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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Public office quotas


Since I have one month left in the states before I head over to London, I've been keeping track of the news in the British Isles. As I knew from living in Berlin in the latter-half of 2009, Europe is always a reliable deviation to the left from American politics. We may have affirmative action in our schools, but at least we don't have it in our politics(?), unlike Ireland:
The Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has announced he will institute a rule that 30 per cent of all election candidates must be women.

Parties who refuse to follow that edict will lose half of their state funding.
Okay, low hanging fruit here, but it's arguably one of the stupidest things I've heard all day. First of all, as the article points out, two of the best politicians of recent times in Ireland were Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese. Much like the "quotas" in schools, having the participation of women become a mandate will only devalue the accomplishments of these politicians. I can't even imagine the scorn Sarah Palin would receive if the Left could criticize her participation as a Right-wing quota-filling measure.

And, though reading Michael Lewis normally causes me to roll my eyes furiously, I did enjoy this exposé of the inanity of the Irish "crisis." Ireland has reliably bad politics, which has a way of making me incredibly appreciative that my grandparents got out of there in the 1950s.
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  1. Sad. This only serves to marginalize the contributions of women to the political debate. As you point out, from now one, people can dismiss any contrary opinion expressed by any woman politician by saying that she is 'just' an affirmative action pol.

  2. Oh, and btw, there have been several notorious attempts here in the U.S. to weight ballots according to your race by demographic district. Insidious.

  3. We've got mandates here on the number of minority-majority Congressional districts that need to be drawn. This is just a more direct way of doing what is essentially the same thing.

  4. How about a quota that no more than 50% of American undergraduate students can be women?

  5. http://http//www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/03/michael-lewis-ireland-201103

    This link has a typo. you need yo fix it