Blatant media manipulation | The Jackal

6 Jul 2013

Blatant media manipulation

It's been interesting to watch the response to the Labour party's proposal to discuss a quota system to ensure more female representation. We aren't even discussing a policy here, it's just a proposal at this stage, which makes me wonder what all the hoopla is about.

In my opinion, the issue is whether there's enough proportional representation in parliament, not whether men are better qualified or motivated than women to do the job. In fact studies have shown that women actually run companies better than men and are more likely to increase production and profits, so the disproportionate amount of men in positions of power clearly has nothing to do with ability and everything to do with sexism.

Obviously there aren't enough female Members of Parliament, especially in the current government. This fact is being completely ignored by the right wing propagandists, including female members of the National party.

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

National's Judith Collins was dismissive of the proposal, saying it showed Labour women clearly were not confident of being selected under normal processes.

"It is a surprise that they have so little confidence in themselves."

The problem isn’t with females having less confidence, it’s that the system is skewed in favour of male candidates. There’s something called the old boys club that ensures a male applicant is chosen over a female one even if she's more qualified and motivated to succeed. The issue here isn't the rule change, it's the problem that the rule change proposes to fix.

Despite the howls of protest, quotas are one way to remedy gender bias. What the misogynists are completely ignoring is that such systems have been shown to work effectively in business and political organizations throughout the world, so there’s no reason it wouldn't work for Labour. The Green party for instance uses quotas to effectively ensure proportional representation, and by all accounts their system works well.

However, the true significance of Labour’s proposed rule change, or more specifically the attention it has received, has eluded most commentators. It's nothing more than a red hearing with the leaking of the 2013 Annual Conference agenda timed perfectly to take the focus off far more important issues, namely the GCSB hearing. Clearly the right wing is desperate to subvert people's attention away from topics that are damaging to John Key's credibility.

It's a similar ploy to that used by National's media lackey's when the Aaron Gilmore fiasco took the limelight off the GCSB bill, a law change that will further undermine New Zealanders right to privacy. Unfortunately the media often ignores the important stories in favour of blowing anything that makes Labour look bad out of all proportion. That's what is occurring now with the so-called "man ban" the media is focused on, and it’s pretty blatant manipulation.