Sunday, August 20, 2006

Getting more women candidates?

It seems that there are going to be more changes made to the selection process for Tory party candidates in an attempt to get more women selected. Iain Dale has said that reports about it appear in both the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times. The changes will apparently require that on second round shortlists of six, three women are included, and, crucially, that there must always be at least one woman in the final selection meeting.

Personally speaking I do find this sort of tinkering worrying. I fully realise the argument that our candidates (and hopefully MPs) need to have more women amongst their contingent. I understand that the more we're seen to be a male-club the less appealing we are and the more Labour will make outrageously silly charges of sexism.

However, this proposal appears to me to be the introduction of the worst sort of "positive" discrimination, as we're introducing quotas. I find that even more anti-meritocratic than all-wimmin shortlists. At least in the case of picking a shortlist which has nothing but women on it they're picked on the basis of who is the best. When you introduce quota's meritocracy goes completely out of the window all together.

No comments: