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Canadians support efforts to elect more women, poll shows

Jun 18, 2009

 

OTTAWA: A national public opinion poll released today shows that a large majority of Canadians want to see more women elected in Canada.

 

The poll conducted by Environics Research Group and released by Equal Voice, shows that 85 percent of Canadians support “efforts to increase the number of women elected in this country”. Only 11 percent of Canadians oppose such efforts.
 

The poll reveals that large majorities of voters for all the federal political parties want to see more women in elected office. Significant majorities of Conservative Party voters (76%) Liberal Party voters (89%), NDP voters (93%), Bloc Quebecois voters (88%), and Green Party voters (87%) say they support efforts to increase the number of women elected. As well, 85 percent of undecided voters are in agreement.


“Political parties have everything to gain and nothing to lose by substantially increasing their numbers of female candidates” said pollster Donna Dasko, Senior Vice- President of Environics Research Group and National Chair (Acting) of Equal Voice.


“The popularity of electing more women and the significance of women’s votes should weigh heavily on the party leaders as they head into a summer that promises either an election campaign or a flood of nomination races.”
 

While women are almost universal - 90 percent - in their desire to see more women elected, a large majority of men -79 percent - also support these efforts. As well, large majorities of Canadians in all regions of the country want more women in elected office.


On a related question, 63 percent of Canadians think that women are under-represented in the federal House of Commons and only 27 percent think women have about the right amount of representation at the federal level. Two percent say women are over-represented and eight percent have no opinion.

 

These figures are virtually identical to a similar national poll conducted by Environics in 2001, when 62 percent said they thought women were under-represented in Parliament.
 

The poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted from September 24 to October 21, 2008 during the 2008 federal election campaign, when the electorate was keenly following politics and the political scene. That election resulted in 69 women elected – an increase of five over the 2006 election results but still representing only 22.4 percent of all seats on the House of Commons.
 

The poll was conducted by Environics for its syndicated Focus Canada Report on Canadian public opinion. The report is produced quarterly and is available to subscribers.
 

For further information, please contact:
Donna Dasko Senior Vice -President – Environics Research Group
(416) 969-2816 donna.dasko@environics.ca
 

Survey Methods
These results are taken from an Environics survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and older, conducted in English and French between September 24 to October 21, 2008. On a national basis, these results are accurate to within +/-3.2 percentage points, in 95 out of 100 samples.
 

Questions
 

Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose efforts to increase the number of women elected in this country?
 

Thinking about the proportion of men and women among our elected officials, do you think women are overrepresented, under-represented, or have about the right amount of representation in the federal House of commons?
 

 

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Thanks also to the Government of Canada (Status of Women & Canadian Heritage) for their financial support.