By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The Montana Secretary of State Office approved the ballot a measure that would mandate the legislature be equally represented by men and women. Presently, women hold 41 of the 150 seats in the state legislature. There are several more processes to surmount before the ballot measure becomes listed on the general election ballot. A signature drive follows and must obtain valid signatures of ten percent of the total voters in Montana and ten percent in each of the forty legislative districts. The signature gathering with the requisite signatures must be collected by June 20th if to be placed upon the ballot.
While certainly laudable in an effort to obtain greater participation of women in the political process, which is still not at parity, the likelihood of this measure, if it becomes law, surviving a constitutional challenge is weak.
On the surface there might be districts having a mandatory gender for a position and voter or other candidates are discriminated against solely based on sex and not qualifications generally requisite with any candidate. It surely can be divisive
Some might argue having a greater percentage of women in any parliament or legislature tends to bring in a better perspective and bring about more balance. When there was the effort in years past to organize and enable a parliament in war torn Afghanistan, many NGOs, local women’s groups, and international stakeholders mandated that women be included. It certainly was a laudable goal, considering the terrible suffrage in that country and subjugation of women there. Perhaps, maybe it might lead to less testosterone fueled extremes and more a voice of reason.
But does such a model have a place in Montana or other states, or is this just a form of reverse suffrage?
What do you think?
Source: Fox News
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.