“’Copper-fastening’ the voting system would be undemocratic.”

A blog at https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/edward-molloy/female-representation-progress-and-pitfalls calls for more women MPs, which seems a good idea although I do not understand why a higher proportion of women in Parliament is more important than a higher proportion of other groups.

Bizarrely, the writer goes farther, “The presence of female representatives needs to be copper-fastened into the make-up of our representative institutions – and our voting system.”

I commented:

“Although I would like to see more women in Parliament, I see no reason why the representation of women should be more important than the representation of other groups; e.g. sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious views, disability or age or, indeed, of political views. Do you really think that a Lib Dem, Green or UKIP woman would prefer to be represented by a Conservative or Labour woman than by a man of her own party?

The Single Transferable Vote (STV) would help all these groups achieve fair representation. More important, it would ensure the election of the MPs that voters really wanted. That would be real democracy. “Copper-fastening” the voting system to guarantee a certain proportion of women or any other group would be undemocratic. It would prevent voters from having a free choice of representatives.

Encouraging more women and members of other groups to stand for parliament is a different matter. That is acceptable although we should be prepared to accept that some may simply not want to go into politics.”

Women and other groups should have equal opportunities. Only voters should decide whether the outcome is equal.

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