Prior to 1921, men were the only members of the Canadian parliamentary system. With the first Canadian women being elected into the Canadian parliament in 1921, women have had the ability to participate and become elected into the House of Commons. Since then, Canadian women’s participation in the House of Commons has substantially increased from 1 female seat holder in 1921 to the present day 64 seats held by women. Although this increase is seemed as substantial, the debate about the underrepresentation of women in politics has been a central topic of debate by politicians, scholars and the general public in Canada. Although it is widely agreed that representation of women in the House of Commons needs to increase, there are two
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The brokerage system theory suggests that since Canada has such a diverse population, in order for political parties to win elections, they must appeal to the masses. Since Canada follows the brokerage system, it is suggested that everyone will receive representation in the Government because political parties have compromised in order to gain their support. One of the ways the Canadian political parties have gained more support by women was by bringing more into their party. Since 1921 women candidates in parties have increased from 4 female candidates to present day 380 female candidates. The increase shows that parties are accepting women in as candidates, in hopes to better accommodate women’s wants and needs; however, the general population is not voting them in. Not only does it allow from more female candidates, but it makes it easier for Feminists to belong to a political party. However, more feminists in the House of Commons may not be the best strategy for meeting needs, demands and interests of women. Women rather vote for “women as women” rather then feminists.
Finally, although the underrepresentation of women in the House of Commons does not mean that the Canadian political system is insufficiently democratic, it does need to be improved. Some solutions suggested to improve this underrepresentation is to look at the how seats get distributed, quotas, and greater promotion for women in politics. Canada