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Wilma Rule was an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. She was the author or editor of at least four books:
She also wrote numerous articles, both scholarly and popular.
She was one of the earliest members of CfER, was active on our Board I believe from the very beginning, and remained active in the organization as long as her health allowed. She died on January 15, 2004.
Wilma Rule was a longtime champion of women's representation. Her research challenged conventional notions about the reasons for women's lack of political representation in the United States, which is much lower than in other countries. Many advocates for women's representation hold the view that if more women simply ran for office, or if women candidates had more campaign financing, then far more women would be elected. But Professor Rule's research of electoral methods and women's representation around the world demonstrates the deficiency of that viewpoint. Her research and that of others showed unequivocally that if you want more women elected to your legislatures, the single most important change is to get rid of our 18th-century winner-take-all electoral system in favor of more modern "full representation" electoral methods.
As a strong believer in proportional representation, Wilma was concerned that our growing interest in IRV would distract us from our primary mission of PR. We owe it to her to not let that happen, and in her memory we have created the Wilma Rule Memorial Award, awarded to that person or persons who have done the most to advance the cause of proportional representation in California during the preceding CfER year..
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Page last revised May 31, 2010