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Overrepresented minorities among the «post-candidates», according to a study

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Minorities are over-represented among “potential candidates,” according to a University of Ottawa study. (Archive photo)

  • Julien David-Pelletier (View profile)Julien David-Pelletier

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Racial minorities, LGBTQ+, Indigenous people and women are over-represented among candidates who can reasonably expect to lose their elections in Canada, at the federal level. This is at least the finding of a study carried out at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Researchers Valérie Lapointe, Luc Turgeon and Benjamin Ferland analyzed some 3,966 candidates in the last three federal elections. Their observation is unequivocal.

Women and people who come from different minority groups, whether racialized minorities, sexual minorities, are much more likely to be nominated in ridings where they have little chance of being nominated. take away, drop Mr. Turgeon in interview.

Note that the Bloc Québécois was excluded from the analysis of the researchers, who affirm that the party told them that it did not compile this type of data. We decided to exclude the Bloc Québécois from our analysis rather than use partial data, write the researchers.

Generally speaking, minority groups are still the sacrificial lambs of Canadian elections.

A quote from Excerpt from the study entitled “Still sacrificial lambs? Yes! Minority groups in Canadian federal elections, 2015-2021 »

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The authors of the study examined the applications of some 338 constituencies from the country. It appears that women accounted for 39% of candidates, visible minorities for 17%, Indigenous people for 4%, and members of the LGBTQ2S+ communities for 4%.

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Researchers compiled data from nearly 4,000 candidates in the last federal elections. (Archive photo)

We learn that some 63 percent of people who fall into these categories ran in a county where their party lost by more than 15 percentage points. However, Luc Turgeon does not believe that the problem lies with voters who would not want a woman or a minority as a candidate.

Voters themselves are no less likely to vote for a woman or a person from a minority group. The problem is in terms of the structures, the institutions in place where, clearly, there is a problem. Mechanisms make it difficult for these people to have a chance of winning, reasons the researcher.

Luc Turgeon affirms that progress in this area will be made very, very slowly if nothing is done to reverse the trend. At the same time, he says he is aware of the delicate nature of imposing measures that could resemble quotas.

Often, this creates controversy . […] Often, people don't like this idea that we are going to impose, at the local level, a candidate or a person from a minority, says the researcher.

However, he cites the example of the New Democratic Party (NDP), which has chosen to require a female or minority candidate when a member of the party leaves or retires.

In fact, if we do not put in place slightly more restrictive measures, it will take much longer to achieve a certain parity, concludes the researcher.

With information from Patrick Foucault

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