Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty is unhappy about the first decline in the number of women MPs since MMP was introduced and is blaming National.
National having only three female MPs in the top 20 shows a lack of commitment to gender representation.
“No country or Parliament is better off if women are blocked from political leadership,” Ms Delahunty said.
No-one’s blocking anyone and it’s got nothing to do with National’s commitment to gender representation.
National has a lot of electorate MPs which reduces the number of places available on the list, many are long serving, including those selected before MMP was introduced.
Among those with relatively new MPs are the three big central South Island electorates Waitaki, Rangitata and Selwyn, which might be regarded by some as conservative. All are represented by National women, – Jacqui Dean, Jo Goodhew and Amy Adams respectively. So is Waimakariri which Kate Wilkinson won on Saturday and Nicky Wagner is waiting for specials to see if she can take Christchurch Central which finished with a draw on election night.
There haven’t been many opportunities for new candidates in the last two elections but it is probable that a good number of the older MPs will retire this term or next which will provide openings for new entrants.
Anyone, man or woman, who wants to be a National MP should start working towards selection now if they haven’t already done so. That means taking an active role in the party and building up membership.
National is the only party which allows members to choose their candidate providing an electorate has sufficient members to do so.Candidates who’ve proven themselves as active members will have a better chance of winning selections.
Gaining selection with the support of members is far better than hoping you’ll get a winnable list place through tokenism.
Kiwiblog has a chart showing the demographics of the new parliament, illustrating gender isn’t the only measure of diversity.
What he doesn’t show though is what the MPs did before entering parliament nor how many got a pay rise and how many took a cut.
That’s another measure of diversity in which I suspect National would do very well.