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Gender Quotas in politics...Right or Wrong

Econdo

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Interesting article in the Irish Times today concerning the introduction of gender quotas within our political system..... The question is, Does Gender Quotas need to be introduced? Or leave well enough alone? Will the introduction of gender quotas damage or somehow undermine female politicians? Is a person to be selected by their party based on gender and not ability and merit....

I know from my own party meetings in Dublin South that 75% of the turnout is generally male, we have one sitting TD who is male, two Senators both are female and one female out of four Councillors... so out of seven elected politicians, females represent 43%.....

In the Dáil there are 166 TD's 21 are female (13%) while in the Seanad there are 60 Senators 11 female ( 19%)

In the four Local Authorities in the Dublin region the following percentage of overall Councillors Gender, Dublin City Council Male 67% Female 33%, DLRCOCO Male 70% Female 30%, Fingal Co.Co. Male 65% Female 35% and South Dublin Co.Co. Male 76% Female 24%.....

To breakdown DLRCOCO more, in the 2009 Local Elections there were 61 candidates up for election, 44 male (72%), 17 female (28%) ... 20 of the 44 males were elected, 8 of the 17 females were elected....

So on balance the percentage shows that just under 50% of each gender put forward to local election get elected at local level.....

The main issue is at national level, but is this a reflection on the percentage of females who participate within political parties at grassroot levels.....??





http:Gender quotas end up perverting democratic choice - The Irish Times - Thu, Aug 12, 2010
 


grafter1

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Wrong.

There are no black politicians in the Dail? Should we have a quota for that?
 

Econdo

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Wrong.

There are no black politicians in the Dail? Should we have a quota for that?
I completely agree with you on that fact..... which brings me back to the point that regardless of a persons background, gender or Race.... to participate you must be first involved??
 

Buckshee

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"Positive" and "Discrimination" are two words that are not reconcilable!

Besides, there seems to be more women than men active in the youth wings at present. The same can be said for politics related courses at third-level. The next generation will see a significant re-balancing in terms of female participation.
 

stoichkov

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identity politics are a load of cack.
 
B

Boggle

One person one vote thats democracy. One person one vote but you can only elect who we say you can select is not democracy.
 

Bebsaboo

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Surely in order for more women to become elected more women would have to want to run in the first place?
 

Casualbets

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No, I'm completely against it. Sarah Carey is pretty much bang on in the IT article. To be honest, I'm not sure why the issue appears to be getting so much coverage in the media as there is very little support for the idea amongst either the political body or people in general.

However facilitating women's participation ought to be looked at, especially in terms of whether the demands of representative work could be better tailored to encourage more women to participate.
 

Buckshee

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One person one vote thats democracy. One person one vote but you can only elect who we say you can select is not democracy.
What's the alternative? There has to be a filtering process at some level prior to polling day. The electorate aren't going to digest the views and proposals of hundreds of candidates, not least due to apathy but also the logistics of such a task?
 

Odyessus

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Surely in order for more women to become elected more women would have to want to run in the first place?

So far as I can see, women candidates are no more successful than men at getting themselves elected, if they are not worse. Given that the electorate is 50% women, I think it fair to assume than women no more than men believe we need more female public representatives just because they are women.

Judging by the female public representatives we have, I see no evidence that we are worse off for not having more, and neither does the rest of the electorate.
 

ergo2

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I believe gender quotas are a bad idea. It is part of the PC culture which has infected us from the USA. Able women will get through most systems.

Also agree with Buckshee that the phrase "positive discrimination" should be outlawed. Putting a positive and negative together may work in electricity, but ot in grammar. "affirmative action" would be better.
 

locke

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I'm in favour of parties adopting gender quotas, but not on it being imposed by the state.

I'd also make them very light. A rule along the lines of "If the party is running two or more candidates in a constituency and they are not all sitting TDs, at least one candidate should be female".

It would be wrong to create a situation where a male candidate has nopossibility running in any given constituency.

Once the level of representation of women has risen to a high enough level, the rule would be dropped.
 

Econdo

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I believe gender quotas are a bad idea. It is part of the PC culture which has infected us from the USA. Able women will get through most systems.

Also agree with Buckshee that the phrase "positive discrimination" should be outlawed. Putting a positive and negative together may work in electricity, but ot in grammar. "affirmative action" would be better.
I would think that you would find that most elected female politicians would agree with you, well just over half I believe in the Dáil and Seanad anyway....They feel that a leg-up would undermine women's achievements and authority as a politician..
 

reknaw

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There has been a thread on this question before, so let me repeat the point I made then.

Just look at the countries in Europe that have the highest proportions of women in their parliaments and cabinets (Sweden and Finland are prominent examples) and ask what role gender quotas have played in this positive development.

The answer is none.:rolleyes:

Finland, of which I am a citizen, was the first country in the world to give women full political rights, i.e. the vote and eligibility for election, on a basis of full equality with men. That was in 1906 and when the first elections under the new system took place the following year, women won 19 of the 200 parliamentary seats. It would be 60 years or so before Ireland achieved a similar proportion of women in the Dail.

Finnish women currently hold 84 parliamentary seats (42%), a majority of places in the cabinet and this is the Prime Minister:
.

The President is likewise a woman, but I'll spare you a picture of her.

Neighbouring Sweden has an even higher proportion of women in the Riksdag, and they are well represented in Norway and Denmark as well.

All of this has been achieved without gender quotas.:lol:

In fact, I believe gender quotas would be counter-productive and could set back women's cause; it would be too easy to dismiss a woman parliamentarian's or minister's ideas with "Ah shure, she only got in on the quota anyway.":eek:

The way to enabling women to play a full role in society and decision making in relation to it is to have the day-care and educational facilities that we have here, nearly a year paid maternity leave (with additional time at reduced rates of pay) with a guarantee that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return, etc. etc.

I suppose the absence of a church like the one that has stifled societal development in Ireland has also helped.

All else would only be symbolism.
 

locke

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There has been a thread on this question before, so let me repeat the point I made then.

Just look at the countries in Europe that have the highest proportions of women in their parliaments and cabinets (Sweden and Finland are prominent examples) and ask what role gender quotas have played in this positive development.

The answer is none.:rolleyes:
I don't know about Finland, but in Sweden, the Social Democrats, who are traditionally the largest party do have internal gender quotas.

It is a bit easier for a party to do that on a list system though.
 

Odyessus

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I don't know about Finland, but in Sweden, the Social Democrats, who are traditionally the largest party do have internal gender quotas.

It is a bit easier for a party to do that on a list system though.


Same thing in Finland.
 

reknaw

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I don't know about Finland, but in Sweden, the Social Democrats, who are traditionally the largest party do have internal gender quotas.

It is a bit easier for a party to do that on a list system though.
Yes, but I assume the thread is about having electoral legislation contain a provision requiring gender quotas. What parties do is up to them and their sense of enlightened self-interest and has nothing to do with the law of the land.

You are correct that it works better when there is a list system and big multi-seat constituencies. The biggest in Finland returns 34 members (out of 200) and the smallest 6.:) That means that also small parties have a good chance of winning seats.
 

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