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The Forum > Article Comments > The 2011 NSW election lowers the Bear Pit's glass ceiling > Comments

The 2011 NSW election lowers the Bear Pit's glass ceiling : Comments

By Tony Smith, published 6/4/2011

There were big swings in New South Wales, but not towards women candidates.

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"This can also lead to an assumption that parliamentarians must conform to a masculine paradigm. Many women who are determined to adopt their own styles can then be deterred from pursuing political careers. When women enter parliaments in small numbers, they might be acculturated into the ethos constructed by men over the decades."

So what exactly is the "masculine paradigm"?

The author has not stated this, so the whole article is based on nothing except male denigration.

With a number of university qualifications, obviously university education has not stifled the authorís desire for male denigration.

If anything it seems to have increased it.
Posted by vanna, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 5:50:13 PM
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Interesting article.

I would suggest that fewer strings of numbers and more synthesis would lead to a more compelling argument. We can all do the numbers, and we can all work out percentages. The author would have served his purpose better by simply telling us that there had been an expectation that more women would be elected, but in the end only 21 women made it across the line. This would have allowed a lot more space to tell us his opinions about:

a) why the major parties ran men instead of women
b) why the public elected men instead of women (was it a problem with women in general, with those specific women, with the parties they represented or with their independent stance?)
c) why this is a problem.

I get that a gender-balanced parliament is a nice idea, but surely those women who enter parliament should be the best people for the job, as the men who enter parliament should also be.
Posted by Otokonoko, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 7:10:32 PM
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I can't believe someone (a man no less!) is still pushing the "numbers" routine in 2011!
This argument is so ridiculous.

Firstly, how many women have *joined* each party?
If the membership is 70% male, the candidates would reflect that.

Only one candidate can be selected for each seat.
You can't have a male Liberal *and* a female Liberal candidate for the same seat.
They have to make a choice.
Are you suggesting they should choose a candidate simply because they are female?

Are you suggesting Liberal voters would switch from Liberal to Labor just because the Labor candidate is female?

There are so many elements at play in candidate selection by parties and voters.
To reduce everything to how many females are in parliament is just beyond ridiculous.
Posted by Shockadelic, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 9:34:39 PM
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Stop "Moving Forwards", IE, stumbling forwards, punch drunk, lurching from one disaster to the next, do a u-turn, look backwards with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight over the last few decades & you will clearly see that women in politics have proven, they are even worse than the men. Can anybody name even one of them, that was any good?
Posted by Formersnag, Thursday, 7 April 2011 4:08:25 PM
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I have tried to read this article sympathetically, but there are too many untested assumptions and unproved assertions. And too many words, I'm afraid.

Do we need more women in parliaments? Why?
The discussion in the Sydney Herald in March was better.
If we have a set number of seats for women- or percentage,say 30 or 40 %- why dont we have a set number for other groups? transgender people? Paraplegics? Aborigines? The hearing impaired? People who are over 6 feet tall?
Why don't we just let people nominate and see who the people vote for?

I don't see why women MPs are much better or worse per se than men.
Posted by Bronte, Saturday, 9 April 2011 5:19:05 PM
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