Stand up straight white males

David Farrar at Kiwblog has comments (Straight White Men) on what Deborah Russell writes in the Dom Post,  Straight white men have lost power – about the balance of power in parliament.

I’m a straight white man but I don’t care about the power loss, it’s time reasonable balance of power was achieved. But we’re not there yet.  Farrar says:

Now as I said, while I support diversity I don’t think the aim is to get a Parliament that is perfectly proportional in every demographic. I think it is about being broadly representative. And we are in terms of Caucasian, Maori, Pacific and gay MPs. We’re not doing so well with female and Asian MPs.

How do we do better with female and Asian MPs?

Making parliament a less macho-combative personality attacking forum would help. It would not only make it a more attractive vocation for women and Asians, but also for better quality Maori, Pacific and gay MPs. And also better quality straight white males.

It’s not difficult to imaging that many good people won’t offer themselves as potential representatives of the people because they don’t want to subject themselves to the levels of personal scrutiny and abuse that happens still.

We probably aren’t over-represented numerically by the negative and nasty, but the worst side of parliament seems to dominate perceptions, and that repels.

There are dinosaur MPs of the past still in parliament who seem to see themselves as T Rex essentials. Not only do they foul the quality of behaviour, they discourage better and more diverse representation.

One way to address this is for stand up straight while males to confron then and stare down their antics. That will be most effective if it comes from the top.

John Key and David Shearer could lead the way to an even better diversity and quality of representation, if they chose to show leadership on this.

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2 Comments

  1. “Genderizing” parliament is getting a bit much. “Diversity” is stretching the limit because that’s all that gets talked about. Trying to make parliament ‘political correct’ is a dangerous distraction from real issues in society. While I accept proportion is needed – it’s really up to voters to choose.

    It needs to be said that it’s all nonsense because this distraction is not helping teacher levels, poverty reduction, violence, Obesity, wage parity and hourly rates. I do agree though that it’s time for the dinosaurs to retire. Partisan politics is destroying its own creditability, and so I believe come next election, people might decide a radical shift – just remember – it was the voters who brought Winston back in – for their own reasons – they all saw that the partisan politics of National and Labour crossed a very dangerous line. So all this nonsense about diversity and gender balance in parliament is a political tool that’s being played once too often.

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  2. I would advocate straight white males be removed from Parliament if it meant we could be rid of Trevor Mallard and John Banks. The rest of the SWMs do a pretty good job though.

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