Gender quotas still go for Labour

July 10th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Vernon Small at Stuff reports:

David Shearer has pushed the Party into dumping its controversial “man ban” proposal that could have preserved some electorates for women-only candidates, but a related move to ensure that by 2017 at least 50 per cent of its MPs are women is set to go ahead.

This is the policy that if used in the past, would have seen Labour gain no male List MPs in 1996, 1999 and 2002.  Michael Cullen would have failed to be elected as an  List MP, under this proposal. Daft.

But the party’s stance on the party list remit appears to have caused confusion among MPs with some saying the effective “quota” had also been dropped, while others said there was no change to the proposal.

A spokesman for Mr Shearer later confirmed it was unchanged at this stage.

It says a lot when Labour’s own MPs don’t even know what the situation is.

Mr Shearer announced the U-turn on the “man ban” rule ahead of the party’s weekly caucus of MPs that insiders said was at times acrimonious, with supporters of the move targeting list MP Shane Jones in particular over his comments.

That would be the gelding comment.

That, in turn, sparked a flurry of rumours late on Monday about a possible leadership spill, emanating from both the Left and the “blokes” wings of the party.

Labour has more factions than MPs!

editorial comments:

To hoots of derision from almost every quarter, the Labour Party’s proposal to exclude men from consideration for selection as candidates in some electorates – the so-called “man ban” – has been ditched.

The wonder, of course, is not that it was ditched, but rather that an proposal so maladroit ever saw the light of day with a party endorsement in the first place, and, having done so, that it took some time before Labour leader David Shearer could find his voice and move to quash it.

They’ve known about this for eight months!

The whole fiasco surrounding the proposal was another indication of division and disarray within Labour. It somehow gained the endorsement of the party’s national council as an idea for discussion at the national conference without Shearer, who is a member of the council, being aware of it. Even if he was not present at the council meeting that discussed it, he should have been able to rely on the good sense of his colleagues to scupper an idea that was such an obvious non-starter.

Then, by some unexplained misfortune, the idea leaked into the public arena by way of a popular blog deeply unsympathetic to Labour. Then, rather than seize the initiative and rapidly scotch the proposal, Shearer ducked reporters’ questions, dodged television interviews and dithered until yesterday, when the matter was finally laid to rest.

It is hardly original to note that if this is the way the party conducts its own affairs, it will need to work a lot harder to present itself as a potential alternative government.

Could you imagine them having to respond to a disaster like the Christchurch earthquake? Would it take them five days to agree to comment on it?

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12 Responses to “Gender quotas still go for Labour”

  1. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    If there is a party where gender trumps other factors, surely it is National. 73% of its MPs are men! In this day and age, that must take a real effort to achieve.

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  2. Manolo (12,625 comments) says:

    Why would Louisa Wall support this crazy policy?

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  3. Andrei (2,430 comments) says:

    If there is a party where gender trumps other factors, surely it is National. 73% of its MPs are men! In this day and age, that must take a real effort to achieve.

    I wouldn’t get too stressed about it if I were you – National has the obligatory Maori, Feminist, Lesbian in their caucus which ticks about every identity politics box necessary.

    Actually that is one of the reasons for Labour’s panic – National has usurped their policies and place as the lefty progressive party of New Zealand

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  4. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Why would Louisa Wall support this crazy policy?

    Your answer’s right there in the question.

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  5. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    What’s taxing my noggin is, how come this policy is seen as crazy (which it is) when so many other policies that are just as crazy are passed into law without question?

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  6. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    If the CCH earthquakes had have happened on the Socialist Partys watch the first thing they would have done would been to set up a working party to establish a Committee to ensure that ALL factions of the Party were represented in equal numbers and then that Committee would have empanelled an Expert Group to determine if an earthquake had occurred.
    This Process would have taken some weeks and if it was agreed that an earthquake had indeed occurred the Council of the Party would have formed a Response Committee but only after consultation to ensure that ALL factions of the Party were represented on the Response Committee.
    The Response Committee would have then formulated Terms of Reference for instructing the Emergency Services to respond to the now 4 week ago earthquake.

    And that folks is how it would have unfolded.

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  7. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    vibenna, you are wrong to assume the gender ratio is an indication of bias. You are also wrong to assume equal numbers of women want to get involved in politics.

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  8. tas (527 comments) says:

    #halfmanban

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  9. kowtow (6,706 comments) says:

    Sorry but National have targets for wimmin in private and public governance positions and last night on the box John Key was talking “diversity” and sounding very progressive indeed ,yet making capital out of this .

    A very large number of Nats ,including Key ,who didn’t support civil unions,supported the totally ludicrous Louisa Wall marriage “equality”.

    I really can’t see that there’s much difference between the two ,red or blue.All progs.

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  10. Warren Murray (238 comments) says:

    Shearer claims the remit grew legs because he was out of the room. What next? Dog ate my homework?

    Perhaps no one noticed he wasnt there.

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  11. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Warren – it’s been pointed out that that is a standard practice – “do it while I’m out of the room and I don’t know anything about it”.

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  12. OneTrack (1,967 comments) says:

    Why are they saying they have banned the manban? Or more precisely, does anybody really believe them. It clearly sounds like it is still on, they just doing their best not to talk about it. Lefties lying again – say it isn’t so.

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