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Diverse hypocrites

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, September 7th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: accountability, democratic participation, dpf, national - Tags: , ,

National is the party of middle aged white guys.  There’s been plenty of commentary on how clearly their party list reflects this, including this excellent piece by guest poster Dean here at The Standard.

Unable to defend National’s list on these terms, chief Nat spinster David Farrar is trying to convince us that we shouldn’t care:

Party lists: how important is diversity?

…The National Party finalised its party list at the weekend, and the Greens, ACT and Labour published their lists some time ago. Parties often use the list as a way to ensure some diversity.

A number of blogs have done their own analysis of the different party lists, but they have all made the same fatal mistake. They have looked only at the party list, and not at what electorates a party will win. For what counts is not what number someone is at on a party list, but whether that ranking will get them into Parliament. For example, 20 is a great rating on National’s list but a lousy one for the Greens. …

How important is diversity for readers? Is it very important to you or not at all important? Or only important if you feel a party has no diversity at all?

Some commentators who really should know better think that’s an interesting piece, so I guess it’s worth pointing out the obvious. Accusing critics of National’s list of “the same fatal mistake” is pretty naked hypocrisy from Farrar given the number of times he has himself done such analyses of Labour’s list and Labour’s diversity.  And now when National is exposed as the blandest of the bland, suddenly the diversity of the list doesn’t really matter eh?  Mmmmm – “flexible” on referenda, “flexible” on the EFA, “flexible” on list diversity, “flexible” in his beliefs, what a truly “flexible” chap this DPF is.

“Flexibility” aside, National is the party of middle aged white guys.  And yes we should care, because their interests do not represent the interests of all of New Zealand, and they never will.

69 comments on “Diverse hypocrites”

  1. Middle aged well to do white guys with their scared middle aged white wives (and mistresses of course) that’s who’s voting for this horrible ban of bullies and male chauvinists!

  2. Sanctuary 2

    “…Some commentators who really should know better think that’s an interesting piece…”

    The thing to always bear in mind about Bryce Edwards is he is a academic leftie who loathes Labour more than he hates National. In other words, your classic badly burned ex-Alliance supporter. Hope that once burned briefly, albeit fiercely, in his Marxist breast has been extinguished and replaced by a large dose of disillusioned bitterness. Once you understand that and use it to filter what he says he makes a lot interesting points.

  3. alex 3

    Out of all the parties, it is obvious that the Greens give most representation to women, with Labour coming a close 2nd. National doesn’t even come close. Perhaps this reflects a policy gap though, the Greens want to lift children out of poverty, Labour has always fought for struggling families and single mums and National wants to cut spending on vital social services, cuts which in Britain have been shown to disproportionately affect women.

    • Out of all the parties, it is obvious that the Greens give most representation to women, with Labour coming a close 2nd.

      Don’t get too obsessd with paper diversity. Having diversity in opposition is not as effective as having less but in government.

      It’s possible for men to represent the interests of women – I’m a member of NARK which I manage to represent alongside mostly women. If I was an MP I would repreent women’s interests at least as strongly as I represented men’s interests.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Oh Pete you are such a SNAG.
         
        And your actions are not motivated in the slightest by the thought of gaining political support.

        • Pete George 3.1.1.1

          I have been connected to NARK longer than I have been committed to what I’m doing in politics. Working for a better society is what drives me, politics is just one means of achieving something. Dedicated party ideologues may not understand that.

          • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1.1

            “I have been connected to NARK longer than I have been committed to what I’m doing in politics”
             
            So you’ve been in NARK at least a fortnight then?

      • rosy 3.1.2

        NARK is representing children’s interests, is it not? Shouldn’t that matter equally to men and women?

        How about before saying you’ll represent women’s interests you say what those interests (that are different those of men) are?

        • Pete George 3.1.2.1

          You’re right Rosy, most things done by government are not gender specific, they apply to all genders and ages.

          NARK represents children’s interests, yes, but they are closely associated with parent’s interests. And violence is inflicted more by men against women and children so there is a definite gender bias there.

  4. vto 4

    Maybe they should just be open and up front about it. Be proud of who they are and represent – those horrible white middle classes (my god, imagine being on of them). And not pretend they represent a wider group in NZ.

    After all, other parties do that, confine themselves to just one race or type, and don’t even pretend at diversity.

