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‘The right of centre vote on policy, not gender’: Push for Liberal Party gender quota escalates

After frontrunner Andrew Bragg withdrew from the battle for Wentworth pre-selection to “pave the way” for more female representation in the Liberal Party, former minister Craig Laundy has become the first Coalition male to support the implementation of gender quotas. 

With calls for quotas now dominating the conservative side of politics, Scott Morrison has conceded the Liberals need to recruit more women, with just 22 of the 107 parliamentarians in the party now female. However, the newly anointed PM has unequivocally rejected calls for quotas.

When asked whether it’s something he’d consider, Morrison replied with a firm “no”.

Columnist for the Australian, Janet Albrechtsen, says this was the right move for a conservative PM, who by virtue of his ideology, should have an aversion against gender quotas.  Albrechtsen believes quotas are not only patronising and condescending, but undermine women trying to rise up through the ranks on merit alone.

“I’ve always thought the big difference between the Liberal Party and the Labor Party is that women are happy to get a leg up in Labor, they’re happy to be seen as second rate and needing special favours. I had assumed and hoped the liberal side of politics would not give in to that kind of sexism.”

“What you do by introducing quotas is actually formalise choosing a second rate candidate. We should always be aiming for the best candidate.”

Michael McLaren agrees the identity politics underpinning gender quotas is not typically associated with conservative ideology. It has its origins in the political correctness of the left.

“In my mind, the right of centre vote based on policies, not on the gender or the identity of the person advocating those policies.”

“When you consider that the Liberal Party has managed to occupy the government bench in Canberra for nearly 50 of its 74 year history, you’d have to concede that the imbalance of men to women MPs hasn’t hurt them too badly.”

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