Student's electoral reform speech well-received in House of Commons

Taya Nabuurs, a UPEI political science student from Stratford, P.E.I. received a positive reaction to her speech on electoral reform and its effect on women in the House of Commons Wednesday, International Women’s Day.

Taya Nabuurs, representing the riding of Cardigan was part of symbolic sitting in Parliament

Taya Nabuurs represented the riding of Cardigan in a symbolic sitting of Parliament on International Women's Day. (CBC)

Taya Nabuurs, a UPEI political science student from Stratford, P.E.I. received a positive reaction to her speech on electoral reform and its effect on women, delivered in the House of Commons on International Women's Day.

"Our Canadian Parliament has still not reached this critical mass index and our current electoral system is hindering women's progress in our pursuit to achieve equal representation," said Nabuurs on Wednesday.

Nabuurs is one of the women chosen to take part in the Daughters of the Vote conference about the past, present and future of women in politics.

The other conference participants, who attended the symbolic sitting of Parliament Wednesday, enthusiastically applauded Nabuurs' speech, pounding on their desks as she spoke.

The university student said the United Nations had indicated that women had to gain a minimum of 30 per cent representation in legislative bodies in order to be considered a critical mass capable of impacting policy and practice in government. 

Equal representation

"Electoral reform is a clear and tangible way that we can make steps towards a Canada in which all voices are equally represented," she said.

Nabuurs, representing the P.E.I. riding of Cardigan, said extensive research has shown that certain electoral models more effectively promote the election of women to political office.

"Party list proportional representation systems in particular incentivize parties to run lists of candidates and therefore are the most successful at getting women's names on the ballot," she said. "I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of reforming our electoral system to create the most fair, democratic, and engaging system possible. The fight for electoral reform is not over."