    • I’m not sure that National does represent the “white middle classes”. I think it pitches its campaign rhetoric to that group but its main policy planks essentially serve (i.e., ‘represent’) the interests of a fairly small proportion of the population, especially those involved in major business and banking concerns.

      Those policies get dressed up to look like they represent the “white middle classes” – possibly – but the necessary and sufficient condition for them being major National Party policies is that they advance the interests of that small group of New Zealanders (and sometimes those outside New Zealand).

      I’m thinking here of policies such as privatisation of assets, ‘competition’ in ACC accounts, privatisation of aspects of education, privatisation of infrastructure development, etc..

      I think you’d have to provide a reasonably stretched argument to claim that such policies serve the interests of the “white middle classes” and an even more stretched argument to say that National would still propound them if, assuming that they in fact did serve the interests of the “white middle classes”, they went against the interests of the small group just mentioned.

  5. Tangled up in blue 5

    naked hypocrisy from Farrar given the number of times he has himself done such analyses of Labour’s list and Labour’s diversity. And now when National is exposed as the blandest of the bland, suddenly the diversity of the list doesn’t really matter eh?

    I don’t know how anyone with even a minor sense of dignity can take that dishonest clown seriously.

  6. National claims to be a ‘broad church’, ‘centrist’ party that appeals to all.

    Well, either they don’t have many women wanting to be involved in their political machine or they don’t select those women who do want to be involved on a ‘randomly’ equal basis as they select men.

    Whatever the claims about the ability of men or women to represent the interests of women or men, they should cancel each other out. That would still leave an unexplained discrepancy in the proportions of men and women on their list/electorate selections (and ethnic minorities).

    The simplest explanation for this distorted representation is that, in fact, the National party does not represent a ‘broad church’ of interests. 

    • Tom Gould 6.1

      The only folks who seem to be obsessing over a percentage point or two in the list gender balance numbers are a narrow bunch running the Labour and Green parties. The rest of the country seems to have more important things on their minds. Perhaps in this instance arch-tory DPF actually has a point?

      • Julie Fairey 6.1.1

        We are talking about FIFTEEN percentage points. Labour’s clearly and deliberately aiming for 40% representation for women in their caucus, and increasing their proportion when opportunities arise, Greens have a clear process to promote representation for women, which is paying off, and National can only manage 25% (less than current National caucus), even on an increased caucus and with 5 safe National seats without incumbent MPs to select. That’s shameful.

    • freedom 6.2

      using ‘ broad church’ to describe the interests they pander to,
      only highlights how much of society they ignore by doing so.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Pete George

    Well you really have put your foot in it this time.

    You go on about how wonderful you are because you belong to an organisation that supposedly protects the rights of children.

    So my question to you are these:

    What are you doing to ensure that children living in NZ today don’t starve to death a few years hence because the industrial food has collapsed? (as it most certainly will, due to the peaking of the oil supply in 2005-2006 and its subsequent decline -bearing in mind that all industrially produced food is totally dependent on oil).

    What are you doing, as this person who supposedly cares so much about kids, to prevent the Earth becoming largely uninhabitable due to runaway emissions? (as will most certainly happen due to the abject failure of governments to act on the matter because all governments are controlled by fossil fuel behemoths)

    I think I can already answer those questions: you are denying that peak oil and severe/abrupt climate change are even issues to be dealt with. In other words hypocrisy rules, as is the case with all people like you.

    But please prove me wrong if I am.

    In the meantime, I’d say you are full if shit, which is the theme of this item.

    ‘Working for a better society is what drives me’

    Don’t worry about working for a better society, Pete. We wonl’t have a society a few years from now [due to petro-collapse] or a planet to live on a few decades from now [due to acidification of the ocaens and abrupt climate change] if the corporations and right wing politicians you favour so much have their way. ‘Dedicated party ideologues may not understand that.’

  8. queenstfarmer 8

    Where is the hypocrisy? I don’t see Farrar saying anything in what you’ve quoted that is different to what (you say) he said before:

    Paragraph 1 simply states a fact
    Paragraph 2 simply makes an accurate point – 20 on greens list isn’t as great as 20 on nats.
    Paragraph 3 simply asks some questions

    Where in the article does he say anything like your assertion that “suddenly the diversity of the list doesn’t really matter eh?

    • Luxated 8.1

      Read more, comment less.

      Accusing critics of National’s list of “the same fatal mistake” is pretty naked hypocrisy from Farrar given the number of times he has himself done such analyses of Labour’s list and Labour’s diversity.

