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People and Politics Forum 02. 05. 2008

"Are women the shrewder politicians?"

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More information:

Angela Merkel - Gentle diplomacy for Europe

Angela Merkel is not like most politicians. Now, she has received praise from a surprising source: one of political opponents, the SPD mayor of the city of Aachen, Jürgen Linden. He said Merkel was always clear and direct about what she wants, but never undiplomatic. He said her gentle diplomacy was instrumental in solving the constitutional crisis in the EU and in raising young European's enthusiasm for the Union. Merkel is known for her networking skills, which she often uses to settle disputes even before they have really flared. All previous Chancellor made personal enemies within the European Council, Merkel has a good relationship with everyone. She is due to receive the city of Aachen's Charlemagne Prize for her services to Europe.

Our Question is:

"Are women the shrewder politicians?"

A. Hegele, in Brazil, writes:

"Our Chancellor is a good diplomat and is doing a good job".

Alexander Shpakov, in Russia, says:

"Women are physically weaker than men and during their development are forced to learn how to manipulate men, in fact human beings in general, That's their advantage in politics."

Olga writes from Ukraine:

"In this and other matters you can't just generalise. As with men, it depends on individual abilities. Apart from good examples like Merkel there are also bad ones: for instance Argentina's president, because she's not exactly loved by the people."

In Canada, Paul A. Stadelmann says:

"Of course women make better politicians because they don't have to act like machos.Effective work is better that just networking."

Martin Burmeister, in Venezuela, writes:

"Women have always played a great role in world history, but a lesser one than men, for obvious reasons. Personality counts when it comes to diplomatic shrewdnes, and not gender."

Stephan Pabel in Brazil:

"Generally, one can say that women by nature, so to speak, develop a greater sense of responsibility for the community and society than men...One can therefore conclude that they also develop better politics."

Helge Weyland, in Argentina, does not agree:

"It depends on the woman. We've had some awful experience here. The first woman to make it as vice-president was inexperienced and totally stupid...Not everyone has the luck to have an Angela Merkel."

Not true, notes Waltraud Maassen in New Zealand:

"Of course they are the shrewder politicians. But I'm afraid they don't always get enough support from their male counterparts. On the contrary, knives are always at the ready. Helen Clark has been New Zealand's Prime Minister for 10 years now. People who know her say she's warm-hearted, friendly, approachable.She also has enormous political knowledge... She is uncompromising when it comes to human rights, a nuclear-free New Zealand and injustice.More women should lead nations, and this world would be a better place for all!"

Mario Diniz, in Brazil, is skeptical:

"I don't think there's a difference between men and women in politics. In Brazil, politicians of both genders are either competent and incorruptible or incompetent and corrupt."

The People and Politics desk reserves the right to edit and abbreviate texts.