Sunday, January 17, 2010

On women Liberal nomination candidates

These pieces and talk about some reasons why women are underrepresented in Canada when it comes to elected office. One of the reasons debated is the nomination process, that women have a harder time actually winning a nomination in the first place, let alone winnng a riding. With that in mind, I examined the track record of female candidate in Liberal nomination contests during this cycle. I only examined ridings in which an actual vote took place, no uncontested wins/appointments. Some notes on scoring. In a riding in which one or more female candidates lost to a male, that was deemed a loss. If a nomination was exclusively female, it is scored a tie. If a woman won the nomination over a mixed-gender field, such as in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, it was scored as a win, and of course, a woman defeating one or more men counts as a win.

From coast to coast.

Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley: Tracey Parsons loses to Jim Burrows (loss)

Mirimachi: Véronique Arsenault and Robert D. Hutchison lose to Keith Vickers

Fredericton: Pamela Campbell beats Wendy Robbins

Laval: Eva Nassif defeats Alia Haddad and Jean Roussel

Pontiac: Cindy-Duncan McMillan defeats Greg Fergus and Georges Lafontaine

Ottawa Centre: Scott Bradley defeats Janet Yale

Ottawa-Orleans: Judith Cane and Rainer Bloess lose to David Bertschi

Glengarry--Prescott--Russell: Julie Bourgeois beats Ken Hill, Gilles Roch Greffe, and Maryanne Kampouris

Leeds-Grenville: Marjory Loveys beats Margaret Heather Rothgeb

Northumberland--Quinte West: Kim Rudd beats Andrew G. McFadyen and Christine A. Herrington

Oakville: Max Khan over Connie Laurin-Bowie, Mary Chapin, Stuart Howe, Darla Campbell

Sarnia-Lambton: Timothy Fugard beats Anne Gillis

Huron-Bruce: Charlie Bagnato over Maarten Bokhout and Deb Homuth.

Sudbury: Carol Hartman beats Réjean Grenier, Gary A. Holman, and Janet Gasparini

Calgary West: Jennifer Pollack over Ernie Corbett

Saainch-Gulf Islands: Renée Hetherington over Christopher Spence

All counted, that gives female nomination candidates thus far a record of 7-7-2, but we can break it down a bit more. The regionals are 0-2-1 in Atlantic Canada, 2-0 in Quebec, 3-6-1 in Ontario, and 2-0 in Western Canada. Something I would really to do is compare rural/suburban/urban ridings, but since a number of these ridings (such as Saainch-Gulf Islands, Ottawa-Orleans, and Sarnia-Lambton blur the lines, it's difficult.

I think this is the most telling stat. Of the above ridings which could be considered "winnable" (Liberal candidate came within 15% of winning in 2008, meaning that Liberal nomination voters had a decent chance of electing a candidate who would make it to the House), Saanich-Gulf Islands, Pontiac, Sudbury, Huron-Bruce, Oakville, Glengarry – Prescott – Russell, Ottawa Centre, Ottawa-Orleans, Laval, Fredericton, Miramichi, the record of female candidates is 5-5-1, meaning in the ridings that could potentially send new Liberal MP's to the House, Liberal nomination voters do not have seemed to have had a problem giving female candidates a fighting chance, with a solid .500 record (this number is particularly good considering the goal for next election should be a House with at least 30% female candidates.

As of right now, according to Pundits' Guide, the Liberals and NDP are tied for the lead in terms of female candidates, with 35.2% of both parties nominated candidates being female. However, the NDP lags far behind when it comes to actually getting women in electable seats. As shown above, the Liberals have had 5 female candidates outright win nominations in winnable seats, and thats not even including the various appointed/acclaimed candidates in other winnable ridings for the Liberals. In the NDP's most winnable ridings in which they have nominated a candidate (11 by my count), only 3 of them will feature a female candidate.

The numbers don't lie: The Liberals are playing a much bigger role than the NDP in advancing the cause of increasing the number of women in Parliament.


Anonymous said...

There was a female candidate in Parry Sound-Muskoka but she withdrew 3 days before the nomination for personal reasons.

The Pundits' Guide said...

Hi LS,

Glad to see you getting back into the nominations analysis groove.

You might want to consider extending your list of ridings the NDP is targetting to some of the ones they *say* they're targetting as well as the ones you think they could win (it can be hard to assess that dispassionately coming from another party).

Also, your analysis doesn't give credit for any incumbent already elected. I realize my site doesn't display that information yet (although it's on my to-do list to add it), so here are the historic percentages, for your information:

Percent of elected candidates who were women, by election, by party, 1988-2008

ELEC | Lib | NDP | BQ_ | Cons-CA-Ref, PC
____ | ___ | ___ | ___ | _________
1988 | 16% | 12% | ---- | 13%
1993 | 20% | 11% | 15% | 13%, 50%
1997 | 24% | 38% | 25% | 7%, 10%
2000 | 23% | 38% | 26% | 11%, 8%
2004 | 25% | 26% | 26% | 12%
2006 | 20% | 41% | 33% | 11%
2008 | 25% | 32% | 31% | 15%

Thanks for the gender-analysis of 2008 nomination contests. It's a useful contribution.

The Liberal Scarf said...

Hi Alice,

Your points are all valid. Thanks for the historic info, I had actually been looking for something of that nature. I have to laugh at the PC's 1993 number being 50%, reminds me of that old joke that Jean Charest's wife was sleeping with half the caucus.

The Pundits' Guide said...

I wrote "your analysis of 2008 nomination contests", but of course I meant the nomination contests for the 41st general election. Sorry for the confusion.

Meanwhile I'm waiting for a few more details on some already-nominated Conservative candidates, and have a few Green candidates to catch up on, and then I'll be running another look at nominations by type (e.g., acclaimed, contested, etc.), and by date of nomination.

The Conservative numbers for nominated women are creeping up too lately, by the way.

The Pundits' Guide said...

BTW, someone clicked on "Report an Error" late last night, and let me know that I had entered one woman's gender as "G" rather than "F". This has changed the true results very slightly from what you report, such that the NDP is now at 35.8%.

Thank goodness for the self-correcting nature of the Internet!