      Straight from the very post you are commenting on.

      Also Farrar is incorrect to state:

      A number of blogs have done their own analysis of the different party lists, but they have all made the same fatal mistake. They have looked only at the party list, and not at what electorates a party will win.

      Because Julie from THM wrote this piece several days before Farrar published his piece.

      • queenstfarmer 8.1.1

        Read that, comment stands. All of the Farrar posts linked to above expressly mention the party vote requirement.

        Because Julie from THM wrote this piece several days before Farrar published his piece

        Good for Julie. However this doesn’t mean Farrar is incorrect as you state. All he said as “A number of blogs have done their own analysis…“. He’s not claiming to refer to every blog on the internet.

        So I suggest you read more, comment more wisely.

        • Julie Fairey 8.1.1.1

          I felt it was very dishonest of David not to mention that there was an analysis, on a blog he links to in the very few he links on his front-page blogroll, that did exactly as he said no one was doing except him, and clearly showed the lack of diversity in the projected National caucus (not just the List).

          I’ve been around political blogging for three elections now, and I did this analysis last election too, for all the party lists plus the electorates for National and Maori last time (and I’ve included Labour’s electorates this time too) and David is well aware of that. He could have acknowledged it, he chose not to, and in fact he chose to give the impression that he was the only person who did the calculations the correct way.

          I don’t imagine David reads every post at THM. Probably he just dips in and out, like I do with Kiwiblog. But he copied an entire blog post from THM and posted it up at Kiwiblog on Sept 5th at 2.54pm. (I should note he didn’t ask beforehand, although he did link, so I suppose we should just be grateful for the traffic and that Luddite Journo’s excellent post on the comedian sex abuse case were getting a wider audience). My (first) post on analysing the National list and electorates went up on Sept 4th around noon, only an hour and a half after Luddite Journo’s post which was copied. I don’t think it’s credible for Farrar to claim he was unaware of an analysis doing precisely what he said no one had, especially as it got linked from lots of places before his Stuff piece went up.

          We can disagree about the diversity stuff, that’s fine, but to lie about it really disappointed me. He has repeatedly misrepresented the projected caucus numbers for National and omitted to compare future representation (probably 25%) even with current representation (28%).

          Now I suspect David will get v steamed up about saying he lied. Unparliamentary language and all that. But he did, and he should be called on it. I have made a (milder) comment to this effect on the post at Kiwiblog about the Stuff piece, so I’m not entirely a chicken ;-)

          • queenstfarmer 8.1.1.1.1

            … that did exactly as he said no one was doing except him… I don’t think it’s credible for Farrar to claim he was unaware of an analysis doing precisely what he said no one had

            But he didn’t say that. Exactly as I quoted above he said, “A number of blogs have done their own analysis …”

            How can you construe that any other way? He was simply pointing out a common flaw in “a number of” other analyses. He was not even implying that he was the only one who did it his way.

            • Julie Fairey 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Which would work except David wrote that “they have all made the same fatal mistake.”

              I’ve pointed out that it’s not credible for David to claim he didn’t know about my analysis. So then the question is why didn’t he acknowledge it? I can only assume because he didn’t want people to see it. And it’s then dishonest to claim that no one else has taken into account the electorate seats (that “all” again) when someone did.

              David gave the impression that he was the only one who had yet done a diversity (in my case gender) analysis of the National caucus correctly, therefore people could just dismiss out of hand all the other analyses (which clearly showed a decrease in women for National) and rely on his, because all those other ones were fatally flawed.

              That wasn’t true.

              And anyway National actually selected even less women to new safe electorate seats (20%) than the percentage of women ranked on their list, only giving a safe National candidacy to ONE woman in the five spots available. So the electorate seats don’t save them from a hideously skewed male-dominated caucus anyway.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Your bang to rights here Julie, qf’s partial quote is as dishonest as Farrar’s post.

                If I was to say that:

                A number of NZers support the National Party and they are all idiots

                I would be saying that all NZers that support the National Party are idiots, and people who support the National Party for other reasons would be right to feel aggrieved about it.

                Farrar quite clearly said that all the blogs that addressed this made the same error. There is no other way to construe it.

              • queenstfarmer

                Julie, David wrote:

                A number of blogs have done their own analysis of the different party lists, but they have all made the same fatal mistake.

