elections

Do you have what it takes to run for office. Close the Gap has just released a prospective candidate's checklist. Are you a social entrepreneur and don't even know it or have you done any community organizing lately? Then a political win could be yours.
"The one thing that Egyptians know for certain is that their next president is not a woman," writes Hania Sholkamy for CNN. "It is women who attend rallies, who accept trivial bribes of sugar and rice and who stand in the very long queues to vote. Egypt segregates its polling stations, so the remarkable length of women-only queues is evident for all to see. Yet women are ignored as political agents and as citizens in all presidential programs."

A new infographic from the Daily Dot, designed by Matthew Sisson, looks at how money in the "pro" camp stacked up against internet petition signatures and Facebook shares in the "anti" camp in the battles over SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and CISPA this year. In the SOPA fight, for instance, the bill's sponsor, Lamar Smith, received $411,349 from interest groups that support the bill, while petitions launched by anti-SOPA activists garnered some 3.46 million signatures. View the infographic after the jump.

"The raging national debate about issues such as contraception, ultrasound procedures and tough restrictions on abortion providers has made female voters a focus of the 2012 election campaign. But while women are at the center of the political debate — and are likely to vote at a higher percentage of men come November — they remain on the fringes of the political fundraising that fuels the debate.," the Houston Chronicle reports.
In an effort to increase women's political participation, the nation of Mauritius has instituted a gender quota law. Under the law, at least one-third of candidates in each local election in the country must be women. The Guardian reports that Mauritius' prime minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, "said the quota was a legitimate right for women and a big step towards equality. 'We must ensure that the number of women candidates rises considerably,' he said in his new year address." In April, the first local elections will take place with the new law in effect.

EMILY's List has announced the expansion of its WOMEN VOTE! project to Oregon, in an effort to mobilize and educate women voters in the state. Launched in partnership with Planned Parenthood, Oregon Women Vote will specifically seek to educate voters about Tea Party Congressional candidate Rob Cornilles's extreme anti-choice views. After the jump, watch a video from Oregon Women Vote called Rob Cornilles: Wrong Then; Wrong Now.

Have you heard of the "political gender gap"? In this case, I'm not talking about the number of men and women in elected office (although that is a big issue as well); I'm talking about how men and women act at the voting booth. In a piece published earlier this week in Slate, Libby Copeland notes that "The gender gap—the difference between how men and women vote—represents on average a seven point gulf between the sexes during presidential elections." Why is that? In part because women's political views tend to remain stable, while men's political views seem to shift more dramatically.