Critique of his article in the Australian Newspaper today. The Start of the New Year is on us. We just cannot let academics pretend they are arguing when they are just asserting their dogma.
The original article is un-changed in black text. My comments are in red.
Resistance is useless to feelings that are just plain wrong.
OR HOW POST MODERNISTS SNEER AND LOGIC CHOP
Liberals’ resistance to female quotas is just plain wrong.
12:00AM DECEMBER 29, 2018
I was at a Christmas drinks party talking to a group of Young Liberals — I have your sympathy already — and they were taking issue with even the concept that the Liberal Party might embrace a quota to bolster the number of women in its ranks.
I am reading another post modernist neo Marxist diatribe - I have your sympathy already – and it is taking issue with even the concept that women and men may bring different attributes to the world.
Yes, they were all men, and so nothing they say should be taken seriously. Only men can be sexists and so they always are and I suspect every one of them has political ambitions of his own. And therefore each of them is completely unreliable on any point of politics. The world which they are studying so that they can compete within its democratic processes This is one of the most difficult barriers to change: No need for reasons as to why it should change. Change is the Telos. Change is the Good. No need to give any reasons for neo-marxism older generations are naturally more conservative which is obviously a bad thing. Wanting to conserve the most loving caring sharing meritocracy the world has ever seen in any time and place and moderating change in a reasoned thoughtful way is clearly a bad thing and he needs no reason to disparage any resistance to post-modern neo-marxist agenda. and hence more resistant, especially within a conservative party. And if a party already has a gender bias, no need to explain that term. as the Liberals self-evidentially do no need to explain the self evidence. Having more of one sex in any group is obvious bias – leave aside the differences between biological sex – which is what he really means – and gender (every ship is a she) which is socially assigned.— even my Young Liberal friends conceded that Did they? Or did they just agree that there are more men than women in politics? — then younger generations will have more male than female members. and that is a bad thing. Why?
Young Liberal men, despite having more progressive tendencies than older party members, have ambition. That ambition might be thwarted by quotas providing women with an even playing field. “Sex Quotas make an even playing field” is the presumption. But disregarding the political attributes of the candidates and grading them from number one down and then putting some people in at the top because of sex and pushing others down the list because of sex. That is HIS even playing field. No its not. It is sexism identity politics. Telling the voters they have to have a female representative because they have to have a female representative is not equal. It is not level. They can see that quotas (or targets) will reduce their to-date natural advantages over women based on cultural prejudices.
Hold your horses. Back up and look at this post modernism. What about all the psycho-metric evidence that men and women are unevenly distributed throughout the bell curves of human attributes. There is no human psychological attribute that either a man or a woman cannot possess. It is just that mostly men are more aggressive. Mostly women are mostly more agreeable. And if you do blind psychometric testing on a person you would be right 85% of the time about which sex they were.
“Tell you what”, says Peter, “Lets completely ignore that factual biological difference and go for culture”
Not merit-based advantages, for none of the group I spoke to would dare claim men were more meritorious than women. Let’s be clear about this: if you believe men and women are equal, it’s not possible logically to claim that a quota providing equal or near equal representation of the sexes quashes merit. Oh Yes it is. Using the word equal – as in equal in merit as a person – is not the same as saying men and women are the same or that human attributes do not have a different distribution amongst men and women. Even if your argument is that not enough women are active in Liberal Party politics — hence a quota gives the few women who are involved an unfair advantage — then the quota should be seen through the prism of encouraging more women ,the sex that is 85% less likely to desire to engage or get involved, to seek parliamentary office to engage, to get involved, to seek parliamentary office.
It also should be viewed as a way of encouraging powerbrokers and factional leaders to seek talented women from the just 15% of women who have the attributes and may wish to seek a career for representative roles. Promoting them, on the basis of sex alone, ahead of men from the 85% of males who are more likely to have similar career goals.
Don’t forget, women disproportionately used to vote Liberal over Labor. The male environment of the union movement was a turn-off for many women in decades past. But today the turn-off has flipped. The Liberal Party culture is now unfriendly to women and Labor has a quota, which has bolstered not only female parliamentary representation but also the number of women who join the Labor Party in the first place. In other words, it is a purely political issue and has nothing to do with merit based candidates.
Liberals really are running out of excuses for not embracing some form of quota for women in parliament. They say they are philosophically opposed to quotas, as they represent an institutional device to force cultural change. So that is not really running out of reasons then is it?
First, there is a quota for the number of Nationals in the cabinet as part of the Coalition agreement. We have a constitutional quota for the number of senators hailing from each state. There are informal quotas for leaders when selecting their frontbench, seeking to broaden state and factional representation. State,factional and Party Representation is representative democracy at work and is not sex based. There is even an informal quota to boost the number of women Liberals put on the front bench so they don’t appear as a sexist unrepresentative party. That is to say, they do not use sex to choose one candidate over another.
How ironic is that? We are told quotas don’t serve merit well but a Coalition with just 12 women out of 74 in its lower house team needs to put a disproportionate number of those few women on the frontbench, or in view of the cameras directed at the dispatch box, to bat away accusations of lower female representation. Yes it is ironic that you accurately repeat that quotas do not serve merit well but people like you force sexist quotas on a purely political basis.