                Now you are obviously a very good writer, with a very good command of the English language. So tell me, who do you think “they” refers to in the above sentence?

                • McFlock

                  I’ll bite: those blogs that have analysed party lists?

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Wrong. A number of blogs, not all. Believe it or not, saying “a number of blogs” is not the same as saying “all blogs on the internet”.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Nope, Farrar is referring to those blogs that did write list analyses, in the first part of the sentence. A defined group, in toto. And in the second part, he says they all got it wrong. If he meant otherwise he would said “some of them have all made”, not “they have all made”.
                       
                       

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Believe it or not, saying “a number of blogs” is not the same as saying “all blogs on the internet”

                      Correct, he was talking aboout a subset of the set “all blogs on the internet”.

                      The particular subset ‘the blogs analysed the lists’.

                      There were a number of blogs in this subset, and they all, according to Farrar, made the same mistake.

                      You want him to have said:

                      “Some of the blogs that analysed the list made the following error.”

                      But that’s not what he said.

                    • Luxated

                      Brush up on your set theory and reading comprehension qsf.

                      A number of blogs have done their own analysis of the different party lists…

                      Set A: ‘blogs’

                      There are several million (probably) of these on the internet of which THM is one.

                      Set B: ‘blogs (that) have done their own analysis of the different party lists’

                      The subject is just a refinement of the subject of set A, Γ B ⊆ A.

                      Set size perhaps a dozen, again THM is a part of this set. All ‘a number’ refers to is the size of set B.

                      Where you are (most likely deliberately) failing is that you are conflating set A and set B. IMPORTANT: All ducks are birds but not all birds are ducks.

                      The subject of the sentence is clearly set B and Farrar states that all the members of the subject (set B, remember?) failed to include electorates in their calculations. BUT Julie did exactly that making THM ∈ B and not THM ∈ (A\B), ∴ Farrar was wrong as are you.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Perhaps that’s what you wanted him to say. Perhaps that’s what he meant. And if he had read a post that made the same analysis as he said, perhaps he should have mentioned it. Perhaps he will clarify that. I’m just happy to go by his actual words.

                    • Luxated

                      Firstly, what Farrar meant or not doesn’t matter a damn, what has been said is the issue as that is all we can actually verify. Farrar can claim he meant your point of view at some point in the future if he wants or he can claim he meant to call for a llama uprising but it still isn’t relevant.

                      Secondly an analogy.

                      Imagine someone sitting on a park bench between two paths, one in front of the bench, one behind. The bench is angled and designed such that the path behind it is not at all visible to someone seated on the bench.

                      The person on the bench makes the following statement:

                      A number of ducks walked past me at the same time and all of them quacked.

                      You’ll notice that this statement is equivalent to Farrar’s, ‘A number of blogs’ becomes ‘A number of ducks’, ‘have done their own analysis of the different party lists’ becomes ‘walked past me at the same time’ and ‘but they all made the same fatal mistake’ becomes ‘and all of them quacked’.

                      Consider two cases, the first a number of ducks walks in front of the bench, the second when a number of ducks walks in front of the bench while at the same time a different (or the same, it doesn’t matter) number of ducks walks behind.

                      In both cases the statement does not claim that any ducks that did not walk past the bench quacked or did not quack, on this I believe we are agreed.

                      The statement is incorrect in the first case if even a single duck in the group of ducks that walk past does not quack. If five out of six ducks quack you can’t arbitrarily separate the one that didn’t out and still claim they all did. If you wanted to do that you would have to explicit say ‘all but one’ or words to that effect.

                      In the second case the same conditions still apply but lets add an extra condition, all the ducks that walked in front of the bench quacked all the ducks that walked behind it didn’t. This is analogous to blog posts Farrar read and those he didn’t. So the the perspective of the person sitting on the bench it might appear that the statement was correct however as another group of ducks also walked past at the same time and did not quack then the statement is incorrect, the perspective of the observer doesn’t change the veracity of the statement except perhaps if the ducks in question were quantum. The way to make the statement correct would be to say “I saw a number of ducks that walked past me at the same time and all of them quacked.” but that is a fundamentally different statement.

                      I think that is all that needs to be said on the matter. All this talk of ducks has left me with one final word though, QUACK!

                    • McFlock

                      “Wrong. A number of blogs, not all. ”
                      So your position is that rather than disingenuosly being obtuse about the contents of the THM list analysis, Farrar was in fact disingenuosly choosing only those blogs that did not include diversity in their list analyses? It makes the “all” a bit redundant, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. 

