Australia: Liberal women have little chance if the system still favours party cronyism

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

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January 15, 2019

Australia: Liberal women have little chance if the system still favours party cronyism

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By Eugenie Joseph,

Many candidates – across all parties – are not selected on clear merit, especially for winnable seats.

Gender quotas have been a hot topic, but while they will increase the quantity of women they are not a magic bullet solution to improve the quality of parliament.

That’s because the primary issue isn’t the lack of women, it’s the lack of real diversity of background of the candidates. The lack of women is simply a symptom of that.

It’s certainly a concern that the government cannot currently manage to field more than a parlous 12 females in the 150-seat House of Representatives. And there is plenty of international precedent for quotas across half the OECD countries, but precedent alone is not a sufficient justification.

Quotas will not solve the main problem: the lack of meritocracy in selecting political candidates.

Quotas are opposed because they undermine meritocracy in selecting candidates, yet it is the absence of genuine meritocracy that often prevents capable, talented women from diverse backgrounds having a fair opportunity to be pre-selected.

Click here to read the full article published by The Guardian on 15 January 2019.

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