Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

Quick Post: The most concise conservative argument in favour of quotas possible #auspol

Another day, another bunch of entitled blathering from The Australian about quotas and merit.  I’m conservative and I’m 100% in favour of quotas.  Here’s why every conservative should be in favour of them.

If we believe that the current system is based on merit, then we need an explanation for why there’s such a disparity in outcomes.  It can’t be true that white guys like me have an over-abundance of merit.

So if it’s a merit-based system, we should see just as many women — for example — in high level positions as men.

Indeed, we can paint a bit of a picture about the Ideal World of Merit.  We can imagine a room full of Federal Cabinet members, for example.  This room would be filled with the best and brightest political talent, each person of about equal merit.  If the system is based on merit, we would expect to see — for example — equal numbers of men and women.

So if we introduce a quota to ensure a minimum of 30% women in Federal Cabinet, we would expect to see that the world with the quota is indistinguishable from the world of pure merit.  After all, in a world of pure merit, we should see roughly 50% of Federal Cabinet made up of women.

But what if the system isn’t based purely on merit?  What if there are other factors which get in the way?  This would be at odds with most of the right wing rhetoric on this issue which says that both men and women in the LNP reach senior positions based on merit.  But if the outcome is so vastly at odds with the one predicted using the Ideal World of Merit, then we need a mechanism to balance out those non-merit factors which are skewing the result.  A quota system would do that effectively.

Thus, we should introduce a quota system.  Either the system is based on merit and the quota will become a redundant backup or the system is not based on merit and the quota will improve the representation of women in Federal Cabinet.

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