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Repeal of the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002

Comment 1st July 2010

The basis of this idea is to repeal the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002, which exempts the selection of candidates by political parties from sex discrimination laws.  Repealing this law would restore full sex discrimination legsialtion to the selection of candidates for elections by political parties.

Why does this matter?

It is important that any person, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to seek to become the nominee of a political party as a candidate for election to an elected body.  The exemptions that this Act put in place do not assist in equality, because it allows for a political party to exclude one group of people based on their gender, rather than allowing for a fair and reflective choice.

It may be the case that a political party could select a candidate in a particular ward, division or constituency based on gender in order to provide a balance to a candidate of the opposite gender in another ward, divison or constituency in the same area or elsewhere.  However, this disenfranchises party members in the ward, division or constituency, who may only have one candidate to choose, and should not be restricted from choosing the best person on merit because of an unfair restriction on gender.

The true fight for equality should be fought on the selection of candidates based on merit alone,and extending the group of people who choose candidates for political party through initatives such as primary elections, otherwise it demeans those who are selected via this manner who will be under the impression of others that they were selected because of their gender, not because they demonstrated that they deserved in on merit.


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