Trevor Mallard to have a sex change?

Friends of the Labour Party have announced that rules for a gender quota for the Labour caucus are being considered – see More Like This, Labour rules changes pushes for more women [LEAKED DOCS] and Labour’s proposed man ban.

Individual electorates would be able to limit candidates to being female:

New Rule 248A. An LEC may request that NZ Council determine that only women may nominate for the position of Labour candidate for their electorate. Such approval overrides the right granted in Rule 251 for any member to be eligible for nomination.

And the party list must be selected to ensure at least a 45% female caucus for 2014, rising to 50% in 2017.

New Rule 289A.  For the 2014 election the Moderating Committee shall, in determining the list, ensure that for any percentage of party vote likely to be obtained, and taking into account the electorate MPs likely to be elected with that level of Labour support, the resultant Caucus will comprise at least 45% women.  For the 2017 and subsequent elections the percentage shall be at least 50%.

They don’t explain how they will calculate which gender will win marginal seats. Presumably their selection will need to allow for a margin of error.

Current MP Trevor Mallard has been told that acting like and old woman in the House will not qualify him for the female quota. Mallard repeated recently that he is mid career so he may need to have a sex change to keep his place.

Clayton Cosgrove is also exploring various ways of keeping a seat in a caucus of diminishing blokes. This is, after all, the age of pragmatic politics.

This post is only partly satirical – actually the proposed rules aren’t a surprise, I saw this being discussed probbaly at The Standard, possibly around the time of Labour’s conference last October.