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Speaker: Gender quotas (and helping journalists with their maths)

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  • bob daktari,

    I like a lot of voters, I as guessing, don't see any problem with what labour is doing, quite the opposite in fact, equality benefits us all

    thanks for the clear and concise outline though, fraid its not going to convince those in the media and other domains that just seem to have a problem with woman (amongst others not like themselves) full stop

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C,

    Surely the "maths" given by Rachael is pretty blimmin self serving. The only reason for the increase in men is the fact the PV has been pumped up for the example.

    It would seem to me that, all things being equal, if you change the ratio then you CHANGE THE RATIO. If one side increases the other side has to decrease. You cannot fancy pants the maths to get around this.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Yeah, you change the ratio, but the rule is about the selection for next election, and it's likely Labour will do better. So yes there will be a relative decrease, but absolute numbers of men need not change.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew C,

    Surely the “maths” given by Rachael is pretty blimmin self serving. The only reason for the increase in men is the fact the PV has been pumped up for the example.

    Well, yes. Up from Labour's derisory vote in the last election, roughly in line with polls. The claim being addressed was that there would be "demotions" of male MPs from Parliament. There won't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    I agree with the policy, but also agree that the example is self-serving and will play into Paddy Gower's hands by starting at 40% and increasing from there.

    How about the figures bases on the current caucus, then a PV of 36% in 2014, then 38% in 2017. What would that show?

    It's good to see Labour aiming for 40%,but as the table shows that's a 12% increase over 2011. That seems far fetched, even if you're not Patrick Gower.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    A couple of weeks ago Helen Clark guest-edited the BBC Newshour programme. As part of it she talks about the benefits of gender quotas in politics (this bit starts at about 5:00, but if you have time, you should listen to the whole thing).

    BTW's the UN's global goal is 30% representation, something New Zealand only achieved in the mid-1990s. Politics is still a man's world.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Thanks for the great post, Rachel and Stephen!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Scott A,

    I agree with the policy, but also agree that the example is self-serving and will play into Paddy Gower’s hands by starting at 40% and increasing from there.

    See the top line of the spreadsheet, assuming a 27.48% Party Vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Andrew C,

    You cannot fancy pants the maths to get around this.

    So, your objection is that, while no current male MPs will suffer (the news story in the question) new MPs (and both sexes will be equally qualified to be there) are statistically more likely to reflect what the general population is like?

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Boyack,

    Hi everyone, thanks for the feedback so far. Yes, I have assumed an increase in the PV for Labour and the resulting numbers in Caucus. I think it's a given we will get a higher PV. Currently, Roy Morgan has us at 33.5% which would still deliver an increase of 2 men in Caucus. If we get to 38% PV we get 5 more men. We're aiming for a high PV so that's what I'm working off.

    Nelson, New Zealand • Since Apr 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    It seems appropriate to link to the new free online data journalism course on next year
    http://datadrivenjournalism.net/news_and_analysis/Data_Journalism_Handbook_Creators_Announce_Online_Data_Journalism_Course
    (as seen on StatsChat)

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to bob daktari,

    I like a lot of voters, I as guessing, don’t see any problem with what labour is doing, quite the opposite in fact, equality benefits us all

    And even if you don't like it, tough titty. Labour (like every other party) gets to select its candidates however it sees fit. "Man ban", List Lotto, Hunger Games whatever. Any voter who finds their methodology or its results particularly objectionable can register that disdain in the only poll that really counts -- casting a ballot in a free, fair and credible general election.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Thanks for the shout out, Stephen.

    For the record, I'm sticking my hand up to be a candidate for Labour at the next election. I'll look for a list position, and I'm also running for selection in Rangitikei, because there's plenty of party vote to be had there.

    Would anyone like to suggest that because I'm a woman, I'm incompetent? No? Thought not. But if you think that somehow quotas mean that incompetent women will be promoted ahead of competent men, then you will need to say, to my face,(or on-line will do), that I'm incompetent.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Hunger Games whatever.

    Write me a one-pager and I'll get it into NZOn Air. I think we're onto a winner.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Deborah,

    But if you think that somehow quotas mean that incompetent women will be promoted ahead of competent men, then you will need to say, to my face,(or on-line will do), that I’m incompetent.

    Frankly, I think you can look at any government - central or local, foreign or domestic - and find someone whose presence is not susceptible to rational explanation. (Hell, I'm mesmerized by Toronto's lying, incompetent crackhead Mayor that it seems nobody wants, but nobody can get rid off.) But I don't see how the New Zealand Labour Party's new arrangements makes that any more or less likely.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to David Hood,

    So, your objection is that

    Just to be clear - I don't have any objection to the policy whatsoever. And even if I did I usually defer to the sentiment that Craig just detailed: it's their game, so it's their rules.

    But I didn't see Paddy's statement as being that incorrect. If you take the party list as it is now and apply the new policy, you will see a shifting of positions. I don't think calling those demotions is that misleading. Stephen later argued that men were in the higher positions unfairly so maybe its not a demotion but more of a levelling of the playing field. And he makes a good point, but as above, I don't think it is misleading to classify this as a demotion.