Second, the idea that quotas are culturally anathema to the Liberal Party flies in the face of a cabinet push during the Howard years to install one for the number of men in primary school teaching roles. Oh, but what about merit? Or the institutional inappropriateness of quotas? Apparently they can be considered for Nationals and men who teach in primary school but not for women in the national parliament. Giving children a balance of male and female role models in the class room so that they are more likely to get the broadest range of male and female approaches to life is not the same as choosing a political candidate on political merit for whom both men and women can vote. Can Peter seriously not see the difference?
Third, and this is my favourite, the argument that Liberals can’t back gender quotas because they don’t like solving cultural problems with institutional rules stands in stark contrast to the recent party room decision to change the rules on spills against a prime minister who leads the party to an election victory. Scott Morrison told us that change was introduced to solve the cultural malaise of removing prime ministers. But again, quotas to address the cultural problem re-assert the social Marxist lie that differences between men and women are cultural often enough in the same article and people will believe it of low female representation simply cannot be discussed. Not discussed! Cannot be discussed! We hear no end of the discussion. But it is not really a discussion. The post modernists do not discuss. They do not argue. To argue is to listen to the other persons facts and logic. They just assert their own dogma and assert their ideology instead of facts. No need to argue when the title of his article asserts his feelings that the opposite point of view is “just plain wrong” before he even begins.
Indeed, the idea that modern Liberals hold any values close enough to their hearts that they wouldn’t consider rethinking You make the point of conservatism. It is about “considering” re-thinking. Thoughtfully considering. Not jumping around all over the place just to satisfy demands for change. if circumstances require it is laughable. Parties of all shapes and sizes wobble on policy all the time. The days of values-driven politics are over. Pragmatism dictates so many other policy scripts, so why are Liberals suddenly dying on a (misguided) principle opposing quotas? The answer is a mixture of stubbornness, ambition and, of course, sexism.
Stubbornness because admitting error assuming again you are right (in assuming you are right) that there is some error in selecting political candidates on the basis of political attributes rather than sex is always the hardest thing to do. Decades ago when Labor introduced quotas, they were attacked without mercy by a Liberal Party that commanded the female vote. As that has slipped away and it has become obvious that quotas have done their job for Labor, and the job is? Getting votes in an election for candidates who are of one sex rather than the other regardless of political acumen. Such a good long term outcome for the nation. Not. those who fought back then simply won’t concede they were wrong. Casting an eye across the seats up for grabs at the next election it’s likely the number of women in Coalition ranks in the House of Representatives will dip into single digits. And why should it not? Identity politics is the only reason. That is the road to democratic ruin. A quota for every identity group.
The ambition ambition, merit, capability, competition, reward for effort, these are all bad things of the next generation means that their usually progressive thought processes are clouded Or, is it that they become more clear to them as they escape the cloudiness of the regressive progressive indoctrination of their left wing education and begin grow up in to the real world once out of the educational institutional bubble of post modern neo Marxist identity politics and without leadership from older generations such selfish tendencies take over.
The sexism label really makes Liberals bristle. But if it can’t be applied to the present parliamentary line-up, when can it? The sexism label can be applied wrongly – of course it can. It “is just plain wrong”. The parliamentary liberal line up is as a result of not having sex quotas. It is the result of permitting the outcome of the 85% normal distributions of human attributes lobsided occurring amongst men and women together with political acumen. In other words. desire and ability to seek built on merit to achieve participation in the line up regardless of sex. In the wake of allegations of bullying? Allegations with no actual examples except the hustle and bustle of political challenge In light of the low numbers of women? Given the poor outcomes in a policy sense for female Australians? Seriously! What poor policy outcomes do Australian Women have in this most equal, sharing caring society that the world has ever seen. Even Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer says her party is seen as ”seen as” it depends who is doing the seeing. Quoting someone who says what you want to say does not improve your argument. “Seen as” when quoting your own cheer squad is not the same as having an arguable position. “homo phobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers”.
I understand the disdain many Liberals have for quotas. After having displayed a total mis-understanding, either that or just mis-statements. You cannot rectify your misunderstanding by saying that you understand.
I oppose micro-quotas Why? to address other representation shortfalls. On your argument it is homo-phobic not to have a gay quota and racist not to have a black quota But on gender I have lost patience and so my losing patience gives me the reason I need to twist the facts, logic chop and mis-state my opponent’s reasons with claims the Liberal Party can fix its problem via other means. This line has been trotted out by male powerbrokers as well as successful female power brokers for so long as they remain successful, after which they may claim their loss of power on sex for too long with zero effect. In the mean time Because all women want only a woman to be their elected representative? one-half of the major party divide is disproportionately losing the attention of one-half of the population.
Some Liberal women who get used by the men (often unwittingly) still cling to tired arguments such as “I would hate for people to think I got to where I did only because of a quota”. Who thinks Penny Wong or Tanya Plibersek got to where they are only because of Labor’s quota system? Actually, I do, because if Labor didn’t have a quota, like so many similarly high-calibre women who lean Liberal, they wouldn’t have put up their hands for selection or wouldn’t have been selected. So, yes, they probably probably, possibly, maybe, maybe not, possibly not, probably not. Take your pick depending on what suits your post modern neo Marxist agenda today. got there only because of a quota. That, if anything, is yet simply not an argument and certainly not another argument for quotas.
Peter van Onselen is a professor of politics at the University of Western Australia and Griffith University.