                       
                      Farrar was, to use an analogy, claiming to be the smartest man on the planet, but restricting the definition of “man” to “every male human dumber than me, plus me”. Glad you cleared that up for me. I might have thought he was a self-inflated lying prick otherwise.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Firstly, what Farrar meant or not doesn’t matter a damn

                      If that’s your starting point, then there’s no reasoning with you on that very subject, is there?

                      Re whether he was being disingenuous in this instance, I have no idea. However there is no basis to think he was.

                    • McFlock

                      Straw-man conflation, much?

                    • McFlock

                      Of course, if he was accidentally excluding those blogs which did in fact already solve the issue he was seeking to analyse, it just makes him an incompetent buffoon (given that he’d already linked to the blog which solved his “issue”).

                      Liar or buffoon seem to be the most likely options.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Straw-man conflation, much?

                      Sorry, I didn’t make clear that I was quoting luxated @ 10.32pm.

                    • Luxated

                      Firstly, what Farrar meant or not doesn’t matter a damn

                      If that’s your starting point, then there’s no reasoning with you on that very subject, is there?

                      Err, qsf we are debating what was said. If you go into court, publish a scientific paper or an article in a newspaper and state “The sky is red” it doesn’t matter whether you meant to say “The sky is blue” or not you made a statement that was not correct and as such you need to retract and correct that statement.

                      Or is it too much to ask Farrar to be held to the same standard as proper journalists when writing in a very public medium?

                      Let me reiterate, what is said is important because it is a matter of public record, what Farrar intended to say is not, although I do believe his intent was exactly as written.

                      Do you understand now, or do I have to use smaller words?

        • tc 8.1.1.2

          Looking forward to your comments in the ‘Nats clueless on privatisation consequences’ post ….now’s good.

          • queenstfarmer 8.1.1.2.1

            I skimmed it but it doesn’t seem to add anything new. I don’t know if Parata has much of clue.

            • Puddleglum 8.1.1.2.1.1

              I skimmed it but it doesn’t seem to add anything new.

              True, we’ve all known for a long time now that the National Party’s position on privatisation of state assets is contradictory and internally incoherent.

              That post simply notes that it has been put up in huge flashing lights on top of a hill (well, in Parliament) – just where it should be.

              • queenstfarmer

                How is the party’s position contradictory? To my knowledge, their policy on partial privatisation is very well documented, regardless of whether you agree with it. They said nothing would happen during the first term, and they would seek a mandate for anything in a second term.

                Contrast that with say Labour’s position, which was all for unmandated asset sales (Phil Goff was involved in fully selling off far more than anything National will partially do), now is currently against it, and who knows what it will be down the track.

      • Julie Fairey 8.1.2

        And thank you Luxated for noticing :-) Women’s voices aren’t just marginalised in parliamentary politics it seems!

        • Pete George 8.1.2.1

          Julie, have you (or anyone) ever had a good look at why women don’t put themselves forward to stand in greater numbers? Or do you think they disadvantaged in the selction process?

          Becoming an MP is really putting yourself out there, and women may be more reluctant ro put themselves forward for close scrutiny and comments on appearance, hair, how they dress etc. The political spotlight can be quite ruthless. Good willing candidates are hard to find, good willing women candidates may be simply harder to find.

          • Julie Fairey 8.1.2.1.1

            Oh I agree Pete. There are a range of barriers to women becoming MPs, but when you boil pretty much all of them down it comes back, sooner or later, to sexism.

            Why are women more concerned than men about criticism of their appearance? Because women are more judged on their bodies, and are considered more “decorative” than men.

            In terms of the selection process itself, I think there probably is a bias as well. In my own political history I have been told various things along the lines of “you can’t do that, you’re just a girl” or “you shouldn’t stand, you’ve got young children” or “a woman shouldn’t be in a leadership role like that, it’s just wrong” (the latter about Helen Clark actually, and from another woman).

            There was a study done about five years ago, iirc, about how Boards of Trustees pick primary principals, and whether there is a gender bias. At the time the gender split was roughly 75% male principals, but 75% female teachers. Not too dissimilar from the National caucus! And the study found a clear bias towards picking men over women, for a variety of reasons, all of which came back to pervasive sexist attitudes that we all struggle to shift in ourselves and in others.

            I’m not arguing that we can all be perfect non-sexist sunbeams all the time. We are a product of the environment we were raised and live in. I personally struggle to put either of my sons in pink clothes, for example. But I think we at least have the ability to notice when gender balance is way out of whack and start asking why.

            • Pete George 8.1.2.1.1.1

              I have been told various things along the lines of “you can’t do that, you’re just a girl” or “you shouldn’t stand, you’ve got young children” or “a woman shouldn’t be in a leadership role like that, it’s just wrong

              I’m not sure how much is sexism and how much is resistance to changing the staus quo. I’ve been told various things about what I’m trying to do not on the basis of my sex but on the basis that it’s different to what has been done previously.

              There seems to be a natural and strong resistance from media and political pundits to give any coverage or consideration to anything different to their idea of how things shouls be done. Women often have different ways of ealing with things, so it may be resistance to change more than sexism.

              The “old boys club” is not just sexist, it excludes anyone judged to be not one of their status quo.

              • I’m sitting here boggling at your ability to strip the sexism out of the kind of comments I mentioned.

                “You can’t do that, you’re just a girl” – maybe maybe could be ageist rather than (just) sexist.

                “You shouldn’t stand, you’ve got young children” – when does anyone ever say that to a man? Seriously, Phil Goff had three children while he was an MP, Simon Bridges had very young kids when he went in, yet I have NEVER heard anyone say anything of the kind about a male politician. And when this criticism was levelled at me my partner (a man) was standing in the same election, for the same position, on the same ticket, and also put on his campaign material that he had two young kids, and there was not a whisper.

                “A woman shouldn’t be in a leadership role like that…” about Helen Clark. At the time this comment was made Clark had been PM for at least two terms. And before that there had been a female PM too (Shipley). So the status quo, at that time, was a woman in that leadership role.

                • I didn’t mean to imply there is no sexism, I know there is sexism – from some men – but that it can be more than just sexism and barriers other than sexism are put up too.

                  Some people are resistant to change to how they perceive things should be, that sometimes manifests as sexism.

                  • Resistance to change can definitely operate in a manner that is commensurate with sexism, I think that’s a fair point. When the change that is being resisted is seeking to address sexism then the resistance becomes sexist I reckon. Interesting discussion, thanks.

          • McFlock 8.1.2.1.2

            Pete, why did you frame one possibility as fact (“women don’t put themselves forward to stand in greater numbers”) but another as opinion to be discussed (“Or do you think they disadvantaged in the selction process?”)?
                
            I’m not usually into language deconstruction, but found that quite interesting.

            • Pete George 8.1.2.1.2.1

              What I said was “why women don’t put themselves forward to stand in greater numbers?” The “why” word and the ? make a difference, it was a question, not a statement of fact.

              My presumption is that if more women put themselves forward then greater proportions of women may be selected. I know of competent men who won’t put themselves forward for selection because they don’t like our culture of politics.

              I know one women who was encouraged recently to put herself forward, she dipped her toes into Wellington and decided it wasn’t for her.

              • McFlock

                The question was “why”, the statement of fact was “women don’t put themselves forward to stand in greater numbers”.   
                  
                  
                Given you’re talking aggregate numbers, what figures are you referring to?
                You know of men and women who haven’t put themselves forward. Great. What ratios of applicants to selected candidates are you referring to? Is National party membership c75% male, thus being 
                gender neutral in their candidate selection (assuming equal percentages of members by gender wish to become candidates)? If so, what are your sources? Are women less likely to be politically active? Where’s your source for that?
                   
                  
                Or was that assertion just as much of an opinion as whether candidate selection is biased?

        • Luxated 8.1.2.2

          You’re welcome Julie.

          At least with parliament we can do something about it in the immediate future! With any luck we’ll have a more proportional house after the election although I’m not going to hold my breath.

          Society as a whole on the other hand might take a bit longer. From my perspective we’ve largely removed most of the overt sexism in society although there are still some holdouts. The problem is that that leaves the subconscious judgements which can then plausibly deny, at least to themselves.

  9. I think I can already answer those questions: you are denying that peak oil and severe/abrupt climate change are even issues to be dealt with. In other words hypocrisy rules, as is the case with all people like you.

    You seem to have made a humongous guess based on nothing.

    I’ve never denied peak oil and climate change. On Kiwiblog I’ve debated strongly against the “see nothing, do nothing” brigade until I realised it’s pointless, they either have their heads in cement or have a mission. I’ve also debated on the need to deal with our reliance on oil.

