Was anyone there? (Feb. 26 to 28.)
A friend who was reports the press was there too, but no coverage yet.
She says it was a roaring success for women and their representation, and for the campaign for proportional representation.
Fair Vote Canada President Doris Anderson gave a wonderful opening keynote address and her support for PR set the tone for the conference. Several others including former Conservative cabinet minister Jeannie Lea from PEI spoke in favour of PR immediately following the keynote.
The audience included women from all across the country, all ages and ethnic groups, a Liberal senator, an MP and an Edmonton city councilor, representatives of many groups that are involved with getting more women elected and several political scientists who have written on women and voting.
In the break out sessions “A=Electoral Reform” was the first discussion item followed by “B=Electing women”, “C= Recruiting, training and supporting Women” and “D= Public and Media awareness”. Two of the action items around Electoral reform were to sign the FVC petition and join FVC.
Finally, a good foil for Doris Anderson’s opening keynote speech was the closing keynote by Anne McLellan. She stated that, unlike some of her other Liberal colleagues, she is in favour of a more proportional voting system.
The Edmonton YWCA sponsored the event. They recorded and videotaped all the events for an educational package and this will be made available to attendees and others in the future. It was funded by Status of Women Canada and Alberta Human Rights Education Grant Program.
The women at the Edmonton YWCA are very capable and very much supportive of trying to get more women into parliament under their One Woman, One Vote initiative. They have offered to coordinate future liaison among attendees to further the 12 or so action items stemming from the forum. Further information will eventually be available at http://www.onewomanonevote.org/.
Jane Buckmaster, one of the women behind the conference and the website noted her inspiration originated from Doris Anderson’s articles in Chatelaine many years ago, and held up the original articles on getting women elected.