View Full Version : Is there any country with a woman as supreme power? And who is Margret Thatcher?
07-10-2000, 10:58 AM
Are there any countries where a woman "runs" the country? And who is Margret Thatcher and why do they say "...like Margret Thatcher on a cold day?"
07-10-2000, 11:51 AM
Margaret Thatcher was Britain's first (and only) female Prime Minister, in power from 1979 to 1990. Her governing style was a unique mix of laissez-faire economics and social paternalism -- e.g. "rolling back" local government and fighting trade unions while legislating on morality. She was brought down mainly by her increasingly dictatorial manner alienating her own party and the core middle-class suburban voters. She was also a great pal of Ronald Reagan's, agreeing with him on many military and foreign policy issues.
A brief biography is available here (http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=6729).
As for current female leaders, I believe New Zealand's current Prime Minister is a woman named Jenny Shipley. Past female leaders have included Indira Gandhi (India) and Vigdis Finnbogasdottir (Iceland). I'm sure there are others, but I haven't found an up-to-date list yet.
07-10-2000, 12:12 PM
A certain level of awareness of Worldwide affairs and current events should be necessary for survival. But, OK. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps your parents locked you in a closet for many years, and didn't allow you to read any newspapers. But ok, here goes:
Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the entire 1980s (her term was 1979-1990). She was a major player in world affairs, and was known as teh British equivalent, politically speaking, of Ronald Reagan (this happens alot, where the political millieu of the UK and the U.S. match up well. John Major was a George Bush clone (wimpy conservative) and Tony Blair is an easy shoe-in for Bill Clinton, politcally speaking (New Labour and all that)). Anyways, like Reagan, she was loved by hard-line conservatives and moneyed interests, and pretty much vilified by everyone else for instituting policies that ultimately hurt the working classes. She was nicknamed "Atilla the Hen" and was known for her cold, harsh demeanor. Margaret Thatcher was held by popular culture as the least sexually appealing person on the planet (a position currently held by Janet Reno). Hence the George Carlin "Things you never want to see" routine that cited "Margaret Thatcher in a Strap-on Dildo" and Austin Powers' "anti-woody" mantra of "Margaret Thatcher on a Cold Day."
One would THINK that you would have at least a pasisng knowledge of a major world leader who had been quite influential and had lived during your own lifetime. It's NOT ancient history. Anyways, as to current of recent female world leaders, Canada had a female prime minister for a little under a year in 1998, Kim Campbell, there is of course Queen Elizabeth II of the U.K., Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (which has had female Monarchs for over 100 years), Queen Margarethe II of Denmark, etc. In recent history, there was Indira Ghandi of India, Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (who was arrested by a Military Junta shortly after her election as Prime Minister and never served) Bennizir Bhutto of Pakistan, and these are just a few I come up with without looking it up. As for currently serving female heads of government/heads of state, I can't think of any right now, but I'm sure someone as resourceful as yourself coulf turn up a few with a little research. The CIA World Factbook and the Information Please Almanac have excellent online resources for looking this stuff up.
07-10-2000, 12:17 PM
can be found at teh following page:
Interestingly, according to this, both the current Prime Minister and current President of Sri Lanka are females (the former was the first ever female prime minister, first elected in 1960)
This site should answer any questions you may have about female world leaders.
07-10-2000, 12:22 PM
Oh joy! To get to a thread like this first about one of my favourite persons to hate in the whle world.
So that's my position before I start. I am extremely biased against her.
Margaret Hilda Thatcher was first leader of the Conservative party when it was in opposition during the 1970's. She became leader having won a bitter power struggle with the then leader and former prime minister Edward Heath.
This was done with much acrimony about the way she had garnered votes, apparently by misleading others and making promises on behalf of others, with authority she did not have,so setting the tone for her time in office.
BTW the Conservatives are similar in outlook to your Democrats , we have no mainstream party as far right as your Republicans.
She won the next election by a large margin in 1978 I think it was.
The large margin gave her the majority she neede to push through her program of reforms many of which were controversial in her own party.
She was very authoritarian with everyone about her, and extremely strong leader. It was said she had bigger balls than the rest of her ministers put together and it was a strength she needed.
She is credited by some as having pulled the UK from a stagnant Socialist torpor which fed had and subsidised lame duck industries such as steel, coal, railways and many others.
Her answer was to use the free market to run all these industries, think of British Airways, British Gas, in fact virtually anything in state hands with the word British in its title.
