Liberals can’t afford to ignore their gender gap

Today in The Australian

It is an undeniable fact that women account for a substantially higher share of Labor’s parliamentary representation than of the Liberal Party’s.

And it is also an undeniable fact that while that share has tended to rise in the ALP, women now ­account for a slightly lower share of Liberal members of the house, and no greater a share of Liberal senators, than they did 15 to 20 years ago. As a result, far from shrinking, the gender gap between the parties has tended to become more pronounced. Those are facts the Liberals need to address, and be seen to address, promptly and credibly.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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76 Responses to Liberals can’t afford to ignore their gender gap

  1. AussieMAGA

    Gotta own the socialists by adopting their values – winning strategy for the last 50 years. Go team conservative! You are an inspiration to us all.

  2. None

    Sorry Henry but when you have our major papers printing stuff like this

    British dad Hayden Cross, who gave birth to daughter Trinity in 2017, said he wouldn’t recommend it to other transgender parents.

    and political parties subscribing to this bullshit and shoving it on to our kids then you can’t make any bloody argument that gender has any sort of credibility anymore. If you’re going to bastardize the human language, ignore biological reality, and tell us that men can give birth then bloody well say that half the liberal party identifies as women and be done with it. Sick and tired of this stupid gender nonsense.

  3. Jannie

    It is an undeniable fact that women account for a substantially higher share of Labor’s parliamentary representation than of the Liberal Party’s.

    So what?

  4. cui bono

    So Jo/Joe the voter decides their vote according to the sex of the candidates? Get real

  5. a happy little debunker

    Just to be clear – this issue of LNP women in Parliament is just another weapon being wielded by their political foes.

    Find out what they really think about LNP women in comments BLT from this article.

  6. miltonf

    Policy and good government is all that matters. Like water is wet and and the sun rises in the east.

  7. How about some analysis of what proportion of female Labor MP’s are actually brought into Parliament from the Union movement. Terry Butler, Ged Kearney, Penny Wong etc. Since Unions membership is only 15% of the workforce how come such a high proportion come from Unions. Same for the males.

  8. Can someone point me to some evidence that having a forced 50/50 ratio of men/women in parliament (or whatever is deemed appropriate) actually makes a government better?

  9. Rohan

    So we need more of the likes of Kelly O’Dwyer in the LNP?

    Puh-lease, someone shoot me now.

  10. Pete D.

    Who really care what the percentages are of gender within the membership of any political party. What matters is that the best person for the job should be in the job. There ar far too many less than suitable people wasting tax payer money at all levels of government who are there simply because he/she is a “staunch unionist” or his/her dad was a top politician or because it is a woman and the party needs more women and any other number of “reasons” one can think of. Even if a party’s representatives in parliament are all of the one gender, as long as the people who are there are the best then that is all that matters.
    Judging by the comments thus far, it would appear that we are all of the one mind. Perhaps the Libs might be better of finding the right person for the job instead of worrying about what Henry and some of his cohorts think. While we are at it, perhaps Labor and the Greens would be better off by getting rid of some of the dead wood females within their ranks. Lord knows, there are enough of them.
    In the mean time, while all this garbage is going on, it is us ‘little people’ and the nation who suffer.

  11. Jonesy

    The last job I want is because I fill a quota…HOW BLOODY DEGRADING! Listen to the real women! Concetta Fierravanti-Wells…”I am not a quota girl!”

  12. bespoke

    No, They need to address the type of education system that is producing SJW’s instead of administrators and leaders. And review how candidates are selected.

  13. Behind Enemy Lines

    AussieMAGA
    #2904128, posted on January 11, 2019 at 4:20 am
    Gotta own the socialists by adopting their values – winning strategy for the last 50 years. Go team conservative! You are an inspiration to us all.

    Every new day brings a fresh parade of evidence that the Libs are in league with their supposed enemies, allied against the ordinary Australian. They’re not even bothering to hide it now. I’m trying to imagine how we get out from under this cabal, but frankly I think it’s just going to get worse and worse. And when the wheels inevitably fall off . . . it’ll get worse and worse again.

