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 :)