Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NDP proposal for afirmative action

In 2005 there was some manner systemic problem within the NDP. Over and over again men won nominations over women in ridings the NDP was able to win. The end result is that the NDP elected 7 women. This is just over 1/5 of their caucus, slightly worse than the Liberals.

In fact, the Liberals ran a lot more women than the NDP. The Liberals had 25 women candidates versus the 22 the NDP ran.

At their convention last weekend the NDP have decided on an affirmative action process to get more women running. They want to have 40% of the races where they do not have an incumbent to have a women as a candidate. There are some real problems with this.

The 46 seats the NDP did not win last time are hardly their prime ground. As it stands, they had 15 women run in these ridings last time, 1/3 of them. They would only have needed to have run 3 more women in 2005 in those ridings to have the same numbers the convention policy decrees.

Winning the nomination in an unwinnable riding is much easier than in a winnable one. The NDP had three women in run the Okanagan in 2005. There was no chance that they were going to win. In Greater Victoria the NDP did not hold any seats and ran 4 women in the 7 seats. The three men all won, they ran in NDP friendly ridings. 2 of the women ran in ridings that the NDP might only win when they are in government and they lost.

The other half of the policy is the 10% for traditionally disadvantaged groups. That would be 5 more ridings. Can ridings stack their women and other issues? Would Jenny Stevens count towards both?

We have electoral boundary changes coming and this leads to some interesting changes. With 87 ridings there are 54 ridings that could not have an incumbent New Democrat running in them. Also, what happens to sitting NDP MLAs if they do not have a riding left after redistribution?

In the first draft of the EBC process, the commission rationalized the boundaries in the Victoria area and eliminated Rob Flemming's riding. He is an incumbent, but he looks like he may not have a riding to run. What happens with him? With the shift in boundaries, it is not clear where Maurine Karagianis, John Horgan and Doug Routley would run.

If we assume that 33 New Democrats will run for office again and they are exempt, this means there will be 54 seats where the policy applies. That means the NDP needs to run 22 women and 6 "other" in the non-incumbent ridings.

Here is my prediction of the result of this policy:

29 women NDP candidates
6 women will be elected

29 women Liberal candidates
13 women will be elected

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