In a matter of three years millions of employees had been shed and we were in deep recession but that was ok because the financial insitutions made a fortune many time over ,and to quote Milo Mindbender -"Everyone got a share"
Some of those jobs were lost simply as a result of changing accounting procedures which placed a notional value on assets and then required a market return.I'm thinking specifically of the mining industry here.
Naturally there was outrage and unrest, but these had been carefully provoked, predicted and planned for, from the dockworkers strike, the teachers, the emergency services, but most of all the miners - and really the miners are all what Thatcher was about.
First she did not provoke them but instead aimed her guns at other workers, the reason was that the mining industry needed a lot of preparation to destroy.
The mineworkers had held governments to ransom several times and governments of several shades had been effectively brought down by them .Ms Thatcher and her advisors had decided enough was enough and set out to destroy what they held (me too surpisingly) a threat to democracy.
She encouraged them to overproduce coal with large bonus payments, this was stockpiled over several years steadily, meanwhile she also broke the dockworkers unions so that non-unionised ports such as Immingham could operate free of the threat of industrial action.These ports were equipped with coal-loading facilities.
All the nuclear power stations came on line and were fitted out with much new equipment.
There was an intelligence campaign and a propaganda campaign mounted against the miners union leader Mr Arthur Scargill which was very effective.
When all was ready, and it took years to do so, Thatcher was utterly ruthless and the mining industry was destroyed.
Ms Thatcher was credited with delivering the last of the final blows that led to the collapse of the military junta in Argentina. I know the history of that rather well but I will ease up and simply say that the war was very likely planned to help keep her in office when, at her first re-election call, things looked very bleak indeed.
The result was that UK won the Falklands war the Argentine government fell and she was re-elected with an even larger majority.
Thatcher also acted as the go between for Reagan and Gorbachov. She was Reagans trusted advisor recommended policies to the US which were subsquently followed.
All the world, it seemed, loved her free-market ideology but many things did not work, these were kept quiet.
The workers made redundant from the industries she raped were in many cases taken on as private contractors since they had dismissed too much of their own workforce.These workers ended up with higher pay than they muight have done but it is amazing whatyou can do with tax write offs.
The deregulation of the public transport industry is now recognised as a disaster.
The closure of industries in one employer towns has been responsible for an incredible increase in crime.
Her policies were very regional in effect meaning that the London area and its surrounds did very well while the rest of the nation went into a recession it has not yet recovered from nearly 20 years later.
The regional effect of her policies, especially the dreaded poll-tax, probably has done more than anything to cause the unrest that has led to the setting up of regional parliaments and in the long run might lead to the break-up of the UK (unlikley as it stands at the moment but circumstnaces do change)
Her party spent 18 years in government and was widely held to be , well how can I put it nicely? Corrupt, with plush jobs for her chosen acolytes in industries she had sold for less than their worth.
Her views on the National Health service which is now an integral part of British public life was that it should be privatised, but she never would say it outright .Rather it was done in a sneaky sort of way under the banner of empowering people with "choices"
She took steps to encourage people to take out private pensions instead of much better company ones, her financial friends made a killing but now are having to reimburse policyholders billions of £ resulting from a misleading selling campaign.
Her policies seemed designed to crush any opposition and reduce the helpless such as the sick into penury, all the while rewarding 'her' sort of people.
Result is that at the last election the Conservatives were wiped out. It may take many years before they can become an effective opposition and that just has to be a threat to democracy.
Ah but one good thing is that she restored 'British' pride our paper economy was reinvigorated, her opponents and friends feared her .
Maybe someone else can say something nice but I cannot think of a single thing, perhaps Matt might ;)
07-10-2000, 12:50 PM
Check out this page for a listing of women world leaders from 1945-2000
Current women presidents include Taarja Karina Halonen of Finland:
Mary McAleese of Ireland:
Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodríguez of Panama
Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia
and Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka. (Sri Lanka also has a woman prime minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike)
Other current women prime ministers include Sheikh Hasina Wajed of Bangladesh and Helen Clark of New Zealand (she succeeded Jenny Shipley, who was NZ's PM from 1997-1999)
Some of the best-known women leaders of the recent past include Golda Meier of Israel, Corazon Aquino of the Phillipines, Indira Gandhi of India, and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, as well as Margaret Thatcher.
And of course that doesn't count the queens, like Elizabeth II of the U.K., Margarethe II of Denmark, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
07-10-2000, 12:54 PM
Oh and while I'm on at it :)
British Ice-cream is crap. It is sold by volume and not by weight.