  14. When people mention 50/50 male female ratios in whatever occupation (ie. police, parliament etc) they always forget to account for the females who give birth and by choice prefer to stay at home to raise the kids. This means those remaining are a smaller pool from which to obtain the 50%.

  15. Mother Lode

    Find out what they really think about LNP women in comments BLT from this article.

    Wow, debunker.

    They are deranged. All the usual boogey men and shibboleths.

    Abbott666, IPA, Far-Right, Coal Industry…and that was all in the first dozen comments I saw.

    You are right, of course. Labor and the Greens don’t want the Libs to do the quota thing or inject dozens of Go-Girlz into the party. They want them to stay the way they are so they can call attention to their flaws, and contrast themselves favourably.

    What the Libs ought to do (which they won’t) is highlight the intellectual and moral mediocrity of Labor’s and the Greens’ quota girls to show how disastrous they are. They are easily unhinged and will in a moment turn on their colleagues in their own party.

  16. Baldrick

    The Feminist Outrage Brigade of the Left are responsible for a lack of right of centre women politicians.

    If a woman of the Left is publicly vilified the Outrage Brigade goes into action on social media along with most of the Leftard MSM, with shouts of misogyny and male patriarchy.

    When a right of centre woman is subjected to the same public vilification they’re on their own. Leftards will only defend other Leftards and will remain silent.

    Remember when Peta Credlin was accused of sleeping with her boss and Leftard feminists jumped to her defence? No, neither do I.

  17. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    The best way to address the gender gap is to evict all the wahmen, so the gap disappears entirely never to return.

  18. Bushkid

    I just want the very best people representing me in my Parliament and Senate.

    As a woman, I really don’t give a single stuff how many are women or men.

    I just want the best for Australia.

    How difficult is that for these gender-obsessed numpties to understand?

  19. Goanna

    More wymynses. More husky clamour.

    It’s a winning formula.

  20. Miltonf

    A bit of Marxist identity politics from the paywallian to start the day

  21. Tel

    Hey look, there goes Elvis!

    No kidding, if you run you can still catch up with him. I’ll stay here and manage the decline.

  22. Ivan Denisovich

    The obsession with the toxic equality of outcomes. Sheesh.

  23. Roger

    Those are facts the Liberals need to address, and be seen to address, promptly and credibly.

    More Julias, Lucys & Kellys?

    I think not.

  24. DaveR

    Henry, did you ever think that the proportion of women in parliament (any parliament) is simply a reflection of what women want to do in society? Or put it another way – there are not legions of women waiting to get into parliament but cant get selected.

    Its quite plausible that Labor women have a different outlook on life than Liberal-conservative women, and that the overabundance of unionist women in Labor ranks points to a distortion.

  25. min

    One way to solve the problem is that there could be some changes made in the present crop. Facetiously that is , from now on I feel like a woman. What could those bleating lefties say then?
    Seriously all going for preselection should be put through psychometric testing as anyone applying for executive type jobs , even a lower position, are given these that would sort out a few.
    I have spoken with cabinet members re this issue as I believe that many women like me , even with strong convictions and altruistic ideals, do not want the lifestyle.
    The last minister I spoke with was out at an event on a week night and he was all for more women in parliament ,however when I asked about his children and how often he saw them and would he want his wife doing his job ,he agreed why conservative women are hesitant in applying.
    By the way , although now retired which I did when over 70 , I have two degrees and post graduate qualifications have worked for government, private enterprise and self employed . I know how hard it is managing careers, marriages, homes etc without being away for long periods and having a 7 day a week profession.

  26. There’s another thing to consider as well. Ever noticed how women who enter the conservative side of politics are denigrated mercilessly by the Left, their MSM supporters and every other oddball, more so by far than are the men? Is it really the conservatives that make it hard for women to enter politics, or is it the Left who make life hard for them at every turn if they do?

