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Should political parties earn a subsidy for including more women?

Categories: Canada, News Promo, Politics

li-dewar-584.jpgNDP leadership candidate Paul Dewar says the number of women in the House of Commons is a national disgrace, and he's recommending a subsidy to boost those numbers in future. Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press

NDP leadership candidate Paul Dewar says the number of women in the House of Commons is "a national disgrace," and he's recommending a way to boost those numbers in future.

In a news release Thursday, the Ottawa MP urged "immediate action" to ensure more equal participation of women in politics. The MP said he would create an incentive for political parties to work toward that goal.

Outlining his intentions, Dewar says if he were to become NDP leader, he would bring back the $2-per-vote subsidy that is being phased out by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The taxpayer-funded subsidy was initially designed to help give political parties lacking in fundraising heft a bit of financial boost.
 
However, Dewar says under his leadership, parties would only get the full $2 subsidy if they run at least 50 per cent women candidates.
 
Subsidy amounts would be determined by the percentage of women in a given party, with parties with 40 to 49.9 per cent women earning $1.75 per vote, and so on. Parties with less than 30 per cent women on their list of candidates wouldn't be eligible for the subsidy at all.
 
Should political parties earn a subsidy for including more women? Why or why not? Are you concerned about the number of women in the House of Commons? Share your comments below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

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