"Personally I'm not a fan of quotas," Ms. Hall Findlay. "It's difficult for me as a woman to say that because there are a whole lot of people who feel strongly about quotas, but my focus is on getting more women to run period. I don't need a number to tell me that, and I don't need a number to tell me we don't have enough."
Martha articulates where the focus should be, and it's really the most respectful "formula". In my opinion, there is nothing more pandering to women than a system which says you require artificial help to compete with the boys. I've always hated the past quota ideal, frankly it was a end around to doing the really hard work, a pleasant front that was more about process than progress. Much, much better to have people like Martha using her sway to encourage more potential candidates, that seeks quality, rather than some sort of fundraising thermometer feel.
I would rather the Liberals approach the gender issue as one where we seek out, rather than dictate. Maybe we reach a greater percentage, maybe we don't, but you acknowledge disparity and look for talent. Then, you get in the trenches and let the best bipedal person carry the nomination day. Far better to put people through their paces, than telling a membership who can and can't run, frankly it's all very insulting. Strength of resume, articulation of ideas, sound character, the ability to inspire, those are the pre-requisites. I could care less the gender, given the way we lost swaths of "women" in the last election, despite our attractive banner, I'd say it's inconsequential.
Is there a disparity? Absolutely, but I'm much more comfortable with an approach that recognizes without legislating. In the final analysis, the ideal is much better served without the spectre of quotas, which undermines genuine abilities. It's hard to reconcile how equality is achieved using necessitated inequalities- merit not mandate, with a recognition of attracting.