Saturday, August 18, 2007

Quotas

Jeff already has a post, which rightfully calls out the gutless "unnamed source", criticizing Dion's power of appointment in Scarborough Southwest. However, I confess to complete disagreement with the tactics used by Dion to reach his quota of female candidates.

I don't profess to know Michelle Simson, but in a quick scan of her bio, she looks like a very strong candidate, with DEEP roots in the party. In this instance, it begs the question- does Simson really need Dion intervening, is she not capable of winning the nomination outright? IMHO, using this power, in this instance, actually does a disservice to the female cause. It projects the impression that Simson needs help, that her attributes and strengths have to be augmented by usurping a democratic process.

There are better ways to achieve the goals set out by Dion. It comes as no surprise to anyone, that the Liberal Party isn't exactly a grassroots first organization. If, the message was sent out, that people needed to rally behind Simson, she would already receive an advantage, without the spectacle of appointment. In other words, as I keep hearing about in other ridings, if you have the local powerbase on line, you are a virtual shoe-in. We can debate the merits of this elitist structure, but it does exist currently, which negates the need to appoint.

Women are men's equals. Dion's intentions are admirable, but the idea of a pre-determined number, substitutes quality for quantity. Women are perfectly capable of winning nominations outright, particularly in a party that often takes directives from above. There is no need to implement a crutch, which has the effect of detracting from accomplishment. There is no reason to believe that Simson couldn't win this riding, based on her own impressive credentials, in my mind that represents real progress, as opposed to what amounts to an artifical quota. Two cents :)

6 comments:

Mark Dowling said...

Anyone's better than Wappel though right? :)

Anonymous said...

She wouldnt have won the nomination, a man would of. Now she has the nomination, which means more women in parliament.

easy.

knb said...

You're not wrong, as they say Mark ;).

Steve, you make really good points and I agree with you overall, but I think in this riding, given it's make up, Vijjay Sappani had a better chance. That is not based on his qualifications, though I've no reason to believe he's not equally qualified.

I'm not crazy about Dion doing this, but I'm presuming he's only doing it where he feels it's necessary. Your suggestion would indeed be real progress and let's hope once we get this next election out of the way, that'll be the way going forward.

I really wonder who this gutless wonder source is. As I said at Jeff's, it's really starting to tick me off that every story contains that line and theme.

Anonymous said...

If they interviewed Vijjay Sappani, then the other known person is Georgina Bensick. There were some people already talking that it is her the long time Liberal.

Michelle and Georgina signed no members of the nearly 2000 members in the riding.

Anonymous said...

Bensic is unlikely to be the long-time Liberal, because the statement is criticizing the appoint of a white woman to a highly visible minority riding.

I support encouraging more women representing the Liberal party. I just wonder why they don't throw more women in the white Liberal ridings.

It's not like gender trumps race in political representation, and arguably the latter is a greater concern in Canadian society.

Anonymous said...

have been away, on facebook, Georgina seems to have support, much more than others and party credentials too, Vijay seemshis blog was erased wonder what was there