Monday, 8 September 2008

A Woman's Place: United Future's Party List

UnitedFuture's list has been announced and you can see the full list and their release on it on their website. You can also discuss it in the forum on the United Futurewebsite, where there is already one glowing comment complete with excessive use of exclamation marks...

Historical representation of women:
According to Wikipedia, UnitedFuture (but not its previous incarnations) has had 9 MPs, of whom only 2 have been women (current MP Judy Turner and Kelly Chal, who didn't last long as it was discovered she was not an NZ citizen and was thus ineligible to stand for Parliament in the first place). So during their brief history 22% of their MPs have been female, which is probably being a bit generous, due to the brevity of Chal's time in the House.

Current representation of women:
UnitedFuture's caucus is 50:50, as, like Act, they only have 2 MPs (Peter Dunne and the aforementioned Turner) and they have one of each gender. Turner is also the party's Deputy Leader. Their party President is also a woman, Denise Krum, and features at no. 3 on their list this year.

2008 UnitedFuture Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 5 out of 22 (23%)
Top 5 - Two (Turner at 2, Krum at 3) 2/5 = 40%
Top 10 - Three (plus Janet Tuck at 9) 3/10 = 30%
Top 20 - Five (plus Vanessa Roberts at 14, Kelleigh Sheffield-Cranstoun at 17) 5/20 = 25%

The media release states that the list will grow as further candidate selections are completed. This is annoying and gives me the impression that they may be struggling a little for candidates. Time will tell I guess.

I note that at this point they have only one list only candidate, Jayati Prasad at no. 22 (who is the only list candidate that also has no profile on the website). However they do have some candidates standing in electorates (including Jenni Hurn in Rimutaka) who don't appear on the list, yet. I'm beginning to regret doing this analysis now, maybe I should have waited until they finalise it?

Idiot/Savant's analysis is over here and he is pretty scathing about the lack of diversity. Homepaddock notes that their first South Island candidate is down at no. 11.

Likely future representation of women:
I don't think I'd be gambling at all if I bet on Dunne to retain Ohariu-Belmont. At this stage it seems possible that he'd be able to bring Turner with him again, but probably not anyone else. Therefore they are likely to continue with their gender balance after the election.

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


Idiot/Savant said...

Chal was never an MP, as she was never sworn in. So, it's 1 out of 8, or 12.5%...

Julie said...

I was pretty sure that was the case I/S, but to be fair to UF, they gave a woman a sufficient ranking to be an MP in that election, so I kind of figure it's fair to give them the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for pointing it out though; readers can of course draw their own conclusions from the post AND the comment thread :-)

George said...

Hi Julie, maybe its just the pedant in me, but it irks to see 'gender' used where the speaker means sex.

I like the concept of gender, because it is so powerful a tool for understanding the world, and hate to see it slipping into the vocabulary as simply a synonym for sex. Besides, how else am I going to use all that theory I learned in grad school? ;)

Julie said...

Thanks George, is there a phrase I could be using instead of "gender balance" that conveys the same thing as the meaning I want? Sorry if there is something really obvious that I'm missing, I'm really tired lately and sometimes words don't come easy!

Anna McM said...

Sex ratio maybe? It's a bit clinical. Interesting that UF have done quite well on this front, despite having some members who are quite into traditional gender roles.

Julie said...

Compared to National and Act, yes they've done well, and I guess it is a bit surprising too, given their deeper politics.

I'm particularly interested in the role Denise Krum might play in the race for Maungakiekie. Unless the polls close a bit more Carol Beaumont could lose the seat to the National candidate, who is a local councillor. Krum would be much more likely to take votes from the National candidate, who is a reasonably conservative Christian, rather than the Labour candidate, and as she looks to be a good candidate she could play something of a spoiler role.