  27. Exit Stage Right

    Name one truly effective woman politician since Maggie Thatcher.
    Not to say the men are any better.
    I’m with None-it is a tiresome exercise elevating female numbers because of Vag.
    No male and female distinction anymore, so whats the problem?
    Best person for the job always.

  28. Euripides

    I am certain the Photias led crew in NSW can find plenty of ladies to nominate. They already have a few shining examples clearly espousing their ‘progressive’ values.

  29. Fred

    One Nation is the only party with a female leader.

    If the elites and feminists think sex is the most important factor, why don’t they support One Nation?

  30. Fang

    No! Nominates candidates only on merit! Show your electorate what your policy are and how they will better the electorates lives and standard of living, stand by your princables, and if you loose! Change your policys but not your princables.
    It be so nice to gave a candidate stand up and say this is who I am, thus us what I think will be good for my electorate if you don’t like it, don’t vote for me! But don’t complain if the other candidate is crap!

  31. Leo G

    No male and female distinction anymore, so whats the problem?
    Best person for the job always.

    What’s the problem?
    Best person for the job always … Neomarxist?

  32. Miltonf

    Like Mrs T, Pauline is not a wimin on their terms.

  33. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Name one truly effective woman politician since Maggie Thatcher.

    even Maggie was ousted by her own party

  34. candy

    See how Labor goes if and when they take government. They seriously have to have 50% women and quotas for gays and indigenous peoples, as it is part of their belief system.

    So judge it at that time, how it works in practice. If there is less corruption, the economy zooms and unemployment drops and wages increase. Make a judgment then about the effectiveness of quotas in politics.

  35. Dr Fred Lenin

    None. Had a laugh at the implications of this guy having a baby ,did he use his pwn semen ? If yes could ne be charged with incest?what will the poor kjd call him ? Mum Dad Hey You, Weirdo or another derogstory name? This is pushing the envelope innit? Before PC bullshit when
    we had Real Comedians they woukd have had a lot if material there.
    The gretest oxymoron “an abc comedian “ tgsts the only funny thing about them ,
    .

  36. Louis

    How dare you assume you know what these people’s genders are Henry. You cisgender fascist!

  37. Petros

    The gender gap would not be an issue if the Liberals selected great candidates of either gender. They don’t . They select mostly duds. We suffer as a result. If only more Liberal voters had the conviction to give their vote to a minor party to try to wake up the Liberal party.

  38. KaaBee

    How many women want to be on call 24/7? Thats the reality for a conscientious politician.

  39. Rusty of Qld

    cis,
    I think you hit the answer. Get at least half the members to identify publicly as female/trans/lesbian whatever, the left can’t argue against it as they push the ideology of being whatever you identify as, otherwise their gross hypocrites.

  40. Confused Old Misfit

    Good to see the pushback here. Was Ergas that bereft of imagination that he had to dredge up this hoary old chestnut?
    If you want to see a demonstration of completely vacuous government, look no further than the gender balanced atrocity that is Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
    Point made upthread about the numbers of women who see no need to compete with each other and men for dominance, rather finding fulfillment in the organization and running of home and hearth is valid. Removing these from the pool of aspirants might mean females are over-represented in Labor.

  41. Flyingduk

    So where’s the evidence more women in parliament is better? History shows the opposite: when women get the vote, they vote for more welfare and less border security. Every. Single Time. Thus begins the decline of all western countries.

  42. Marty

    Sorry again – wrong conversation. )-:

  43. Infidel Tiger

    Better to replace them with robots or those birds that drink the water – they are cool af.

  44. struth

    Those are facts the Liberals need to address, and be seen to address, promptly and credibly.

    Those are facts that need no addressing whatsoever you sexist dipshit.

    The country is going down the gurgler and this tosspot runs with whatever the left dreams up to be a problem.
    There is no problem.
    Unless you are a sexist.

    There are plenty of morons writing in papers, whyt do we get this one here at the cat?

