The PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women recently held its annual gathering of past Chairpersons, hosted by new Chairperson Mari Basiletti. Five women from four decades of Council leadership gathered for a facilitated dialogue on democratic renewal.
The Chairs talked about their vision for PEI’s democracy and analyzed the pros and cons of the five electoral systems/tools that will be put before Islanders in a November plebiscite. Each of these five systems has unique advantages and disadvantages and offers more or fewer opportunities to increase women’s leadership and enhance democracy in PEI.
The democratic values the Chairs talked about included increased numbers of women in decision-making and more diversity in legislatures, but also greater understanding of electoral systems; less privilege power, and self-interest in politics; more collaborative systems, with meaningful consultation, discussion, debate, and input; and alternate routes for citizens to solve problems, beyond going directly to MLAs or other elected officials.
Current Chairperson Mari Basiletti thanked the Chairs for their time, wisdom and energy. She said, “The report from our meeting will help guide us as we explore the issues for the future, with the ultimate goal of creating a more diverse representation and equity for women as leaders in our government.”