Dear Editor – With the ongoing debate for and against reserved seats in Parliament for women I suggest that the proponents of the initiative once again put out in the public media arguments for and the a various assumptions on which this particular idea is based.
It seems that the debate is not yet over and any premature adoption of laws to facilitate it could do more harm than good for women and the country as a whole in the long run.
Honestly, I for one, fail to see how the allocation of free seats in Parliament will improve the lot for our women folk except for those few women who will receive free tickets to become MPs.
If power can corrupt then it does so equally regardless of whether a MP is male, female or somewhere in between .
The population is roughly split 50/50 between the sexes.
One would expect that equal proportion of the sexes in the population is reflected in election results.
However, elections results show quite the opposite.
What this suggests is that women are not voting for a candidate simply because someone happens to be a women.
To reserve seats for women could also result in imposing on them some woman whom they don’t want to represent them in Parliament.
One reason I can think of why women are not voting women simply because a candidate happens to be a woman is that women have brains and do not trust those women who play the gender card in pursuit of personal agenda.
Women know women better than the other sexes and they know when not to vote for a woman to be a MP.
To think otherwise is to suggest women are simply stupid and that is what those arguing for reserved seats are doing.
The results of elections year after year have shown this preference of women voters.
What the proponents for free seats are trying to do now is to find excuses to disprove what is already fact and for what reason?
It is not that Solomon Islands had not been voting female MPs.
We have and will continue to elect women MPs.
The issue appears to be not having enough of them in Parliament at anyone time.
The question is – to do what?
What do the proponents of free seats expect women MPs to do once they become MPs on the back of a free ticket?
Joint forces with properly elected women MPs to shout down male MPs on the other side of the house?
Obviously, this will not be Parliamentary democracy but a Circus.
If it becomes necessary to reserve seats for women in Parliament I suggest candidates must meet specific residential and moral criteria:
- Reserved seats for village based candidates and that person must have resided with the communities in the village they represent and has been an active leader in those communities for a period of not less 30 years.
- Some minimum specification of the moral character and conduct of candidates including personal life styles using Mother Theressa as the yardstick. Moral issues are important issues for the majority women folks, especially in rural population is. One must realise, that these seats are going to be special seats therefore, require separate and special conditions.
- These measures will solve one but brings others. For example how will cross dressers classified? Will they also need reserved seats? This gender category represents a minute fraction of the population and unrepresented in Parliament.
By Jil Masu