Historical representation of women:
This gets a bit tricky, because Anderton has been in Parliament for some years now, but not always with the one party. First it was Labour, then the New Labour Party, then the Alliance, and now his current (ultimate?) vehicle, the Progressives. It's had a few names even in that incarnation (you can read the saga on Wikipedia), and it's only ever had male MPs - Anderton and Matt Robson from 2002 until the 2005 election, and Jim on his own since then.
Current representation of women:
Well one MP out of one MP being a man means...
2008 Progressive Party list:
Women represented across the whole list: 12 out of 27 (44%)
Top 5 - Two (Josie Pagani at 3 and Paula Gillon at 4) 2/5 = 40%
Top 10 - Four (plus Viv Shepherd at 6 and Brenda Hill at 8) 4/10 = 40%
The list is ranked alphabetically from the spot the 12th spot onwards, so not much point in typing all that out!
Idiot Savant's analysis notes the radical shift in ethnic diversity from 2005, with the non-white candidates largely relegated. I would add that a friend told me, after I gave Amiparu my electorate vote in 2005 (as there was no Green or Alliance candidate in my electorate), that
I should also share that due to my history in the Alliance I'm probably not able to be totally objective about Mr Anderton or his party.
Likely future female representation for the Progressives:
Well Jim will be back, and on a good day they might be able to bring Robson back too, but it'd take a pretty long shot I'd think to pick up a third MP, and thus add a woman to their caucus for the first time ever.
In a way this is one of the curses of the really small parties, who rely on an electorate MP to get them back in. Only if they rank a woman at 2 do they have a chance of bringing any females to the House.
I wonder if we will ever see a party like UnitedFuture, or Act, or the Progressives that is based around the certainty of a safe electorate that is held by a woman. When Turia split from Labour to form the Maori Party she might have ended up in that waka, had it not been for the widespread Maori support for her stance on the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, and some very savvy Maori seat selections in 2005. I tend to think that MMP may have matured sufficiently for splitting to become less prevalent, but it does seem to be one of the only ways for new parties to make it into Parliament.
Other posts in this series to date:
- Act's Party List
- Green's Party List
- National's Party List
- The Maori Party's candidates (list and electorate)
- Labour's Party List
- UnitedFuture's Pary list
- National's electorate candidates
Update: Edited this morning (3rd Oct) to reflect the fact that Suki Amiparu is in fact a man, oops! See the comment thread if you want to see some Progs getting all frothy about it (or possibly just one Prog). The way I determine whether people are male or female is to look at their names in the first instance. Where I am unsure I will look at the information the party provides, which in this case was none (they only put up information on candidates outside the top 5 after I wrote the post), so then I do a google search for the name and see if I can identify the particular person, and if not I will then take a punt based on what appears to be the gender of most people with that name from the Google result. This is not a fool proof method. So there you go, now you know.