Earlier in the year I blogged about how National were setting themselves up for a hiding for having so few women in caucus, and how the left will use this to beat them come election time. Currently there are 16 out of 58 women in caucus, and this isnt going to get any better unless they take some pragmatic steps come list ranking.
On the 22nd of June I posted about this, and the logic hasnâ€™t changed at all.
National lose Sandra Goudie from a safe blue seat, replaced by Scott Simpson. Maggie Barry comes in to replace Wayne Mapp to keep the 16 women as long as the other list MPs get a high enough ranking to continue.
On the 23rd of June I posted about stopping the blokefest and profiled the new candidates. Iâ€™ll update this to say Claudette Hauiti is brave, honest and I was wrong about her connections to Labour as I wrote here.Â Claudette may not be the most natural politician but she is strong enough to stand up for her convictions.
Nationalâ€™s underlying misogyny is outlined here. All this means National is at risk of being attacked for being a sexist party after list ranking, and that despite the campaign spin this what the media and the left latch on to.
The National Party board gave itself the right to add another five people to the list, so they could appoint ten list only candidates, with only Steven Joyce returning as list only. This may offer a way to beef up the number of women in caucus but this depends on National having done a lot of hard work over the past few years recruiting candidates. Maybe there will be some surprises, but hard work and National donâ€™t really seem to go together when it comes to recruiting candidates.
I abhor affirmative action, but operate in the real world where political parties get attacked for all sorts of things. Too many white middle class males leave National open to attack. National need to be pragmatic and get more women in caucus.
Iâ€™ll blog more on this subject in the coming days.