Monday 11 January 2010

Women today, Catholics tomorrow?

According to the Daily Telegraph:

"Political parties must select female candidates or face all-women shortlists. Political parties may be set legal quotas for the number of women they must put forward as parliamentary candidates."


"… the Speaker's Conference suggested that compulsion might be necessary for all political parties to increase diversity in the House of Commons."

The BBC adds that "Its members also call for lists featuring only black and ethnic minority candidates, though they acknowledged such a move might undermine the principle that an MP represents the constituency regardless of background or politics."

Northern Ireland's parties are belatedly coming around to the idea of female MPs – the DUP, UUP and Sinn Féin only elected their first female MPs in 2001; for the DUP this was, ironically, Iris Robinson. The SDLP have never had one.

But if the proposal from the Speaker of the House of Commons is taken to its logical conclusion, then any party that draws its MPs from only one gender, race or ethnicity may be obliged at some stage in the future to broaden its coverage – perhaps through the imposition of 'single background' shortlists.

This blog looks forward to the day when the DUP and the TUV are obliged to put forward 'all-Catholic' shortlists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How ironic that just beneath your post about Enoch Powell is another post about the "need" for black and ethnic MP's in the house of commons. One more situation that wouldn't have existed had Powell been listened to.....