WOMEN make up half the population so should, therefore, make-up half the Parliament.
Yes, but no. The simple truth is that the vast majority of women just don’t appear to be that interested in politics.
Generally speaking, to get into Parliament a person, before all else, must be an active member of a political party.
If a political party has an active gender ratio of 50:50 you could reasonably expect an even split among its parliamentarians.
Experience, though, tells us that woman account for as little as 15-20 per cent of active grassroots party membership.
A political party is a collection of lots of local branches and a typical branch has about 30 or so active members. Of which three to five may be women.
In the Liberal Party, each branch has seven positions up for election; five branch officers as well as a male and female delegate to State Council.
These elections are merit-based with the exception of State Council delegates, where identity plays a factor – one male and one female.
What would happen to these branches if the Liberal Party went completely nuts and adopted the Labor Party’s gender quota model?
Under such a model a branch would be forced to reserve half of its seven elected positions exclusively for its handful of active female members.
As it stands, this would mean that every woman in a branch – regardless of experience, ability or inclination – would be obliged to fill at least one position and possibly more.
It would also mean that most male branch members would never be elected to serve in any role regardless of their talent.
This Labor model rewards people based on what’s between their legs rather than what’s between their ears and causes huge resentment and political in-fighting.
In short, if adopted by the Liberals, gender quotas would destroy its branches and eventually lay the entire Party to ruin. This is the experience of the Labor Party, though nobody dare mention it nor do anything to fix it.
And Labor’s quota system might, just might, explain how an unimpressive Julia Gillard arose to become an Emily’s List Prime Minister and why soon after she had to be so ruthlessly removed by her own colleagues.
It may also explain why Labor was routed in 2013 and why it has found elections so difficult to win since adopting this quota madness – losing seven of nine elections since adoption.PC
PICTURE: Sacked Labor PM Julia Gillard. (courtesy: ABC TV News)