September 4, 1997
VOTING BY QUOTA!
In a democracy anyone can run for public office. Rich or poor, black or white, man or woman. And the voters are free to choose the candidate of their choice. Pretty simple, right?
But what if this was not the case? What if you had to choose only from a “politically correct” slate? What if there were five
candidates on the ballot and, by law, one had to be handicapped, one had to be Oriental, one had to be a veteran, one had to be a
senior citizen, and one had to be a woman? Does this sound impossible?
Think again. As is so often the case in matters of politics, the worst possible nightmare is quickly becoming reality. South
America is leading the way to a brave new world of balloting by quota.
Four South American countries – Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru – have voted in the past year to mandate the presence of women on congressional ballots. A number of other Latin countries already have such requirements.
Argentina was the trend-setter when in 1991 a law was passed requiring 30% of candidates to be of the female gender. Brazil, the giant of the region, requires at least 20% of candidates for municipal office to be women.
Margaret Thatcher didn’t need any quotas to become prime minister of Britain. Evita Peron didn’t need quotas to become the most powerful person in Argentina. Indira Gandhi didn’t need quotas to become top dog in India. Whether you esteem or despise these particular people, the point is that determined, ambitious women have always been able to rise in politics. But it’s so much easier just to pass a law.
Mala Htun, a Harvard University academic who follows this issue, says many South Americans oppose the new quota wave because “a) it’s discriminatory, b) it will promote under-qualified women and c) it’s unnecessary because qualified women will rise on their own qualifications.”
Here at The Outrage we oppose all quotas, with one exception. We demand that the next US presidential ballot contain only candidates who:
- Have Internet publishing experience;
- At the time of the election are over 38 years of age and have not yet had their 40th birthday;
- Were born in Baltimore, Maryland but currently live in Alexandria, Virginia;
- Have a degree in government from an overpriced, elitist college in California;
- Have a long documented history of smoking cheap cigars, drinking bad champagne, and gorging on unhealthy food.
But you can vote for whomever you like.
(Source: Miami Herald )
© Copyright 1996-98, The Outrage is produced by Athens New Media. All rights reserved.