Monday, June 12, 2006

The need for more women candidates

A number of MPs (including Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey) have written to the Telegraph today saying how important it is that we get more female Tory candidates selected to fight Parliamentary marginals. They say that "choosing women from the outstanding candidates on the approved list will not only convince the electorate that we are ready to represent them, but also provide us with a group of first-rate MPs."

They're absolutely right about the need for more women to be selected, however I can see one possible problem. The new selection procedures for Associations advocates - quite strongly - the use of open primaries. So whilst we may genuinely want more women to get selected we may find that the new process actually stops that from happening.

That's not to say we should go down the route of "all-wimmin" short lists, but we could find that our desire to get the local community involved in candidate selection might produce results opposite to our desired ends. Hopefully it won't, but it might.

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