Dave Farrar said yesterday:
While talking Greens I do think it is somewhat ironic that their gender quota for the co-leadership, no doubt originally introduced to help women, is now discriminating against them. I think there is a lesson for everone here about quotas.
He misunderstands why the Green opted for the co-leadership model.
It’s not about ‘helping women’, it’s about recognising that each gender brings a particular world view and life experience to the role. When the party first put the positions to a vote a decade ago, Jeanette stood unopposed and would probably have been chosen as a sole leader if such a position had existed. By comparison, Rod was one of the three candidates. He narrowly won in part because his skill set was viewed as complementary to Jeanette.
In answer to my commenting on his post at his site today, Dave came back with:
But who [sic] only gender power dispersal? Why not by ethnicity also? And sexual orientation? And religious belief?
Do the Greens think without these quotas that simply having the members elect the best people for the job/s would result in bad outcomes?
You’re putting the cart before the horse a bit here Dave. The Greens appoint the best woman for the position of female leader and the best man for the position of male leader (and the co-convenors (President), policy networkers and other not-strictly-admin roles in the Party).
You may have a point. Maybe the Greens should also have a hermaphrodite leader as well. ðŸ™‚
But the actual answer is that gender is the most fundamental *difference* between people and a key physical identifier that everybody shares.
At which point, it is worth remembering that dispersing power is the other purpose of two-headed leadership. As such, co-leadership is a trade off between pragmatism and idealism.
You see, the Greens opted for Co-Leadership over NO leadership, not single leadership. Two heads was the logical compromise between the Party’s desire to have no leadership at all and the outside world’s inability to deal with such a scenario. More than two and you might as well have no leaders at all.
Many Green Parties around the world still have no formal position of leader or co-leader.
Note: A clarification on my comment the other day on the male co-leadership. I will not be commenting on the pros and cons of any candidate for the position, however I will be reporting and commenting on the process.