Unintended Consequences

The Liberal Party of Canada’s campaign for their new leader is underway.  There are 9 candidates running to become the leader of the party, and of those, four of them are women.  In the 146 years of the Liberal Party, they have never voted a woman as leader of the party.  (The Conservative Party of Canada elected Kim Campbell [June to November 1993] as their leader and for a short time she was Canada’s Prime Minister until she lost the election).  One of the candidates, Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray, believes that the party is ready for a female leader.  She stated that “We have had enough of the testosterone filled, combative behaviour.”

She made a promise to fill her cabinet with at least 40% women if she is elected prime minister.  She also plans to carry the same quota into any federal appointments.  Gee, for some silly reason, I thought someone should get the job because they are qualified and the right person for the job.  Since when has being a woman meant that you were automatically qualified for the position?  Being a woman, visible minority/aboriginal, disabled, etc., should be a bonus, not a qualifier, for any position.

So what is she going to do when she can’t come close to filling her 40% quota, hire women who aren’t qualified enough?  Setting quotas can only lead to mediocrity.  Once the main priority is to fill a position becomes a quota rather than qualifications, it is doomed to failure.  Pushing for equality leads to inequality where one category is given precedence over another one for no real reason.  Yes women, visible minorities/aboriginals, disabled should NOT be discriminated against for a position, but it should be given to someone because they are the right person, not for any other reason.