Friday, 20 June 2014

A Woman's Place: Greens 2014

The Greens have a strongly stated commitment to gender balance both for internal party positions and candidates.  They currently have more women than men in their parliamentary caucus.

Historical representation of women:
The Greens first stood in their own right under MMP in 1999, and in that time they have had 23 MPs of whom 12 have been female (52%).  They have long had gender balance for shared leadership positions both of the caucus and the party.

2008 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 20 out of 48 (42%), with 50% in the top 10.

2011 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 16 out of 42 (38%), with 40% in the top 10.
Current representation of women:

The Greens currently have 14 MPs in total and 8 are women (Catherine Delahunty, Metiria Turei, Eugenie Sage, Jan Logie, Denise Roche, Holly Walker, Julie Anne Genter, Mojo Mathers), making 62% of the caucus. Turei is co-leader.  There have been some issues in the present term with Turei receiving some quite sexist treatment, in comparison with Russel Norman, the male co-leader.   

2014 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 19/53 (36%), with 60% in the top 10.

Top 5: Two (Turei at 1, Sage at 4) 2/5 = 40% (Same as 2011)

Top 10: Six (as for Top 5, plus Delahunty at 6, Genter at 8, Mathers at 9, Logie at 10) 6/10 = 60% (Increase on 2011)

Top 20: Ten (as for Top 10, plus Walker at 12, Roche at 14, and non-MPs Marama Davidson at 16, Jeanette Elley at 20) 10/20 = 50% (Same as 2011)

Top 30: Fourteen (as for Top 20, plus Sea Rotmann at 23, Susanne Ruthven at 26, Teresa Moore at 27, Dora Roimata Langsbury at 28) 14/30 = 47% (Increase on 2011)

Top 38:  Sixteen (as for Top 30, plus Rachel Goldsmith at 31, Anne-Elise Smithson at 35) 16/38 = 42%

After 38 the list candidates are unranked, and include only 3 women, out of 15 (20%), which skews their total figures considerably.  The Greens followed a similar practice of unranking after a certain number in 2008 and 2011, which is a practice I still personally support for smaller parties.  

Likely future representation of women:
The Greens did much better than I anticipated when I did this analysis for 2011.  This time they are aiming for 20 MPs, which would require about 17% of the vote. The Greens have had a good term, and are currently polling at about 11% (which would see them return 14 MPs again). They have a history of coming up during the campaign too.  

If they do reach their 20 MPs they will have a 50/50 caucus, including two new women (Davidson and Elley).  If they get 14 again it will be 8 women (57%), 15 MPs (53%), 16 MPs (56%), 17 MPs (53%), 18 MPs (50%), 19 MPs (47%).  I'd say there was a deliberate intention there to ensure their caucus is likely to be 50%+ female, in the likely range of seats they will win, except that they could have achieved that if Elley was at 19, rather than 20, and they didn't.  Many considerations do go in to the ranking of a list! 

The co-leadership arrangements will continue to ensure a gender balance in the top spot for the forseeable future.  

Other observations on candidate diversity:
As always with this section, I am interested in comment from those with more knowledge than I. Gender is often easy to determine, other aspects of diversity less so.  I would note that there appear to be no candidates who identify as any gender other than male or female, and as far as I know none of the parties which have made it into, or close to, Parliament have put up anyone who identifies outside the binary.

In regard to Maori candidates in the top 20, Turei, Clendon, Roche, and Davidson all identify as such.  The rest of the top 20 are Pakeha though* and there is little evidence of Asian or Pasifika candidates (one Tamil that I could find).  

There's a lot of diversity on age, and some great experience on disability in the candidate pool, not least Mojo Mathers MP (who is deaf), Catherine Delahunty MP (who has personal experience of disability), and long time disability advocate Chris Ford (37) who I remember from my long-ago days in the Alliance.  

The Greens also have a good record on selecting people who identify as LGBTI, returning Kevin Hague last time and adding Jan Logie.  

The final observation I will make on their list is that for a party that many dismiss as Sensitive New Agers there are a lot of people with serious qualifications and experience in actual real science.  I stumbled across this interesting blog post about Green stereotypes that I thought many of you might like :-)


In 2011 when I did this analysis I was disappointed the Greens hadn't really lifted their gender balance from 2008, however that was because I vastly underestimated how many MPs they would get!  This time it looks pretty good to me in the higher portions of the list, but becomes troublesome as you get lower.  I wonder if this is a reflection that more men than women have put themselves forward?


Green Party candidates
Idiot/Savant's analysis, including ups and downs since 2011's list.
A Woman's Place Index for 2014
A Woman's Place Index for 2008 and 2011

*  Jan Logie gives "Tangata Tiriti" as her ethnicity which makes me want to give her a high five.  


Aunty Entity said...

I would like to see the Greens remove the male/female coleader system.

Why guarantee a man a place? Why go through the abominable spectacle of a leadership election women are barred from?

How about having two coleaders, one of whom must be a woman, and one of whom can be of any gender?

Katherine said...

Could you talk a bit more about Green party members' qualifications and stereotypes at some stage? (Or qualifications held by people in all parties?) I generally want to vote Green as Labour are not focussed enough on social justice for my liking, but I get a lot of flak discussing this with people who view the Green party as unscientific for their anti-GMO and anti-dihydrogen monoxide stances, but don't know a lot about it. I'm not too worried about their anti-nuclear stance personally although some people also consider that to be anti-science.

Julie said...

Hi Katherine,
The Greens in the Top 25 that have candidates with science quals are

3. Hague (BSc)
9. Mathers (Master Conservation Forestry)
11. Clendon (MSc)
13. Shaw (MSc) - likely new MP
18. Hart (incomplete BSc)
20. Elley (BSc, current PhD student not sure of the field though)
23. Rotmann (PhD, BSc)
24. Leckinger (MSc)

This is based on the bios you can read from the Greens candidates link at the bottom of the post.

Hope that helps

Mikaere Curtis said...

Why guarantee a man a place?
For the same reason we guarantee a woman a place - it ensures gender representation.

Why go through the abominable spectacle of a leadership election women are barred from?
What about the most recent leadership contest, in 2009, when men were barred from entering ?

but I get a lot of flak discussing this with people who view the Green party as unscientific for their anti-GMO and anti-dihydrogen monoxide stances, but don't know a lot about it.
Firstly, the Greens are not anti GE - it's OK to do GE, just keep it safely in the lab, and don't release it outside of controlled lab conditions. Risk-aversion <> anti-science.

Secondly, the dihydrogen monoxide mistake was made a temporary staffer working in Sue Kedgley's office, it was never endorsed by the party or any MPs.

As for anti-nuclear power, the fact is that it is inappropriate for a small, earthquake-prone nation, especially one that has the wind, solar and hyrdo resources that we have.

If you were stacking up a modern nuclear power station against the nasty, polluting coal stations in China, I think you'd find the case for nuclear power in China is stronger than the case for coal.

Mikaere Curtis said...

While we are on the subject of party lists, I must register my disappointment that Anjum did not receive a list place that reflects her talent in the Labour list.

Anjum, being intelligent, reasoned and articulate, would make an excellent MP. I hope Labour give her a better list position in 2017.

Info CPNS 2014 said...

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