Equal Voice says some 315 women have so far been nominated by the Conservatives, NDP, Liberals, Greens, and the Bloc Québécois to run in the federal election, or 30.18 per cent of the major parties’ candidates. That number obviously falls short of the 52 per cent target, and even further than the 2011 federal election when 405 women, or 31 per cent, ran federally. It’s time more women also got into federal office to, now, and it’s time they hold more Cabinet positions, more powerful Cabinet positions, and more positions of influence in parties’ caucuses and committees. “At this point our expectation is that we may not do better, it doesn’t necessarily look that way, that’s in terms of candidates on the ballot,” said Nancy Peckford, executive director of Equal Voice, a multi-partisan organization that helps elect more women at all levels of political office in Canada. “Of course, we still have a number of nominations to complete. There’s absolutely room for movement here. We are hopeful and encouraging women who have a desire to run and are in a position to seek a nomination to absolutely go for it at this date.” Meanwhile, the House of Commons will also be boosted from 308 to 338 seats. But, despite the addition of 30 new ridings, the percentage of female candidates is still sitting below 2011 levels. The number of women running has been going upward, slowly. In 2006, 380 women ran, in 2008, 445 women ran and at this rate it will take some time before reaching parity in the number of men and women competing for seats in the House of Commons. Ms. Peckford told The Hill Times that after the last election the number of women elected rose to an “historic” high of 25 per cent of the 308 seats and that “changed the tenor and flavour of the House.” She’s absolutely right. But progress is slow. “What we’re seeing in Canada is this incremental rise in terms of women’s participation and, of course, it very much goes back to the numbers. You need Canadians to have the opportunity to vote for women and not just having one woman on the ballot, you need multiple women because obviously people’s interest are varied in terms of the party they’re going to support,” she said. According to data analyzed by The Hill Times, with files from Equal Voice, of the 305 women running so far, 57 are Conservative candidates, about 20 per cent of the party’s overall team. There are 104 women running for the NDP, or just more than 41 per cent of their candidates. The Liberals have nominated the most candidates overall, of which 97 are female, making up 33 per cent of their total, and just more than 28 per cent of Green Party candidates are women, and they still have 174 candidates left to nominate if they intend to run a candidate in all 338 ridings. Even if the Liberals and the Conservatives nominate women in all their remaining ridings, they will be still below 50 per cent of their candidates. Although the New Democrats are doing the best in terms of gender parity, they would have to have nearly all of their remaining 82 seats go to women to reach equal representation, as The Hill Times reported. Progress is slow, but here’s hoping that more than 31 per cent of the people elected in the Oct. 19 election are women who can indeed change the tenor and flavour of the House, and the way politics works.