Gender quota for our parliament would be a travesty of democracy

Share this article
Have your say

THE 50/50 quota for men/women for parliamentary 
representation described by Tom Peterkin in Scotland on Sunday (News, 28 September) is not democratic.

Deluded deviance from 
democracy is proposed in striving for aligning the number of males and females in parliament. This is simply positive discrimination, which is proven to help no-one.

Women are free to equally strive for a candidature if they wish to do so, as are other types of folk. To impress a preference other than their right as best candidate to represent their party is a travesty of democracy and a dilution of the ability of the parliament.

The parliament should be filled with the best skilled candidates and not a proportional matching of some 
demographic. Otherwise, where do you stop: males/
females, heterosexuals/gays, fit/disabled, etc?

The result is a nonsense from trying to be “politically correct” – in effect it is “politically incorrect”.

Let us have a parliament that is based on the principle of the best candidate getting the prospect to be elected. We must not keep the best of us back just to match quotas.

Lindsay Craik, Crossford, Dunfermline

RESERVING seats for female candidates only is a total reversal of electoral democracy. That apart, on what basis would selection of all-male/all-female constituencies be decided? If left to party officials, there might be a temptation to reserve marginal seats for one side or the other. What if a party has no candidates of the permitted sex? Is there an even number of seats in total?

If the nature of candidacy allowed is to be set in accordance with the constitution of the general population, there would have to be further positive discrimination, for instance in ethnicity (further subdivided by sex?). What about gays, transgenders or people who change sex?

The argument that women (or men) are somehow entitled to 50 per cent – or indeed any set level of representation – is simply bogus. In fact, no rational case has been made for it. In any case, if such a move is to be considered, that should be done by the electorate, not parliamentarians.

Robert Dow, Tranent