NDP To Women and Minorities: You Don’t Cut It….
In what can only be seen as a significant blow to British Columbia’s women and minorities, the province’s New Democratic Party (NDP) has “set aside” 20 ridings in the upcoming provincial election for women and minorities, in effect signaling to these groups that they cannot succeed on their own. This despite the fact women and minorities are succeeding in every sector at unprecedented levels without any kind of “social subsidy” – they’re making it on their own, judged on merit.
Imagine the situation a little differently: an announcement from Carole James and her brethren that, in certain ridings, only men or caucasians would be entitled to run. The difference is simply one of preference, not principle.
This is exactly the sort of sexism and racism that needs to be eliminated from not just politics, but everywhere. Equality starts with the presumption of people being equal, not incapable at some fundamental level and in need of discriminatory policies in order to succeed.
In fact, Ms. James is precisely an example of why such sexist policies are not required: she is, after all, a female who has risen to the highest position in her party, presumably on her merits, an irony apparently lost on her.
What’s more, this move by the NDP is an affront to democracy: why shouldn’t voters in all ridings get a chance to vote for the candidate selected purely on the basis of his or her merit?
There is almost certainly a chance for a constitutional challenge here: excluding a person from running for office on the basis of his or her gender or race is neither democratic nor fair, and it’s a good bet the Supreme Court of Canada would agree.
Eliminating sexism and racism starts with seeing women, men, black, white, asian, african (or even australian) as people first, not as convenient demographics on whose backs one satifies one’s lust for power.