Green Party runs the most women in Man. ridings

The Green Party of Canada is running more women than any other party in Manitoba this federal election, followed closely by the Conservatives and the NDP.

36% of all party candidates in province are women

The federal Green Party appears to be attracting women candidates in Manitoba ridings 2:09
Jacqueline Romanow plants a Green Party sign outside her campaign office on Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg Monday. ((CBC))
The Green Party of Canada is running more women than any other party in Manitoba this federal election, followed closely by the Conservatives and the NDP.

Monday afternoon was the deadline for candidates to file their paperwork with Elections Canada.

Jacqueline Romanow is a candidate for the Greens in Winnipeg Centre, and said women have a natural connection to her party.

"I think it's a logical connection, actually."

"Women are, and I don't want to stereotype, but are really concerned about community, our children and grandchildren, and future generations, and responsibility, and having an approach to politics that is perhaps less bullying, but more based on fact and concern."

Romanow says many women are also attracted to Green Party leader Elizabeth May as a principled woman with integrity — and the only major party leader who is a female.

Among the 14 ridings up for grabs in the province, the Greens are fielding seven women candidates, the Conservatives 6, the NDP 5, and the Liberals 4.

Women under-represented

Incumbent MP Shelly Glover says getting women to forego family is a barrier to having more take up the challenge to become an MP. ((CBC))
Those numbers amount to just 36 per cent female representation among candidates in Manitoba, where women represent roughly 50 per cent of the population.

Shelly Glover said more women are needed in Ottawa, because it's often women who care for children, the elderly and volunteer in the community.

"I think women bring something very special to politics," Glover said.

The Conservative incumbent for the riding of St.Boniface was just one of 67 women who sat in Parliament's 308 seats.

"Women really do wear issues on their sleeves — they are emotional about issues and I think that brings something important to debate," said Glover.

Glover says one of the biggest obstacles to getting women to run is foregoing family life — many MPs are away in Ottawa five days a week. She hopes new communication technology will allow for MPs to vote and attend committees without the need to leave their home communities.

Women encourage an atmosphere of civility, former MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis suggested. ((CBC))
Judy Wasylycia-Leis is no longer on the federal scene, but the former NDP Member of Parliament in Winnipeg has been trying to recruit more women into politics since the 1970s.

She says, more women, would repair what she called a broken Parliament that's full of name calling and gridlock.

"Internationally, whenever women make up a critical mass of representatives in their legislatures, the tenor and tone of the place changes, it becomes a more civil arena, people listen to each other, there's more dialogue and more cooperation," says Wasylycia-Leis.