager, canvassers, and office workers. Many have been drawn in for the first time. British Columbia MLA and federal NDP leadership candidate Rosemary Brown also joins Beardsley in canvassing the riding. Careful attention reveals the campaign’s support for women’s involvement through setting up an on-site daycare centre.

Produced with assistance from The Ontario Arts Council, International Women’s Year Projects Fund.

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