Women’s representation in the political circuit has always been small. Be it due to lack of awareness, competition or patriarchy; we do not see many women in the parliament. But, slowly women are coming to the forefront. They are actively taking part in elections, and are not afraid to speak their mind anymore.
Diversity in the Canadian elections
Brian Pallister, head of The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba (Canada), has assembled the most diverse MLAs. The voters are going to choose from a diverse pool of candidates on September 10 for their legislative assembly. Ahead of the elections, Pallister boasted about the diversity and women candidates of his party. He said that he has the strongest team of candidates in the history of Manitoba. The political parties all over the world have realized the importance of representation and now we see more women and indigenous candidates in the election campaigns. The Progressive Conservatives will nominate a record number of women and 10 indigenous candidates this time.
The current makeup of the Manitoba Legislature
Currently, there are 75 percent male and 25 percent female in the Manitoba legislative assembly. The number of women elected in the assembly was in 2007; they were 18 and represented 31.5 percent of all MLAs.
If we look at the diversity meter then 79 percent were Caucasian, 7 percent visible minorities, and 9 percent were indigenous. Education is an important factor, and it’s found that 32 MLAs went to university. Six studied up to high school only, and eight had a college/trade school degree. The house should mirror the diverse makeup of the society. This helps in understanding the needs of the people and protect their rights.
How diverse representation helps?
The diverse representation has helped Manitoba in the past. Now, the Manitoba legislature has become people sensitive and trying new methods to have an inclusive infrastructure. Last year, authorities installed baby changing stalls in the washrooms and added chairs in women’s washrooms for breastfeeding moms. Meghan Chorney said that she was hopeful and thought the Manitoba legislature needed more diversity to help represent the actual Manitoba. NDP candidate Uzoma Asagwara is the first black candidate from Union station, where Meghan lives, and is likely to win.
Manitoba’s legislature elections are going to be very interesting. The Progressive Conservative party had nominated 50 candidates and their leader Brian Pallister is running for Fort Whyte’s seat. The election is on September 10 and only after that, we can tell how many diverse candidates are going to sit in the assembly.