    Who put their foot in it?

    right wing politicians you favour so much

    Which ones? That sounds like another assumption based on nothing. If you want to label me I’m much closer to a centre lefty who despairs at how inept the centre left is doing here right now.

    • Afewknwothetruth 9.1

      My mistake.

      Not having visited Kiwiblog I based my perception on what I have read on TS over the months.

      Are you now saying that the two most crucial issues to be dealt with immediately are Peak Oil and Abrupt Climate Change? -issues that don’t even feature in either of the major party’s manifestoes!

    • tc 9.2

      never mind this PG how about some of your wisdom on the ‘Nats clueless on privatisation consequences’ post.

  10. Brett 10

    Who the fuck cares.
    Apart from the old ducks who post here, most women have moved on from this 50/50 bullshit.
    Gender and race is irrelevant, it’s more about the best available person for the job.

    • Puddleglum 10.1

      Who the fuck cares.”

      Apparently, David Farrar. See my comment below.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Gender and race is irrelevant, it’s more about the best available person for the job.

      Quite right. In the National Party the best available person for the job is generally white, male and over 45.

  11. just saying 11

    And you’d be just as happy if any other special interest minority, other than rich, old, het, white men, dominated all positions of power, and would feel just as represented by, say, 70 percent young polynesian women.?

    Yeah right.

    And rich, old, het, white men are overwhelmingly the best available people to lead us, (no discrimination there)?

    Again yeah right.

    Gender and race are only “irrelevant” if your’s are running the show.

  12. It’s interesting to note that, in his commentary on the Labour Party list of 2008 and his analysis of who may or may not make it into parliament, David Farrar seemed quite concerned about diversity:

     “So what will Labour’s Caucus look like? Well on the current public polling scenario giving them 45 MPs, it would be:

    Only 8 MPs or 18% from the South Island
    38% female, which isn’t bad at all
    49% would be aged in their 50s though
    They would have only six Maori MPs – the same number as National! They would be Horomia, Mahuta, Jones, Ririnui, Mackey, and Davis
    Four Pacific Island MPs – Laban, Sio, Chauvel and Sepuloni
    Three Asian MPs – Choudary, Prasad, and Huo

    So, it would seem that diversity does (or at least did) matter to Farrar. To that extent, he seems to be out of step with some on the right (and left) who seem to think that diversity doesn’t/shouldn’t matter. 

    But, I don’t get why he focuses on the composition of a caucus that, on the basis of polls, would make it into parliament. Percentages for parties go up and down and, more importantly, it’s diversity at the ‘top’ that matters most. If National had a 50/50 gender split that wouldn’t look quite so impressive if the top 30 were all male and the bottom 30 all female

    Surely, a better way of ‘testing’ diversity in a political party’s candidates would be to look at, say, each group of ten (1-10, 11-20, 21-30) and give them some weighting so that, for example, if there was a marked imbalance in the top ten (or twenty) that would count against diversity more than a marked imbalance from 21-30 (or 21-40). That approach would flush out possible tokenism and also would be a measure of diversity as it relates to power within a party, which, surely, is the point?

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    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • First batch of household protection kits arrives in Liberia
    Kits containing protective gear will equip a network of community-based Ebola care centres nationwide...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dr Paul Hutchison praised for work to reduce child poverty
    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has thanked retiring National MP Dr Paul Hutchison for his work to reduce child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Bag snatch hero deserves a medal – McVicar
    The Justice Spokesman for the Conservative Party, Garth McVicar, is calling for the woman known as the bag-snatch hero to be awarded a medal for bravery....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Police Remembrance Day
    This week, Police staff and others have been wearing the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin as they reflect on those who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect. Police Remembrance Day falls on...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid
    Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry is disturbed by developments increasing the number of local body regions choosing racially based representation. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils already have Maori wards, while New Plymouth...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dairy Strategy Proving to be a Disaster
    The intensification of the dairy industry is proving to be a disaster, says SAFE. This comes after the forecast 2015 milk price payout was cut 12% by Fonterra this week. “Last year, the government effectively gave the green light for...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Where Next for the Left?
    26 September 2014 A discussion of the post-election prospects for radicals, facilitated by Fightback. 6pm | Monday 28th September | 19 Tory St [ Facebook event ]...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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