One of Ms Thatchers earlier tasks before she went into politics was as a chemist were she was partly responible for finding ways to put more air into ice-cream to increase its volume - lovely lady eh - fancy cheating children of their treats.
She was Education minister at one time and one of her well known actions was to stop the free issue of milk in schools which up till then had been seen as helping to guaruntee the health of poorer children.
Hence the slogan 'Thatcher-Milk snatcher'
07-10-2000, 01:28 PM
Casdave, everything you see as a negative I see as a positive so you have saved me the long post. She really has a *long* list of achievements! And BTW, ice cream is sold by volume in the USA too (I do not know about other countries).
Jayron, I had the same reaction and I have posted some remarks in a similar vein before but I have later found out that the OP was a kid in which case, obviously, the situation changes.
It made me think maybe it would be a good idea to have a "Junior Forum" in this board with slightly different rules to make it appropriate for the younger crowd. They would get more understanding and patience there while not being in the way of the older crowd. Also they would be protected from the flames. I have seen so much flaming here lately that it seems like the pit might be superfluous.
07-10-2000, 03:24 PM
If the OP is indeed young, say under 16, I do apologize for my mini rant on world politics. I wouldn't expect him/her to know much more about Thatcher than I would have at that age about Heath or MacMillian. Rather than being attacked, such a youth should be commended for taking an interest in World politics. As sailor well knows, I have a habit of posting knee-jerk emotionally laden responses to messages, and often end up with my foot in my mouth. If the OP is over 18, however, I feel little shame in my earlier statements.
Some more female world political leaders include:
Betty Boothroyd is England's Speaker of the House of Commons, and has been for many years. Not that it's an important role in international affairs, but it IS an important role in the British government. Her role is more like a legislative equivalent to our Chief Justice, in that the Speaker is not a cabinet position, and thus supposedly outside of major political forces. She is in charge of keeping order in the House of Commons, and thus is perhaps the most important person in that legislative body next to the Prime Minister himself. Her impartiality and popularity has meant that she has kept her seat, and her job, despite the changeover in government that occured a few years ago.
France had a female Prime Minister from 1992-1993 named Edith Cresson, though it is important to note that the French Prime Minister is more of an equivalent of the American Speaker of the House of Representatives, as most real power in France is held by the President. France has never had a female president.
Ireland is right now under their second female president Mary McAleese who succeeded the rather influential Mary Robinson.
The Netherlands Antilles has been ruled by female Prime Ministers for much of the past few decades.
Panama has a female president, though her name escapes me.
07-10-2000, 09:17 PM
If all these women have such "supreme power" why do pantyhose still only last 5 minutes? What product (other than condoms) would men be prepared to buy that had the life-span of a pair of 15 denier tights?
07-10-2000, 09:59 PM
No such luck. Author of OP is 20, according to her profile. Also in the Navy! Hey,YosemiteJoy, don't believe them when they send you for a "bo'sun's punch"!
07-10-2000, 10:08 PM
I'm still so angry I can't even rant about That Woman.
I do think the relationship between the Executive and the Unions was out of whack in the late 70's and needed serious re-adjustment but what she did - and how she enforced change - was not rational nor reasonable.
With regard to the miners: It was a personal vendetta that resulted in little less than a cultural genocide and she carried it through with extreme and anti-democratic manipulation of the media.
Right on, casdave. Freedom for Tooting !
07-10-2000, 10:24 PM
A 20 year old is well old enough to know who Margaret Thatcher was. Though I do commend her for trying to eradicate her own ignorance, which is always a noble cause. I still feel that it was a rediculously trivial question, easily obtainable by doing a little legwork on her own.
07-11-2000, 03:35 AM
Don't forget Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. She was president of Nicaragua from 1990-1997. Surprising many, she beat the reigning cult of personality, Daniel Ortega (the Sandinista), in a fair and square election (a first for Nicaragua in many years) and she was also the first female leader in Central America.
(My first post, woo hoo!)
07-11-2000, 09:08 AM
Yeah, two things that bother me: people who post a simple question like this which can be easily answered if they did an internet search or checked an encycopledia and people who post a question and never return. It just shows they had tremendous little interest in knowing the answer.
Her impartiality and popularity has meant that she has kept her seat....
I think, jayron32, that the reason she has kept her seat is that the speaker almost invariably stands unopposed by any of the major parties in her constitency (West Bromwich?).
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.