Published at Catallaxy Files on 30/03/2021
I was always opposed to the idea of quotas for women in Parliament. I operated under the delusion, not so much that selection on merit was a better idea, but that selection on merit could actually occur. Given the selection processes for the major parties, this was always a tenuous notion. But the revelation in Parliament over the past couple of weeks are so disturbing that it is no longer an option to be blind to the reality, and it can no longer be argued that the situation will correct itself through the good offices and goodwill of the parties, factions and people involved.
Accordingly, it is time for definite proposals for quotas for women in Parliament. Clearly, the necessary changes will not take place overnight, but ambitious targets are required. With sufficient will, the current parlous situation of Parliament can be corrected over the course of three Parliamentary terms. For maximum effectiveness the first opportunity must be seized: that is the next Federal election.
At the next election, I propose a quota of 25% of winnable seats to be allocated for women. At the following election, that should be 17.5%, and at the one after, 10%. More than any other conceivable measure, this would fix the current toxic environment in Federal Parliament. These are tough goals, but if respect for Parliament is to increased from its present lows, they are essential.