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Projected Increase in Women MPs Under MMP

MMP Leads to More Women MPs

Why We Need More Women in Parliament

How the Electoral System Matters for Electing Women

Understanding Why More Women Get Elected Through MMP

Understanding Party Lists

Hypothetical Projections Under MMP

By now, you are probably wondering how MMP would actually work. I’m going to try and illustrate what would have happened in the 2003 election under an MMP system. The results are obviously hypothetical given that people would probably have voted differently (e.g., less strategic voting), but I’ll make a few basic assumptions and go on from there.

I’ll start with the 2003 election results from the Elections Ontario website:

Seats Won

Votes

%Vote

Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)

2,187

Ontario Provincial Confederation of Regions Party

293

Family Coalition Party of Ontario

34,623

 0.8

Green Party of Ontario

 126,651

 2.8

Ontario Liberal Party

72

 2,090,001

46.5

Ontario Libertarian Party

1,991

New Democratic Party of Ontario

7

 660,730

14.7

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

 24

1,559,181

 34.7

Unregistered Political Interests

 13,211

0.3

TOTAL

 103

4,497,244

Original Distribution of Riding Seats

 

Men

Women

Liberals

 54

 18

PCs

 21

3

 NDP

5

 2

 Total

 80

23

% Women

22.3% 

Assumptions

1. Under MMP, you get two ballots. I will need to assume that people would have voted the same way on their candidate ballot as on their party ballot.

2. I will use the largest remainder method when it comes to allocating the list seats.

3. I will also assume that the redrawing of riding boundaries (going from 103 ridings to 90 ridings) under MMP would not have upset the final allocation of seats.

I know these are pretty big assumptions, but this is only to illustrate how MMP would work in practice.

Since an MMP system will only have 90 seats and not 103, I will need to adjust the share of seats proportionately. This adjustment assumes that all parties will receive the same share of seats and that the gender distribution also remains the same. I did this by multiplying all of the current seat totals by 0.8738. This comes from 90/103.

Distributing the 90 riding-based seats

47 Lib men, 16 Lib women = 63 total
18 PC men, 3 PC women = 21 total

4 NDP men, 2 NDP women= 6 total
69 men, 21 women (23% women)

Of the 129 Seats, the Popular Vote Says:

 

Votes

% Votes 

Seats Won

Liberals

  2,090,001

 48.5%

 62.556

PCs

 1,559,181

36.2%

46.668

 NDP

660,730

 15.3%

 19.776

Total

  4,309,912

 

*All parties that won less than 3% of the votes were eliminated.

Allocating the Remaining 39 Proportional Representation Seats

Since the Liberals won 63 riding seats, and their popular vote share only entitled them to 62.556 seats, 0 people from their list become MPPs.

Since the PCs won 21 riding seats, and their popular vote share entitled them to 46.668 seats, 25 people from their list become MPPs.

Since the NDP won 6 riding seats, and their popular vote share entitled them to 19.776 seats, 13 people from their list become MPPs.

That only accounts for 38 seats. There is one seat left. The largest remainder method gives it to the party with, you guessed it, the largest remainder. In this case, that would be the NDP whose remainder (0.776) is higher than that of the PCs (0.668).

Distributing the 39 PR Seats

Liberals get 0 seats
PC get 25 seats
NDP get 14 seats

Total Distribution of Seats

Liberals: 63 riding seats + 0 PR seats = 63 seats

PCs: 21 riding seats + 25 PR seats = 46 seats

NDP: 6 riding seats + 14 PR seats = 20 seats

Where it gets interesting for women

 Now the question is what the PC party list and the NDP party list might have looked like under an MMP system. This is where it really makes a difference for electing more women MPPs. I’m going to provide 2 alternate scenarios that I think are realistic, provided that female party members fight for it.

 Since 50% of NDP candidates are currently women, I’m going to assume a 50-50 split for their 14 seats (7 men, 7 women).

 So let’s examine different scenarios for the PC party list:

 Scenario 1: Assume zippered lists (50-50)- Start with men

 A “zippered” list alternates between men and women all the way down the list. This is a bit of a dream considering that the PCs run the fewest women, but is nonetheless in the realm of the possible. The list would be: Man, Woman, Man, Woman, etc. This would result in 13 men, 12 women from the PC List.

 

 Men

(Riding Seats)

Women

(Riding Seats)

Men (PR)

Women (PR) 

 Liberals

47

16

0

0

 PCs

18

3

13

 12

 NDP

 4

 2

 7

 7

 Total

 69

 21

 20

 19

% Women 

31.0 %

Scenario 2: Assume 1/3 of list is women- Start with women

The list would be: Woman, Man, Man, Woman, Man, Man, etc. This would result in 16 men, 9 women from the PC List.

 

Men

(Riding Seats)

Women

(Riding Seats)

Men (PR)

Women (PR)

Liberals

47

16

 0

 0

PCs

18

3

 16

 9

NDP

 4

2

 7

 7

Total

 69

21

 23

 16

% Women

 27.9

You can see that depending on how the lists are decided, there is enormous potential for women to make electoral gains! The effect is particularly strong because we know that the NDP is likely to zipper its list, and since they are likely to win more seats under MMP, they will push the percentage of female MPPs much higher than it would otherwise have been.

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