Monday, November 04, 2013

"A distraction"

The Labour Party got together over the weekend for its annual conference - the first for David Cunliffe as leader. And while they made several important policy announcements - focusing KiwiBuild on Christchurch to ease the post-quake housing shortage and introducing a Kiwibank-style government-owned insurance company to introduce competition to the market (a move which immediately gained the opposition of the foreign insurance oligopoly) - and a couple of important policy decisions around superannuation and the TPP, a lot of the media coverage has focused on their introduction of a gender quota to bring balance to the caucus over the next two elections. This is a perfectly reasonable idea; the Labour caucus should look like New Zealand, and that means fair representation for women. And its not as if Labour is short of talented women to represent it; the problem is that these women are not being given a fair shot due to electorate seats being full or tired, talentless male incumbents. Using the list to correct this imbalance and produce a caucus that represents women fairly, according to their proportion of the population, is a sensible move, and exactly what the list is for. The only losers in the process are mediocre men.

...who are currently raising their voices in abundance. Male editorial writers and male cartoonists seem to think fair representation for women is the end of the world. They are also united in labelling it "a distraction". But the people it mainly seems to be distracting are - you guessed it - mediocre old men who realise that their days of undeserved advantage are numbered.