Ottawa

Gender equality and democracy (II)

Dan Arnold troubleshoots Paul Dewar’s proposal to increase the number of women seeking office.

Of course, as with any incentive scheme, there are unintended consequences. To begin with, the easiest way for a party like the Liberals to cash in on that 90k a candidate would be to run nothing but women across Alberta and in other unwinnable ridings. Luckily for the Liberals, there are plenty of unwinnable ridings to choose from.

Other parties trying to cash in may not be quite so lucky. To reach these quotas, many parties (especially the Conservatives) would likely resort to appointing dozens of female candidates in unheld ridings. Sure, having more women in politics is an admirable goal, but is it worth overruling the will of local riding associations? And what about the lack of aboriginals, visible minorities, and youth in politics? This proposal does little for them.

Dan suggests raising the election expenses rebate for female candidates as an alternative.