September 26, 2014 1:06 pm
Updated: September 26, 2014 1:11 pm

Kim Campbell makes controversial proposal to help bring gender parity to Ottawa


WATCH: The Morning Show hosts discuss Kim Campbell’s proposal to get more women involved in federal politics. 

Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell has a controversial proposal to increase female representation in federal politics: electing two candidates in each federal riding—one man, and one woman.

Campbell outlined her proposal on Wednesday during a keynote speech at a women’s leadership conference in Prince Edward Island.

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All voters would cast two ballots under Campbell’s plan, choosing from separate lists of male and female candidates.

Campbell wrote in an anthology prepared for the conference that the plan, which sprung from her “predisposition to make the simplest changes to achieve the maximum value,” would create instant gender parity in the House of Commons.

Contrary to other media reports, Campbell wrote that her proposal would not require a doubling of the number of federal ridings.  Instead, Campbell believes a commission could develop an entirely new electoral map, combining ridings in some areas and making other adjustments to “allocate seats in the fairest way.”

The 2011 federal election saw a record 76 women elected for Parliament, comprising around one quarter of the House.

The Library of Parliament notes that female representation in federal seats increased from 9.6% in 1984 to 18.0 in 1993. Women occupied 20.6% of the seats after the 1997 general election, though this percentage plateaued for the next decade.

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