Every now and then I get mad enough at the BC Liberals that I contemplate voting NDP the next time around. And then I see something like this. Here is a political party that is more interested in meeting politically correct quotas than allowing the best and the brightest to represent them. While I get the rationale behind wanting to encourage diversity in the candidacy, I think that any system that says to anyone “you can’t run because of your race/gender/sexual orientation/lack-of-disability” is just as prejudiced as any perceived bias in the current system. Encouraging diversity I get – requiring it, I don’t.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no party that ONLY accepts able-bodied, heterosexual white males. Despite popular criticism, all other major parties accept and welcome people of all colours and make-ups – no one is guaranteed to win, but everyone is welcome to try. So why the need to have a quota system that deliberately selects based on gender and orientation? The things that should determine a person’s suitability for candidacy are their political beliefs, their commitment, and their ability to do the work. If an able-bodied heterosexual white male can meet all of the membership and nomination criteria, then he should have the opportunity to participate and run. Ultimately it is the members and then the voters that decide who should represent them. By screening candidates based on charter-violating criteria, the NDP are taking that choice away from their members and the constituents.
Ultimately, the NDP is like a club with membership based on certain criteria and with certain privileges, so I guess this quota-defying interested candidate could a) move to another riding, b) quit and run for another party or as an independent or c) try to meet one of the quota criteria (he could say that he’s gay and it would be up to the NDP to prove that he’s not…).
My questions are definitely politically incorrect, but that’s my point – by establishing such a discriminatory policy, the NDP completely undermine any credibility that their claims to diversity might have. Any diversity that they have is as the result of a quota system and not due to a true representation of a diverse community. As a voter, I want to know that the candidate I’m voting for is the best person for the job, not the best gay male or disabled woman. I care about what they believe and stand for, not the colour of their skin or what they do behind closed doors.
If I ever needed a better reason to stay out of politics, this would be it. How could I possibly reconcile myself within a system like this – where I might not be accepted (or perhaps only be accepted) because of my gender or sexual orientation?
While people may have issues with perceptions of big-business allegiances, or corruption, or hidden agendas with other parties, the alternative is this NDP nonsense. At this point, I’ll take the devil I know over the clowns I don’t.