I just returned tonight from a Liberal Townhall with Dion at the University of British Columbia to find an article by CanWest about the Liberal party’s record number of female candidates in the upcoming election.  As you can see from the above photo, women are given front and center placement in the Liberal party.  And it is in the Liberal party that they are the most plentiful!

Turns out the Liberals have surpassed the NDP for the first time in running the most female candidates.  Says the article:

With the passing of Monday’s deadline for official nominations in the Oct. 14 federal vote, Canada’s official opposition is fielding 113 women in 307 federal ridings, which means 36.9 per cent of Liberal candidates are female.

That also means Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has made good on one previous promise: that at least one-third of his candidates would be women.

The NDP is a second with 104 women vying for seats in all 308 ridings, or 33.8 per cent.

In terms of sheer percentage, the ruling Conservatives rank fifth among the five major federal parties with 63 women running in 307 ridings, or 20.5 per cent.

The Green party has 87 women running in 305 ridings, or 28.5 per cent.

The strong showing by the Liberals dethrones the NDP as the traditional front-runner for fielding female candidates, according to Elections Canada data compiled by Punditsguide.ca for the Canwest News Service.

In the five federal elections since 1997, the NDP has led all parties with a female representation of between 29.5 and 35.5 per cent.

This shows that Dion’s attempt to encourage more women in politics worked! I have to say the fact that Dion even thought that this was an issue that was of importance was a catalyst in encouraging more women to run for nomination in Liberal ridings.  The women knew that they would be welcomed and encouraged within the party. What I think is most encouraging is that Dion surpassed the number of women he pledged to run.

In order to get more women involved in politics we need to set ambitious goals and continue to meet and surpass them. We need to continue to break records in the number and percentage of women running and elected. While there is still more work to do, and while the Liberals still have yet to elect a female party leader, this IS progress and we should celebrate it.

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