Bill C-237 Gender Equity Act

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mark_alfred
Bill C-237 Gender Equity Act

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mark_alfred

ETA:  Error on my part.  The thread should be titled "Candidate Gender Equity Act".

The idea is to create financial incentives for political parties to nominate more women.  Apparently this is successfully done in Europe and helps parliaments move closer to equity.

Introduction of bill in House

The bill itself

Quote:

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-237, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (gender equity).

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand today and table the candidate gender equity act. This act seeks to amend the Canada Elections Act to create financial incentives for political parties to nominate more women, and to move toward gender parity in the list of candidates put forward in elections.

The Prime Minister voluntarily put in place this country's first gender-balanced cabinet. However, we need to make laws that reinforce the idea that men and women are intrinsically equal and that, because we are equal, the entire membership of this place should also be gender balanced. A record 88 women MPs were elected in the 2015 election, but women still hold only 26% of the seats in the House of Commons, which places us 53rd in the world when compared to other countries. This is unacceptable.
   
The bill I submit here today is based on successful measures found in other countries, such as France and Ireland. It has been drafted with the aid of a dozen international experts, including my wife, Dr. Jeanette Ashe.
   
We need real action to move toward gender parity in this place because, to paraphrase the Prime Minister, it is 2016.

takeitslowly

how come we never have a person of color to be PM? even the U.S has a black president. Gender equality is fine, but what about class?
Race is a class as well.

mark_alfred

That's an issue too.  Be interesting to see proportionally how the House stacks up with the general population of Canada.

mark_alfred

Well, the Liberals killed this NDP bill rather than support it.

http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/the-liberals-killed-a-bill-promot...

Shannon Proudfoot wrote:
The Liberals killed a bill promoting gender parity in politics. They were wrong.

Justin Trudeau got a lot of credit for appointing a gender-balanced cabinet when his government was elected one year ago. But last week, the Liberals rejected a private member’s bill that aimed to further the progress of women in politics. 

The bill would have financially penalized political parties that didn’t run nearly equal lists of male and female candidates, providing incentive to seek out more balance at the riding level. The government refused to back the proposed law on constitutional grounds and because it would unfairly penalize small parties. But independent experts, including the House of Commons’ own lawyer, say the government’s objections don’t hold water.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The government refused to back the proposed law on constitutional grounds and because it would unfairly penalize small parties.

Because there are no women in small parties?

milo204

 i wonder if this would screw upstart parties too, who may have trouble if they're only fielding a few candidates like the early green party, etc....  I mean you'd hope they would have some good people who are women to run, but if you only have a handful of people to choose from, it could be a death scentence to getting started for parties that may want to run for a federal seat but are still local to a smaller region...

perhaps a solution would be to say if you run more than a certain number of candidates, it would then kick in...

so parties with a large base of possible candidates who can do it adhere to it, but upstart parties wouldn't have to press gang women into running for elected office if that's not the job they actually want...

mark_alfred

Quote:

 i wonder if this would screw upstart parties too, who may have trouble if they're only fielding a few candidates like the early green party, etc.... 

No.  It's only applicable to parties with the following circumstance (see link):

Quote:

  • (c) candidates endorsed by the registered party received at least

    • (i) 2% of the number of valid votes cast at the election, or

    • (ii) 5% of the number of valid votes cast in the electoral districts in which the registered party endorsed a candidate.

Achieving numbers like this is beyond being a small start up.  See the first post of the thread for a link to the proposed law.  Also see the post with the critique of the Liberals rejection of the bill, which points out the flaws in their rationales for rejecting this bill.  Further, any tweaks could have been done on it in committee.  The idea of the bill was solid, and should not have been rejected.  It dealt with changing the system to ensure a systemic push toward greater representation, which is beyond the nice gesture of the Liberals' cabinet move:

Shannon Proudfoot wrote:
Gestures like Trudeau’s gender-balanced cabinet easily backslide if the system isn’t changed in real ways, Thomas says; Jean Charest’s gender-parity cabinet in Quebec in 2007, after all, was a one-off. “The symbolic stuff at the top doesn’t matter unless it’s carried all the way to the bottom. So this is telling me that this particular bunch of leaders aren’t actually committed to seeing this through,” she says. “A real feminist would say, ‘Yeah, sure, we can do this at the top, but we’ve got to make sure this is an institutional norm so that when we’re no longer here, the expectation stays.’ ”