Labour’s gender quotas

Two activists have blogged at Public Address in defence of Labour’s new . The assumptions they use can’t really pass without challenge. First a minor quibble:

Under MMP, Labour has been “stuck” at between 30 and 40 per cent female MPs.  Considering the skills and capabilities of our New Zealand women, this just isn’t good enough.

Actually Labour are already over 40%.

All the International evidence shows that such inequality is a result of structural discrimination.  It’s why we need Maori seats to address structural discrimination for Maori. 

Actually Maori are over-represented in Parliament, not under-represented.

Now, to the maths.  The spreadsheet below is fairly self-explanatory.  Assumptions made are:

  1. Labour receives 40% of the 2014 Party Vote.
  2. Labour receives 42% of the 2017 Party Vote (this is an increase in PV of 5.01%, the same increase that Labour received between the 1999 and 2002 Elections).

Using the modelling below, you will see that in 2014, with a Party Vote of 40%, Labour will have a total of 48 MPs.  With at least 45% of those MPs being female, there will be 22 women and 26 men.  This is an increase of 6 men on current numbers.

Let me repeat that for you.  An increase of 6 men on current numbers.

With respect to Rachel, this is no rebuttal at all of what Gower has said. Sure if Labour gains a massive 12% vote from 2011, then no men have to get chopped. But what if they don’t gain 12%? What if they get 30% or 28% again? What if they get 26% and you lose David Parker? Are you going to make Lesley Soper your Finance Spokesperson as she took Parker’s place in Parliament?

Quotas are great if your vote increases massively. They don”t work so well in the tough years.

Considering not a single poll has shown Labour at 40%, using an assumption of 40% to prove a point is not credible.

The problems for Labour with gender quotas won’t come in opposition. It will come when they are in Government and they are looking to lose seats at an upcoming election. Then a quota becomes a straitjacket which may see senior male Ministers get unwinnable list spots to protect lower ranked female MPs.

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