Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Why didn't Dion set an equal quota of 50/50?

Much has been made among political observers about Liberal leader Stephane Dion's pledge to have one-third of the candidates he fields in the next election be women.

I just thought of something as I was posting a comment over at Angry's blog.

Why did Dion set one-third as the quota?

If he's truly aspiring for equality, why would he not have set one-half as the quota?

Women represent half of the human population, don't they? Is Dion not short-changing equal participation in politics by setting the quota so low?

I mean, if you're going to set a quota, do all that work to meet it, and make equality your goal, why not actually strive for equality, rather than the inequality of only having one-third of your candidates female?

I suppose part of what I'm doing is exposing the absurdity of quotas in the first place. There have to be other ways of encouraging female participation in politics that don't involve setting artificial targets based on gender.

However, if it's the way you think you ought to go, why not do it properly, right? Why not make half of all your candidates in the next election women, Mr. Dion?

Obviously, Dion is installing loyal women candidates into the Liberal party, loyal to him. Any new leader must stack the party with his supporters as candidates and hopefully MPs.

Currently most of the Liberal MPs supported Ignatieff in the leadership contest, so what Dion is doing is attempting to undermine Ignatieff's power in the Liberal caucus.

There has to be a showdown before the next election between Dion and Ignatieff, otherwise Ignatieff will lose his support within the Liberal party. Ignatieff must push out hapless Dion before the next election if he wants a shot at being Liberal leader. If he waits for Dion to self-destruct in the next election, Ignatieff may lose his traction in the Liberal party.


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