Tag Archives: democracy

Democratic Deficits: Equality & Rep in Canadian Politics: Workshop in Mtrl November 20, 2013

A note from Trudeau Scholar Kerri Froc about this workshop to be held November 20, 2013:

Democratic Deficits? Equality and Representation in Canadian Politics / Déficits démocratiques? Égalité et représentation politique au Canada

Equality is a critical element of Canada’s representative democracy, yet it is one that our electoral system faces critical challenges in delivering. In principle, Canadians are governed under notions of voter equality, “effective representation” of diverse communities, and equal treatment of political candidates. However, the chronic under-representation of women, racial minorities and Aboriginals in our elected institutions, alleged voter suppression tactics, and electoral boundaries that dilute the votes of some Canadians suggest we still have far to go in making these ideas a practical reality. At this workshop, we will hear from academics and practitioners about the sources of under-representation and unresponsiveness and propose solutions for greater equality and fairness.

This event is being held in conjunction with the Trudeau Foundation’s 10th Annual Conference.



Agenda / Ordre du jour

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.   Welcome / Bienvenue
8:45 – 9:30 a.m.   Keynote Address / Discours-programmeJean-Pierre KingsleyFormer Chief Electoral Officer / ancien director général des élections
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.   Gender Balance in Parliament / Équilibre entre les sexes au Parlement
11:00 – 11:30 a.m.   Break / Pause
11:30 – 1:00 p.m.   Ethnocultural Diversity in Politics / Diversité ethnoculturelle en politique
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.   Lunch / Déjeuner
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.   Electoral Boundaries / Délimitation des circonscriptions électorales
3:30 – 4:00 p.m.   Break / Pause
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.   Justice in Electioneering / Justice électoraliste
5:30 – 5:45 p.m.   Conference close / Clôture de la conférence


Speakers / Conférenciers

Panelists will be announced in September 2013. Check back for details!

Les conférenciers seront annoncés en Septembre 2013. Revenez pour plus de détails!


Sessions / Séances

Gender Balance in Parliament / Équilibre entre les sexes au Parlement

More than 80% of Canadians are now governed by female premiers, and there are more women in the federal Cabinet than ever before. Paradoxically, however, women comprise only 25% of MPs, and Canada ranks 46th of 189 countries in terms of the number of nationally-elected women. How can we turn these cracks in the glass ceiling into a true breakthrough for women? This panel will discuss the reasons for women’s under-representation in Parliament, as well as possible solutions.

Plus de 80% des Canadiens sont maintenant gouvernés par des premières ministres, et nous avons plus de femmes au Cabinet que jamais. Paradoxalement, les femmes ne représentent que 25% des députés et le Canada se classe au 46ième rang sur 189 pays en termes du nombre de femmes élues à l’échelle nationale. Comment pouvons-nous transformer ces petites fissures dans le plafond de verre en véritable percée pour les femmes? Ce panel examinera les raisons de la sous-représentation des femmes au Parlement, ainsi que certaines solutions potentielles.


Ethnocultural Diversity in Politics / Diversité ethnoculturelle en politique

Canada’s population is becoming increasingly diverse and while ethnocultural minorities and Aboriginal peoples have made some important gains in the electoral arena, our country’s representatives largely have Anglo, Western European and Caucasian origins. Visible minorities, immigrants and First Nations are numerically under-represented. This panel will look at the representation of ethnocultural diversity in elected politics, voter attitudes toward non-White candidates and the media’s portrayal of minorities in politics. It will chart progress and gaps and pinpoint strategies for increasing diversity in Canadian political life.

La population du Canada est de plus en plus diversifiée. Mais même si les minorités ethnoculturelles et les peuples autochtones ont fait des gains importants dans l’arène électorale, les représentants de notre pays demeurent en générale anglophones, occidentaux et blancs. Les minorités visibles, les immigrants et les Premières Nations sont numériquement sous-représentés. Ce panel se penchera sur les questions de la diversité ethnoculturelle dans la politique électorale, des attitudes des électeurs à l’égard des candidats non-blancs et de la représentation médiatique des minorités visibles sur la scène politique. Le panel va identifier les progrès réalisés et exposer les lacunes ethnoculturelles dans l’espace politique national, et tentera de définir des stratégies pour accroître la diversité dans la vie politique canadienne. 


Electoral Boundaries / Délimitation des circonscriptions électorales

Electoral districts are the building blocks of democracy. The distribution of federal electoral districts among the provinces was recently changed by the Fair Representation Act. Independent, non-partisan commissions in each province are now redrawing electoral boundaries. Yet redistricting receives relatively little academic or judicial scrutiny in Canada, compared to other democracies. This panel will investigate the competing principles at play and the institutional context.

Les circonscriptions électorales sont les piliers de notre démocratie. La répartition des circonscriptions électorales fédérales parmi les provinces a été récemment modifiée par la Loi sur la représentation équitable. Des commissions non-partisanes et indépendantes dans chaque province s’attardent maintenant à retracer les limites des circonscriptions électorales. Au contraire de ce que l’on retrouve dans d’autres démocraties, ce redécoupage n’a soulevé que peu d’intérêt chez les universitaires canadiens ou dans la jurisprudence canadienne. Ce panel examinera les enjeux contradictoires qui influencent le contexte institutionnel de cet exercice de redécoupage.


Justice in Electioneering / Justice électoraliste

Canada’s election administration has recently come under stress, with the Supreme Court ruling on a disputed election in Etobicoke, Federal Court hearings into alleged “robocalls”, and allegations of improper political party financing and contributions in Quebec. This panel will explore how federal and provincial electoral administration should respond.

L’administration des élections au Canada a récemment fait l’objet de critiques sérieuses, avec la décision de la Cour suprême sur la controverse des résultats électoraux à Etobicoke, les audiences de la Cour fédérale sur les appels-robots, et les pratiques illicites de contributions politiques et de financement des partis au Québec. Ce panel explorera comment les administrations électorales fédérale et provinciales devraient répondre à ces situations problématiques.

Flora Terah: The Politics of Personal Violence @ Osgoode Thursday March 3 1230

Osgoode Institute for Feminist Legal Studies & The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples present:

Flora Terah: The Politics of Personal Violence
March 3, 2011
Osgoode Hall Room 107

Introduction by May Cheng
Partner, Fasken Martineau & Supporter, The Equality Effect

On September 7th, 2007, Kenyan parliamentary candidate Flora Igoki Terah was abducted and tortured by a group of men. She missed taking part in the December 2007 election, but the hardest blow came the following year when her 19-year-old only son was murdered, his death brushed aside by the authorities.
Flora Terah’s case is not an isolated incident – 153 cases of electoral violence against women candidates were reported to Nairobi’s Education Centre for Women in Democracy leading up to the 2007 elections.
Terah has since founded Terah Against Terror – an organization for victims of electoral violence, and works with the Centre for Multiparty Democracy to strengthen the democratic process in Kenya. Flora Terah plans to run for parliament again in the 2012 Kenyan elections.



Look for other events during the week of March 7-10 including:

March 9 Osgoode 106 at 1230-2:  Bridging the Local and Global: Sexual and Gender Based Violence – Panel Discussion


Deb Singh, Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape http://www.trccmwar.ca/

Jessica Yee, “multiracial Two Spirit Indigenous hip hop feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter” @jessyee

Christine Kungu’u, Kenyan lawyer, graduate student, www.theequalityeffect.ca

part of Osgoode’s International Advocacy Week on Sexual Gender Based Violence

Questions? Please contact Lielle Gonsalves, Administrator of IFLS  x55586