It's election season and today we’re here to talk about the history of voting & women’s right to vote, why it’s important to vote, and the upcoming Federal Election.
Here in Canada we have a Federal Election coming up on Monday, September 20th. This election is super important as it will decide the fate of our country for the next four years. Some of the most important issues on the table in this election are climate change, childcare, and COVID-19 and the pandemic recovery, among many more important issues.
Before we dive any further, we recommend checking out CBC’s Party Platforms to gain a better understanding of where each party (Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, the Green Party and the PPC) stands on a variety of different issues.
Disclaimer: Untangle Money is not affiliated with any political party, nor are we here to tell you who to vote for. But we are PRO Women's Rights. The point of this blog is to give a better understanding as to why it’s important for women to vote, as well as give you a brief history on women and voting here in Canada.
Let's dive in!
The History of Women and Voting.
It may not come as a surprise, but Canadian women didn’t always have the right to vote. In Canada's early days, only a select group of men could vote. In fact, it wasn’t until 1960 that all Canadian women were given the right to vote (when Aboriginal women were officially given the right to vote freely).
As you can see in the infographic to the right, women, including Black Women, are slowly given the right to vote in Canada, starting with provincial elections in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1916. By 1918, women were able to vote in federal elections, but it took until 1951 for provincial voting privileges to extend to women in every province and territory. The right to vote federally was extended to Asian Canadian women by 1948 and in 1960, Aboriginal women finally could vote.
In addition, immigrants didn’t have the right to vote, even as Canadian citizens, until 1955. At one point, people weren’t allowed to vote because of their religious beliefs. It wasn't until 1982 in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that all citizens were given the right to vote. Although voting is a right, it was not a right that all Canadians always had access to, it took years of hard work to fight for your right to vote today, which leads us to our next section.
Why it's important to vote!
As you can see, it's only been 61 years since all Canadian women were given the right to vote. And if it weren't for those women (dating back centuries) fighting for that right so that future generations of Canadian women can have a voice in our country, we wouldn't be where we are today. This is why it's so important to use your right to vote and cast your ballot on (or by) September 20th.
Let's make it even more clear with an example. If the political parties know that 90% of women vote, then they know that the interests of women and women's votes are up for grabs, and they will start making platforms aligned with what women are asking for. If we don't vote, then the politicians will focus on the issues that resonate with the people who do. That's why we don't care who you vote for, that is your choice, your right, and your freedom. What we do care about is that you use your voice and vote because we comprise 51% of this nation, we have a commanding voice and can impact the outcome of this election.
When women show up to the ballot boxes to vote, changes in the way our country is run happen, to the benefit of us. When we use our voices to speak on issues that impact us, they get heard. For example, on the issue of childcare, which is a big topic of discussion this election. As the Washington Post in an article about this election puts it, "a national child-care program that guarantees affordable spaces for parents would be transformational and, as economist Armine Yalnizyan argues, necessary to support women in the workforce, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic."
When we exercise our right to vote, we are using our voice to decide who will form government and who will hold them accountable over the next four years. How you choose to decide who to vote for is up to you. Take the time to inform yourself and vote. Every vote counts! And the more women who vote, the more topics important to us will be represented.
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