UVic grad creates online voter guide

A UVic grad has created an online voter guide in an effort to push women's issues into the spotlight during the federal election.

A University of Victoria grad has created an online voter guide in an effort to push women’s issues into the spotlight during the federal election campaign.

Michael McDonald, who recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science, wrote Voters Guide to Women’s Issues in his final year of university to bring attention to 11 women’s issues such as access and cost of childcare, health care, violence against women, indigenous women, housing, women with disabilities, rights of trans people and economic equality.

“We want this guide to be a source of information for voters, but also a guide that gives them the tools to ask their candidates specific questions that will hopefully elevate these very important women’s issues to the forefront when they’re often left out of broader electoral discourses,” McDonald said.

The guide also includes challenges and offers solutions to the issues, reasons why government needs to act, outlines the three major political parties’ stances and provides questions that voters can ask candidates.

According to McDonald, though they’ve focused on the stances of the Liberal, Conservative and NDP (they parties they believe are most likely to form government in the fall), the questions can also be applied to Green Party and independent candidates as well.

“These are some major issues, they’re not independent of one another, they intersect with these and other issues,” he said. “We hope that it can be positive tool for constructive change in society.”

According to a report by Elections Canada, during the last federal election in May 2011, the voter turnout rate was just over 61 per cent, with women participating at a higher rate of 59.6 per cent compared to men with 57.3 per cent. There was an increase in female voters in 2011 compared to the 2008 election as well.

The guide can be found at iwrp.org.