  45. wal1957

    Any business that hires on a quota system is destined to be hiring some deadwood.
    Always should be the best (dare I say), ‘man’ for the job. Irrespective of gender, race, religion etc…

    Is Henry off his meds??? This is not like hin!

  46. There are plenty of morons writing in papers, whyt do we get this one here at the cat?

    Like the Australian, the Cat seems to be bringing in more and more Leftist group think contributors.

  47. tombell

    more industrial maiming and killing of women will be required too.

  48. Warburton

    A lot of the commenters seem to be missing the point IMO. Do we want conservative parties to win elections? If so, they need women in them because in this day and age women just will not by and large vote for a party of all men. It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.

  49. I’ve given up trying to be logical and reasonable in these culture wars. We’ve lost and lost badly.
    THEREFORE the only option open to us is to shove this shit down their throats a la Trump.

    I want female politicians…..lots of them, but they gotta be like these ones. Fuck good policy.

    https://www.wonderslist.com/10-hottest-female-politicians/

    Elect me the Liberal President and I’ll find some hotties to run at the next election. Watch us win in a landslide. If sex and gender is important, lets give them sex and lots of it.

  50. jupes

    A lot of the commenters seem to be missing the point IMO. Do we want conservative parties to win elections? If so, they need women in them because in this day and age women just will not by and large vote for a party of all men. It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.

    You idiot. Women in “conservative” parties are the problem.

    Conservative women – real ones – will vote for the party with conservative policies not ones that clutch their pearls over ‘gender gaps’.

  51. A lot of the commenters seem to be missing the point IMO. Do we want conservative parties to win elections? If so, they need women in them because in this day and age women just will not by and large vote for a party of all men. It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.

    No. We want conservative parties to act like and truly be conservative parties. That means bringing in people based on their merit; not sex, skin colour, religious beliefs etc, as long as those people hold conservative values,. Not the likes of Turnbull and other recent drop kicks that have debased the LNP.

  52. jupes

    Not the likes of Turnbull and other recent drop kicks that have debased the LNP.

    Julie Banks, Julie Bishop, Tubbsy Payne, Kelly O’Dwyer to name but a few.

  53. Snoopy

    If so, they need women in them because in this day and age women just will not by and large vote for a party of all men.

    Proof, if it is needed, that enfranchising women was a huge mistake.

  54. The A.D.

    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    not about being right or wrong.
    not about being right
    not right

  55. The A.D.

    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    not about being right or wrong.
    not about being right.
    not being right.
    not right.

  56. Aethelred

    why not just bow to the inevitable: Female Party vs. Male Party

    You know ying and yang and all that…

  57. jupes

    why not just bow to the inevitable: Female Party vs. Male Party

    Yes! Excellent idea. Throw in a homo and freaks party as well.

  58. Miltonf

    A lot of the comments here imply that the libs are still worth voting for.

  59. Tom

    Arky, are you doing some sort of graphics project?

  60. Muddy

    Any half-competent political operator would host a press conference and present 6-10 lifesized cardboard cutouts as the new female members of their team. Give them different physical appearances and identities. On the other side of the lecturn, have another several such female cutouts: a lawyer, a young hippy, and a woman behind which is another cutout of a man wearing hi-viz (union), with his hand up her back. Perhaps the lawyer is being controlled by a puppeteer also. Make the point that Party X’s female MPs are ‘real’ as opposed to Party Y’s (the puppet/lawyer, union-stooge, young hippy). ‘Our women are not two-dimensional’.

    The whole point being to emphasise the idiocy of an issue that depends on stereotypes; the same stereotypes that our enemies have long railed against. Perhaps not everyone would understand the underlying meaning of the stunt, but it would certainly receive attention.

    It’s just a shame there are no half-competent, conservative political operators available.

  61. JohnA

    Those are facts the Liberals need to address, and be seen to address, promptly and credibly.

    Certainly, and here is the perfect address:

    Woop Woop Lane
    Black Stump postcode 9999

    Google Maps would never find it, thankfully.

