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Do Women “Do Better” in Municipal Politics? Electoral Representation across Three Levels of Government

  • Erin Tolley (a1)

Abstract

Abstract. This article examines the electoral presence of women in federal, provincial and municipal governments. It casts doubt on the notion of a municipal advantage—a prevalent theme in the women in politics literature—and suggests, instead, that female legislators are increasingly present in roughly equivalent proportions across all three levels of government. Unlike prior analyses that have tended to focus on a limited number of provinces, a distinct time period or a select group of larger urban centres, this article uses longitudinal data that encompass all provinces and territories, as well as nearly all of Canada's 3750 municipalities. The findings demonstrate that female legislators often find greater electoral success at the higher levels of government but that the proportion of women elected rarely exceeds 25 per cent at any level. The article thus challenges a pervasive theme in the literature on women in politics.

Résumé. Cet article étudie la présence des femmes parmi les élus aux divers paliers de gouvernement, soit aux niveaux fédéral, provincial et municipal. Il remet en doute l'idée voulant que les femmes soient avantagées au niveau municipal – thème très courant dans la littérature sur les femmes au gouvernement – et propose, au contraire, que les législatrices sont de plus en plus présentes dans des proportions à peu près semblables aux trois niveaux de gouvernement. Contrairement aux études antérieures, qui ont eu tendance à se concentrer sur un nombre limité de provinces, sur une période déterminée ou sur un groupe particulier de grands centres urbains, cet article se sert de données longitudinales qui englobent toutes les provinces, tous les territoires et la majeure partie des 3750 municipalités du Canada. Les conclusions démontrent que les législatrices réussissent souvent mieux aux paliers supérieurs de gouvernement, mais que la proportion des femmes élues excède rarement 25 pour cent, peu importe le niveau. L'auteure remet donc en question un thème omniprésent dans la littérature sur les femmes au gouvernement.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Erin Tolley, Department of Political Studies, Queen's University, Kingston ON K7L 3N6, erin.tolley@queensu.ca

References

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Do Women “Do Better” in Municipal Politics? Electoral Representation across Three Levels of Government

  • Erin Tolley (a1)

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