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We are in the process at the moment in Ireland of electing a new Government. In the last Government there were 166 members of which there were only 26 women (16%). Article 40.1 of the Constitution states that "all citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law". Why, then, this discrepency?

After this general election, the balance may be tipped more in favour of women. That is because, for the first time, the major parties must present 30% of female candidates or face a financial penalty.

That's all very well - the women will be on the ballot paper - but why should we care? Why should we vote for them? What difference can they make?

Plenty, we're told. For example we know from international research that parliaments with a balance of women and men make decisions differently, and make different decisions. Women tend to take an open and collaborative approach to making policy, engaging many voices and sharing information as plans progress. They view decisions with a broad lens, viewing both the economic elements of, say, a city transport policy, and the social impacts: how will families get around, what is the impact on people with disabilities, with buggies, people making multiple stops? This is a simple example, but it demonstrates the importance of having a variety of perspectives and experiences around the tables where decisions are made. And of course, there's the simple point about representation. When we look at our parliament we want it to reflect us, the people. Right now, it's far from that. Improving the gender balance would be a first and necessary step.

But wait a minute. Last year we held a bitterly fought referendum in Ireland on the introduction of same-sex marriage. The YES vote won by a huge majority. Men and women bring nothing different and distinct to the raising of children, we were told.

But they do in Government apparently!


You're conflating. Of course men and women can bring different perspectives to both governing and raising children. There are differences in the outlook, perspective and goals of some men and some women.

The point is that child isn't lacking because of same-sex parents. A child reared in a loving, stable home is what matters, whether it is by two parents of the same-sex, opposite sex, or even more than two parents of any indeterminate gender. There are been quite a few studies, lately, that indicate it's the number of parents/guardians and not the sex that really matters.

No one claims that a child raised by same-sex parents won't have a different experience than a child raised by heterosexual parents. The claim is that it is not a negative difference. Every parent-- or set of parents-- brings something different to raising a child.

Or are you saying that all heterosexual couples are exactly the same and raise their children exactly the same way? Or even that because those children were raised "in the same way" they would grow up to exactly mimic their parents?

Because I've got pretty much the whole of human history as an example to the contrary.
Political groups require both male and female inputs.
Families do not.
Why is this so?

Edited at 2016-02-17 19:34 (UTC)
No, social groups do not require both male and female inputs.

Governments should, and in some places are required to, reflect the representation of their populace, including gender, ethnicity and religion.

That is not a social group. That is a legislative body that affects everyone regardless of their social standing.

Also, "family" is much broader concept than "parents". That's why the words are different. You can have same-sex parents and still have opposite gender influence. In fact, unless you're raised in a religious order that prohibits contact, you absolutely will.
Why do you hate democracy so much?

I should be represented by those I have selected to represent me.

Which choice I am entitled to make based on their minds and not by their sex organs.

You are defending a violation of human rights, that the right to vote be taken away from people, and political corruption a la Boss Tweed be instituted. (He didn't care who voted, as long as he did the nomination.)
I don't? I said that governments should be representative of their constituents. I probably should've put an "ideally" in there.

I also said I in no way think that a ratio of any metric - religion, gender, ethnicity, anything else- should be mandated.

No where did I say people should vote for their gender equivalent, male or female. I never will because I do not at all believe that.

What humans rights violations am I defending? Because my comment was explaining how a governmental body is not the same as a family. That's it.
You do. That is an anti-democratic ideal.

"I also said I in no way think that a ratio of any metric - religion, gender, ethnicity, anything else- should be mandated."

No you didn't. Read your own comment. You said it is required without the slightest hint of disapproval, let alone that it should not be required, and you had nothing but defense for it.
No, I said some governments require it, as some do. It was a factual statement. I never said if I agreed with it or not.

So it may be undemocratic but you'll have to take it up with those governments.
Of course you agree with it. People who defend things agree with them.
I...agree with something I said multiple times I don't agree with? People always defend things they agree with? Okay. I'm going to take a guess you aren't American otherwise you'd be aware of the obvious statement about disagreeing what someone says but defending someone's right to say it. Little flaw in your world view.

Also I'm impressed with your insistence that I defended it. Stating it as a fact is...a factual statement. One that was honestly new to me. I didn't know Ireland had enacted that law. It's a little skeevy, honestly, and I'm surprised it passed whatever Ireland's equivalent of a Supreme Court is. I very much doubt it would in the US. Bad precedent.
But you're not defending someone's right to say something. You're defending it as right. You explicitly said that
Governments SHOULD, and in some places are required to, reflect the representation of their populace, including gender, ethnicity and religion. (Emphasis mine)

That SHOULD was not a factual statement but a defense.

Furthermore you went on to say they should "ideally". By definition, ideals are not facts.

And now you came up with "a little skeevy"? That's a lack-luster objection if ever I saw one -- and the first one you made in this comment thread.
Oh, so you did catch that? Too bad I'd already posted. I'm not removing the comment, either. Whether it was deliberate or not, your conflating of "political groups" and "social groups" is indicative of your view point on this.

They are not the same thing.

Frankly, I'm not of the opinion that political groups require male and female inputs. I think they benefit from it, but the ultimate point is that current governments represent the issues of their people. ALL their people, including race, religion, gender, and ability. So in that sense the real question is "Are there representatives in your government for all the myriad variations of your population?"

That has nothing to do with a family. A family makes decisions for the family.

Please stop conflating issues that are not the same. A government is not a family.
"Are there representatives in your government for all the myriad variations of your population?"

That is determined by the voters, IF they are allowed to. This actively prevents them.
Again, you're assuming that I believe having mandates is a worthy ideal. As it happens, I don't. I do believe that governments should have representatives of their constituents. The operative word being "should". Not "are", and not "by law". Just should.

You're particularly vehement on a tangential point on what is basically a lesson definitions: families are not the same as governments. Actually, your vehemence proves my point. You get to vote in a democratic government. Depending on your position in the family, you often do not get that option.
Your revealed preferences say otherwise. If it's so tangential, AND you don't support it, you would not be defneding it.

"families are not the same as governments."

Moving goalposts here. Totally irrelevant both to the points you actually made and the points you claim you were making. It is not enough that they be not identical. They must be different in the relevant capacity. And you know they are not since you are off on a tangent here, too -- the point of comparison was not whether you get to vote, but whether females and males contribute something different.
No, I'm off tangent because I forget arguing anything online is at best an exercise in futility. We're far past best.

Have a good evening, if it's evening where you are. If not, have a good any time of day.
Literally the two things have nothing to do with one another.

Try to move past your bitterness that the definition of marriage now includes couples where there are two men or two women and not just one of each.

What our mutual friend said and remember that those of us of the female persuasion represent OVER 50% of the world's population!
"the two things have nothing to do with one another".

Why not?
One is creating policy for a large amount of people. The other is a basic family unit. It is pretty basic...
That's pretty vacuous.
o wow
that conversation wandered

i thought this was about why women were good for government

families are about love and mutual support
government is about finding solutions to societal problems

why women matter - just one thing many women can contribute - experience in reaching decisions by consensus

it's time consuming but often leads to better results
here in the US women in congress often cross party lines for shared goals

women have different experiences and can bring that knowledge to legislative discussions
My position is:

When it suits me sexual difference is important.

When it does not suit me sexual difference is not important.

This an Irish solution to an Irish problem!
lol rotf!!!!

love you Irish men!