  62. Ellen of Tasmania

    If you ask me there are already far too many fluffy, feely, wimpy wymin of both sexes in the Liberal Party.

    Pathetic.

  63. Muddy

    If all vulvas stuck together, these issues would eventually cease to exist.

  64. None

    I’m a woman and I vote Zippy 4 p.m. . I have been on this blog for years saying that all women should be banned from politics – all forms of politics – local, state and federal. They are totally and utterly useless, a disgrace to my gender. I also think we should deport the Greeks.

  65. None

    I have never once voted for anyone just because of their vagina. I can’t think of anything more insulting then to be the token woman or to be promoted as someone who deserves support because of a vagina. Only someone with a penis could be that stupid.

  66. Rob

    None
    #2904129, posted on January 11, 2019 at 4:22 am
    Sorry Henry but when you have our major papers printing stuff like this

    British dad Hayden Cross, who gave birth to daughter Trinity in 2017, said he wouldn’t recommend it to other transgender parents.

    and political parties subscribing to this bullshit and shoving it on to our kids then you can’t make any bloody argument that gender has any sort of credibility anymore. If you’re going to bastardize the human language, ignore biological reality, and tell us that men can give birth then bloody well say that half the liberal party identifies as women and be done with it. Sick and tired of this stupid gender nonsense.

    +100

  67. Stephen

    Why?
    Surely selection should be based on merit. Maybe there are not enough liberal women willing to make the sacrifice, as they are too busy being selfless mothers and have different priorities than self serving, attention seeking hacks that the alp produce and even some libs (Banks etal).

  68. struth

    If the Liberal party wasn’t already full of diversity picks wimmensies, it could simply make the statement that all their female politicians are there on merit, and are worthy of their position.
    Obviously unlike labor’s diversity picks……………………………………..but, typically they have half caved in already, such are the cucks of the Liberal party and the sexist women already there, and the perceived sexism of women voters.

    If women are voting based on the sex of the candidate, it’s just another point that proves they’re not up to the responsibilities of voting and we should never have let them out of the kitchen.

    How many conservative men would have voted Labor because Thatcher was the head of the Tories?
    Why was it not a concern to Tories?

  69. Mundi

    The Quota system is remarkable for how much disdain it has for the voters.

    So party memento in the community don’t get a day and can’t select a member than want, because they are block because too many of”that sex” is already in parliament.

  70. Malcolm Thomas

    Why doesn’t the Liberal Party just announce that half their members now identify as female. Problem solved!

  71. egg_

    Why doesn’t the Liberal Party just announce that half their members now identify as female. Problem solved!

    I self identify as a female voter for same.

  72. Warburton

    It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.
    not about being right or wrong.
    not about being right.
    not being right.
    not right.

    Snoopy
    #2904393, posted on January 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm
    If so, they need women in them because in this day and age women just will not by and large vote for a party of all men.

    Proof, if it is needed, that enfranchising women was a huge mistake.

    jupes
    #2904385, posted on January 11, 2019 at 11:51 am
    A lot of the commenters seem to be missing the point IMO. Do we want conservative parties to win elections? If so, they need women in them because in this day and age women just will not by and large vote for a party of all men. It is about winning elections not about being right or wrong.

    You idiot. Women in “conservative” parties are the problem.

    Conservative women – real ones – will vote for the party with conservative policies not ones that clutch their pearls over ‘gender gaps’.

    Still missing the point. You need to close down lines of attack to fight battles on the grounds that matter and avoid the ones that don’t. The Liberals have women problems, not enough of them and the ones they do have are too often the wrong ones. Whatever the strategy is we need a few more Peta Credlins and a few less Marise Paynes or we are going to keep losing elections. Still you lot will be able to keep congratulating yourselves on how right you are as we are taxed to oblivion under an ALP govt.

    If further argument were needed wouldn’t it be good to get Peter Van Onselen to just shut the fuck up about gender quotas (I’m seriously worried about him, how many times will his employer allow him to copy and paste the same column over and over again?).

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