Thanks very much. If you can indulge me for a second, the great political philosopher John Rawls uses the metaphor of a veil of ignorance and talks about how we should design our rules so that we actually don't know our own characteristics.
Unfortunately, the way we design our rules is that we do know our characteristics, and people design rules to favour themselves and people who are like themselves. We're in this situation with the Canada Elections Act. We're talking a lot about how if we have only 25% women in the House of Commons and we have only 25% women in local governments, it means there's something wrong with the rules, because there seems to be an equal aptitude to get into these races, and I think we have to embrace that.
I know this committee has been working on these problems for some time, and I do think it's not that women aren't willing to come forward but that the rules, especially within the political parties, are keeping them from achieving 50% or parity in candidacies, and eventually seats.
To Mr. Fraser's point, we don't really know what goes on in party nominations. They do in other countries. In the U.S., you have primaries and you have all the data you need there, but we don't know here. My own academic work has been to get data from parties, which they're very reluctant to give up, but then you find, for example, as we found in British Columbia, that men are six times more likely than women to win a nomination race.
That's what we need to do here. If we can't agree on quotas and we can't agree on other measures, at least we can agree on getting better data. Subsection 476.1(1) of the Canada Elections Act is about the notice of nomination contest. Each party has to report under paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d). Paragraph 476.1(1)(c) says you have to have the name and address of each nomination contestant, so you could simply have it ask for name, gender, and other aspects. I think it's entirely appropriate that we talk about intersectionality as well.
I think gender is a long-outstanding issue. Of course in Canada we brag about our multiculturalism, yet our offices are often devoid of any kind of multiculturalism, and it's mostly guys like me, right? That also should be data that's collected so we can deeply understand and explain to people what's going on within nomination contests.
That was a bit of a rant, but if all of you had some comments, that would be fantastic.