    To claim Paddy is wrong by recasting of this across a change in PV, or saying that a decrease wasn't a decrease and was in fact just, err, attrition, just seems to muddy things.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Write me a one-pager and I'll get it into NZOn Air. I think we're onto a winner.

    Paddy would make an outstanding presenter for this show. "Do you have the support to survive another night at #37? Are you concerned John Tamihere will shank you for your spot?"

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Your analysis is based on an assumption that a two-term Labour opposition will increase its vote share by 45.6%. In assessing whether this is likely, we can look to history to see how common it is for two-term Labour oppositions to achieve such a turn-around.

    Two-term Labour oppositions have contested four elections: 1954, 1966, 1981, and 1996

    [Remember, we’re looking to see whether a ~45.6% increase is likely]

    1954: 3.7% decrease
    1966: 5.3% decrease
    1981: 3.5% decrease
    1996: 18.7% decrease

    Hmmm. Maybe I’m being a little unfair in limiting this to two term Labour oppositions. Maybe we should look at the result of the Labour Party in every general election they have ever contested:

    1919: first contest election (an ∞% increase)
    1922: 2% decrease
    1925: 14.8% increase
    1928: 3.7% decrease
    1931: 30.9% increase
    1935: 34.4% increase
    1938: 21% increase
    1943: 14.7% decrease
    1946: 7.8% increase
    1949: 8% decrease
    1951: 3% decrease
    1954: 3.7% decrease
    1957: 9.5% increase
    1960: 10.1% decrease
    1963: 0.7% increase
    1966: 5.3% decrease
    1969: 6.8% increase
    1972: 9.5% increase
    1975: 18.2% decrease
    1978: 2% increase
    1981: 3.5% decrease
    1984: 10.2% increase
    1987: 11.6% increase
    1990: 26.7% decrease
    1993: 1.3% decrease
    1996: 18.7% decrease
    1999: 37.4% increase
    2002: 6.5% increase
    2005: 0.4% decrease
    2008: 17.3% decrease
    2011: 19.2% decrease

    In short, your assumption is heroic. You are building into your calculation a swing toward to Labour Party from one election to the next that they have never ever achieved in the history of ever. You may be right. Don Brash achieved a monumental turn-around for National in 2005 (an ~87% increase in vote share).

    But if you want to use the argument you have used to make the claim you are making, you are first going to need to establish that this Labour Party is the best improved Labour Party ever. And not just a little better than every previous Labour Party, but a lot better.

    The biggest ever vote turnaround for the Labour Party is a 37.4% vote share increase. Perhaps you would like to redo your numbers based on that, and show us what would happen if Labour got ~37.5% of the vote at the upcoming election. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure most of us will assume this was simply an example of partisan hackery.

    edit: that took longer than intended, I see the commentary has advanced somewhat.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3198 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew C,

    But I didn’t see Paddy’s statement as being that incorrect. If you take the party list as it is now and apply the new policy, you will see a shifting of positions. I don’t think calling those demotions is that misleading.

    Um, but it is, because the new policy won’t be applied immediately and both the 2011 party list and Labour’s party vote share will not stay the same.

    To justify a claim of multiple demotions of male MPs, you need to assume:

    - That, polls notwithstanding, Labour’s party vote will not increase past a historic low of 27.48% over six years.

    - That there will be no veteran male MPs retiring over those six years.

    That’s quite an assumption.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Perhaps you would like to redo your numbers based on that, and show us what would happen if Labour got ~37.5% of the vote at the upcoming election. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure most of us will assume this was simply an example of partisan hackery.

    edit: that took longer than intended, I see the commentary has advanced somewhat.

    Bummer! But thanks: useful points nonetheless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Don Brash achieved a monumental turn-around for National in 2005 (an ~87% increase in vote share).

    Yes, off the back of the worst election result for National, ever. Which is where Labour is right now. Well, worst result for Labour since National was created, anyway, so it's the same time period. Stephen's done his predictions off polling. That's a reasonably sound way to do it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10579 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To justify an assumption of multiple demotions of male MPs, you need to assume

    Don't make me test this assumption by going over past lists! I am prepared to have a bet with you, Russell, that the 2011 Labour Party list will include list-ranking demotions for multiple (two or more?) male Labour MPs.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3198 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    we can look to history

    Graeme, do you have a quick source to the time series you used for this? I'd like to play along at home (or at least during my lunch hour) and am hoping not to have to spend the time to assemble it myself.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Don’t make me test this assumption by going over past lists! I am prepared to have a bet with you, Russell, that the 2011 Labour Party list will include list-ranking demotions for multiple (two or more?) male Labour MPs.

    I freely grant you're right in the sense that every new party list is likely to see some sitting MPs fare poorly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to David Hood,

    Graeme, do you have a quick source to the time series you used for this?

    I'm afraid you'll probably have to assemble it yourself. I just used the result pages and a calculator.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events/general-elections-1890-1993

    and

    http://electionresults.govt.nz/

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3198 posts Report Reply

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