Women Voters

Women in Canadian Politics

Women in Canadian Politics – over the years and now

Canada takes pride in being the home country of politicians such as Deputy Prime Ministers Anne McLellan and Sheila Copps, Prime Minister Kim Campbell, and Leaders of Opposition Rona Ambrose and Deborah Gray.

Historical Overview

The first women to hold office in Canada were elected or appointed by way of widow’s succession whereby they succeeded their deceased spouses. Agnes Campbell Macphail is the first woman in Canada to be elected to the House of Commons. During the 1921 election, she was the first and only woman to be elected to Parliament. A reformer and politician, Macphail was also a member of the disarmament committee to the League of Nations. She championed issues such as the rights of minority groups, including women, prisoners, immigrants, and farmers. Agnes Macphail also actively worked to reform the prison system, including mandatory education and reduced corporal punishment. Cora Taylor Casselman is also a Canadian federal politician and the first woman to serve as an acting Speaker at the House of Commons from 1944 to 1945. Four Canadian women served in Parliament after the 1953 election – Ann Shipley, Sybil Bennett, Margaret Aitken, and Ellen Louks Fairclough.

Politics Today

Eight women served as Premiers, one became a Prime Minister, and three women served as Premiers of a territory. Kim Campbell is a Canadian lawyer and politician who became a Prime Minister in 1993. She also served as Defense Minister, Attorney General, and Justice Minister. Other Canadian women who served as Premiers include Pat Duncan, Catherine Callbeck, Nellie Cournoyea, and Alison Redford.

Gender Quotas in Politics

While more and more women enter politics today and are elected in Parliament, there is still a gender gap to close. In the 2011 federal election, for example, women made 33 percent of all candidates. Canada is behind in terms of gender equality in politics compared to countries such as Kazakhstan, Iraq, Bolivia, and Rwanda. In the 2014 election in Bolivia, women made 53 percent of representatives elected to the Lower House. Canada also fares worse compared to countries such as Sweden (43.6 percent), Seychelles (43.8 percent), Cuba (48.9 percent), and Rwanda (63.8 percent). In the view of political scientist Louise Carbert, more Canadian women will enter politics in the next years because a large number of Members of Parliament are about to retire, many of whom are men. Proportional representation could also help close the gender gap because it promotes equality. Мany countries around the world have also implemented gender quotas, including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China, Sweden, and many others. Quotas, however, come in different types, including political party quotas, reserved seats, and legislated candidate quotas. There are political party quotas in Canada much like countries such as Australia, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In contrast, other countries have gender quotas in the form of reserved seats, including China, Sudan, Niger, and others. Reserved seats ensure that a certain number of female candidates are elected while political party quotas set a proportion of candidates to be included in candidate lists. As evident from 2011 results, women made 33 percent of candidates which meets the threshold of 30 to 40 percent in order to include female candidates as a critical minority. Professor in Political Science Drude Dahlerup offers an alternative solution in the form of a dual-member system to improve gender equality in politics. In this way, one female and one male candidate will be elected to serve in the legislature in each riding. In his view, this model is effective in a first-past-the-post system. Read more here: https://www.macleans.ca/politics/worldpolitics/why-male-political-leaders-pursue-gender-quota-laws/

Justin Trudeau in Politics

More and more Canadians think that Justin Trudeau is not qualified enough to lead the country. For many, he is wasting taxpayers' money, failed to cut subsidies for fossil fuels, broke his promise to reform the political system, and failed to balance the budget which resulted in a soaring deficit. Many also see Trudeau as a fake feminist.

Wasting Taxpayers' Money

Spending $215,000 on a controversial vacation to the Bahamas is a real waste of taxpayers' money in the eyes of many Canadians. This became clear from a document that CBC News requested under the Access to Information Act. This sum was spent to cover costs of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Defense, Privy Council, and Global Affairs Canada and is 70 percent higher than initially announced.

Environmental Protection

Air, soil, and water pollution are a serious concern in many countries, and efforts to reduce the carbon footprint contribute to environmental protection. To this end, Trudeau’s government promised to cut subsidies for fossil fuels in an effort to minimize pollution. This never happened, and fossil fuel subsidies are expected to be offered until 2025. For many people, spending $1.6 billion on gas and oil subsidies does not make sense in light of the fact that supply exceeds demand in Alberta while the pipeline capacity does not allow for exporting oil to other countries. While several policies have been reformed at the federal level, the policies mainly target tax expenditures associated with development and exploration. The Auditor General of Canada found that in 2017 Environment and Climate Change and the Department of Finance had not even developed a definition of inefficient subsidies. The agency and department are tasked with taxation issues related to fossil subsidies.

Electoral Reform

The government also broke its promise on electoral reform arguing that the issue would be revisited if the other parties agreed on a different arrangement because proportional representation is not in the best interest of Canadians. As part of the election campaign, the current government promised that it will end first-past-the-post system in order to make voting easier and more accessible. A special committee was created to work on the electoral reform, based on principles such as local representation, integrity, inclusiveness and accessibility, engagement, and legitimacy and effectiveness. The committee was tasked with conducting a study to assess the merits of different systems as well as practices such as online and mandatory voting, ranked ballots, and others. In 2016, the committee submitted its final report and made a recommendation to replace first-past-the-post with proportional representation. In 2017, it became clear that the government would not keep its promise to enact an electoral reform.

Debt and Budget

While all states have debt, Trudeau’s government promised a balanced budget and lower deficit. Deficit soared to $23 million in 2016 - 2017 in spite of projections and promises for a $9.5 billion deficit. The deficit grew despite the fact that the previous government left a legacy of very low interest rates, booming real estate markets, and a balanced budget. The election platform of Trudeau’s government promised to balance the budget after investing in infrastructural improvements to boost the economy. The government promised to keep the deficit below $10 billion for two consecutive years and then to reduce deficit even further. Nothing of this happened and the deficit actually skyrocketed.

Read more about debt, money, and real estate: Neo secured card

Real Estate


Fake Feminism

Trudeau has proclaimed himself a male feminist, and half of the members of his cabinet are women. In a statement to celebrate women's contributions and achievements on International Women's Day, Prime Minister Trudeau highlighted the importance of improving the quality of life of girls and women. He also emphasized on the fact that funding is available to women in trades, newcomer women, and female entrepreneurs. At the same time, two of his cabinet members, Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned. Jane Philpott quit due to loss of confidence while Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned because the government allegedly pressured her to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case.