Diversity at record high at Queen’s Park
Ontario reached a milestone last week by electing the most female MPPs in the province’s history: Thirty-nine will spend their days at Queen’s Park steering this province’s future within the halls of power. Diversity is good for democracy according to political science professor Karen Bird, with McMaster University.
“It brings forward more ideas because you have more people from different backgrounds. There’s also an argument that it enhances the communication and trust between the legislatures and the constituents.”
Here’s what the gender breakdown of the newly-elected Members of Provincial Parliament looks like:
The Liberals have the most females with 20, although the NDP have the highest ratio of women with 52% of their 21 MPPs being female.
When it comes to racial diversity, the Liberals are also in the lead. They have 16 members who are visible minorities. The NDP has two and the Progressive Conservatives have none.
Compared with the past two general elections in Ontario, the numbers of females and visible minorities represented at Queen’s Park are both up. Experts celebrate this as a positive step helping to fuel the next generation of politicians.
Dalia Hashim, a student at the University of Toronto with aspirations in politics, is encouraged by the results of last week’s election but says there’s always room for improvement.
“The direct representation is a testament to them knowing where we come from, what our background is, but also what we’re looking for in terms of policies.”
British Columbia is now the only province in Canada with more female elected members within provincial politics. Both Ontario and British Columbia have female Premiers.
© Shaw Media, 2014