Felix sit annus novus.
There are two main ways to win government in a 2 party system: the traditional method of receiving more votes than the other party, or to gradually capture the other party by placing persons who would be equally at ease in either party. In other words, to takeover the other party.
The current pressure on the Liberal Party and National Party to dramatically increase the number of female candidates is a form of the latter. Are there too few women in Parliament? Well in one sense that’s a stupid question – there are as many or as few as voters elect. But the proportion in the Coalition parties is less than in Labor which has introduced a quota system (which it is happy to ignore when a favoured union official wishes to move into the Senate).
Anyhow, in the rush to increase the number of female candidates there will be a tendency for due diligence to be a little haphazard – and I’m not talking of the usual due diligence about dual citizenship, office of profit under the Crown, bankruptcy, convictions etc. No I’m talking of ideological and philosophical convictions.
Conservative parties generally have favoured smaller rather than larger government, individual rights, freedom of association and so forth. They have been anti-identity politics, anti-political correctness and anti-socialist.
But are all the proposed female candidates, and the ones that will be found for the upcoming election (and the one following) of that bent? Why is it that so many Liberal women would seem happy to be members of Labor? Have they chosen the Liberal party because of an opportunity and an easier passage than the hurly burly of Labor?
By all means encourage conservative women to run for office, but in the rush to erect a barrier to protect against claims that the Coalition is anti-women, do not lower standards or allow Labor-like women to grab pre-selection. The best way to destroy the Coalition is for it to become the Labor party.
Or are we inexorably heading to the Henry Ford of government – you can have any government you like, as long as it’s big?