The talk you hear about the Liberal Party being ‘anti-woman’ almost always reflects the relatively small percentage of women elected within the party. Not the number of women voting for Liberal candidates. And certainly not the Liberals’ policies towards women.
Quotas, while often well intended, do not serve the best interests of business or government. The people deserve the best candidate in the job to serve them. Whether that person is male, female, or none-of-the-above should be wholly irrelevant.
Cutting out the potentially best candidates because of their sex or race is unlikely to benefit anyone — except lesser quality candidates being elected under quota rules.
Liberal stands strong on its merit-based system
The Liberal Party has thus far stood strong and defended its merit-based system. But the politically correct brigade won’t take no for an answer. And they’ve found new support within the Liberals themselves.
Sussan Ley, assistant minister for regional development, is encouraging the NSW division of the Liberal party to choose a ‘sensible number’, for example, 40% to advance the party’s reputation regarding female representation, AAP reports.
On Friday, Ms Ley told The Australian:
‘Of course it needs to be implemented as soon as possible. I’ll certainly be encouraging my NSW division, where honestly there are some really good women who are pushing this barrow…
‘You have to pick a sensible number and date but then we’re heading in the right direction, we’re heading away from what is a bit of a cliff face.’
Her colleague, Jason Falinski is also of the belief that the party needs to do more to make sure that they have candidates from diverse backgrounds.
The NSW MP said:
‘Clearly men and women are equal…
‘I don’t think the community expects us to fix it overnight but they do expect to see us addressing the issue.’
May is the due date for the candidates of the lower house ahead of the federal election, the Liberal party currently has 102 male candidates to 21 female candidates.
However, no candidates have been confirmed for the 10 electorates AAP reports.
Ms Plibersek blames Liberal culture for low female participation
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that the figures above mean that the Liberals may have the lowest number of women candidates in regards to a general election this century.
In the lower house, females represent just 12 of the Coalition’s 74 seats. The number dwindled further at the end of last year after Julia Banks quite the party to sit as an independent.
Ann Sudmalis, the MP for Gilmore, announced in September that she won’t recontest the election. She has blamed the bad behaviour of the NSW division for her decision. And Jane Prentice lost preselection for her Brisbane seat, AAP reports.
In turn, the Labor party has close to 50% of female representation. Acting leader Tanya Plibersek claims that decades of ‘determined effort’ is what it took to reach nearly equal representation.
She is now urging the Liberal party to look at the ‘cultural’ issue of low female participation. Ms Plibersek has also noted that the Nationals representation is even lower.
In Adelaide on Friday she told reporters:
‘I think you only have to look at some of the Liberal blokes that have been elected to parliament to see that the merit principle plainly doesn’t apply to Liberal Party pre-selection…
‘There are some pretty unimpressive characters there, and if they’re there on merit I’d eat my hat.
‘It is a simple fact that a parliament that is more reflective of the Australian community makes better decisions for the whole of the Australian community’.
‘A simple fact?’ Really? How far is she willing to take this? Should the parliament reflect an equal number of all races, sexual orientations, backgrounds…
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