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Biology causes sex differences in candidacies

An old parable and an old aphorism explain why Louisiana political offices tend to have fewer women occupying these than elsewhere.

This week, some discussions occurred about women winning elective office. In both Livingston Parish and next parish over at Louisiana State University, groups convened to hash out why it seemed women were underrepresented relative to other parts of the country (or world) in office. It seems particularly odd as not only do women who contest offices win at roughly the same rate as do men, but, in a study of members of Congress, women who did win more often, in terms of prior experience, competence, integrity, and problem-solving abilities, seem to have more of these qualities than do male candidates.

Additionally, among these congressional candidates, it appeared that men slightly less qualified on these bases or as qualified disproportionately defeated females, so (assuming the same applied to candidacies at all levels) some kind of “penalty” intruded on the process. Some of the investigation by the two panels mirrored the parable of blindfolded people stationed at different parts of the elephant, then asked to describe what they felt. Naturally, they came up with a whole host of speculations, all true separately but none close to identify the beast.


St. George pretty much forgone conclusion

No May election date, no problem for the organizers of the city of St. George. Although some might try to make its birth as messy as possible.

Earlier this week, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards refused to certify the May 5 municipal election date for the incipient city that petitioners wish to form in southern East Baton Rouge Parish. While he tried to blame Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry’s office for not offering assistance that previous holders of that office had supplied as causing the slowdown, Landry effectively rebutted that with a written demonstration on how little time and effort it would take to review the petition for completeness, which is all the law asks.

Delaying the vote also saves the parish money, as having a standalone election in only certain parts of the parish costs more than tucking in the item on a ballot already with other items. However, this departed from precedent in 2005, when a special election created Central. This was the only election in the parish despite one just weeks earlier that included most of the parish’s precincts.


LA correctly puts protection before privilege

A recent report shows that Louisiana cares more about protecting constitutional rights than in promoting privilege for certain groups.

Each year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Equality Federation Institute team up to rate states on their friendliness to the groups’ agenda. Both advocate for laws that encourage acceptance of expressing homosexuality, even if that limits activity protected by the First Amendment.

With the majority of states, Louisiana scores low, but that shouldn’t surprise given the groups’ agenda. For example, the report faults states for having Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which implement federal law that aids states in protecting First Amendment rights of their citizens. As many sincerely hold religious beliefs that see homosexual behavior as sinful, these acts protect exercise of that belief that doesn’t force adherents to endorse, by word or deed, expressions of homosexuality.


Shreveport should swap recycling for garbage fee

How about a trade, Shreveport’s recycling fee for a solid waste collection fee?

Shreveport’s City Council looks poised to set up procedures at tomorrow’s meeting to collect a garbage fee, after hashing out details at today’s work session. The proposed $7 a month will provide enough to provide most funding for the operation, which would go into an enterprise fund similar to that for water provision, and present an opportunity to give sanitation workers a pay raise.

Almost no cities of Shreveport’s size nationally don’t charge some kind of fee. In fact, the largest cities in Louisiana all charge more.