View Poll Results: What would happen if women and men were each guaranteed 50 Senate seats?

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • Nothing; it wouldn't affect the overall ideology of the Senate much

    6 40.00%
  • It would drastically change the rhetoric and legislation that emerged

    4 26.67%
  • There would be some subtle negotiating differences, but nothing major

    2 13.33%
  • Other (please describe)

    3 20.00%
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Thread: Gender parity in the Senate

  1. #11
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    But no - having been in a family of predominantly females I think those 18 women are doing just fine in getting what they want. In part because of the TYPE of woman that excels to be Senate: you don't get voted in by your male and female peers by being a pushover or real nice and sweet.
    But in most cases, those women are running against male opponents. Remember Hillary Clinton's thinking from the 2008 election, that she didn't think there was any way a woman could be elected unless she projected toughness...so Obama was able to capture the more dovish element of the Democratic Party and ultimately the nomination. I don't know if Hillary was right about that, but it's certainly not an implausible theory IMO.

    If, on the other hand, there was a "female Senate seat" and a "male Senate seat" from each state, then women would always be running against other women for that seat. So I'm not sure if the same electoral calculus for female politicians (i.e. show that you have more balls than your male opponent) would apply.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Personally I'm not sure. On the one hand, there do seem to be certain issues that just repulse female politicians more than male politicians (e.g. 4 of the 5 female Republican senators have criticized or voted against their own party's leadership on "women's issues" in the past month)...so I do think that having more female politicians would reduce the frequency and severity of testosterone-driven legislation, of which we have plenty. But on most issues, I tend to agree with those of you who say that there wouldn't be any overall ideological shift.

    But I also think that in general, women and men have very subtle differences in the ways that we view the world, approach problems, and negotiate to solve them. These differences would inevitably alter the legislation that emerged from the Senate in very subtle ways. Maybe we couldn't point to any specific section of any specific law and say "This is different than it would otherwise be, due to the gender ratio" but I think the cumulative effect of lots of subtle changes over the long term would cause some very profound changes.
    Having a means of referendum on the federal level would address those issues much better than requiring a male Senate seat and a female Senate seat.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But in most cases, those women are running against male opponents. Remember Hillary Clinton's thinking from the 2008 election, that she didn't think there was any way a woman could be elected unless she projected toughness...so Obama was able to capture the more dovish element of the Democratic Party and ultimately the nomination. I don't know if Hillary was right about that, but it's certainly not an implausible theory IMO.

    If, on the other hand, there was a "female Senate seat" and a "male Senate seat" from each state, then women would always be running against other women for that seat. So I'm not sure if the same electoral calculus for female politicians (i.e. show that you have more balls than your male opponent) would apply.
    The thing is, though, that women are allowed to vote as well, and they may disagree politically with the women who run for office.

    So you can't really say that making the system require women government representatives will actually lead to more representation of women's interests.

    After all, there is just as much debate between women over contraceptives and birth control as there is between any other demographic.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  4. #14
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But in most cases, those women are running against male opponents. Remember Hillary Clinton's thinking from the 2008 election, that she didn't think there was any way a woman could be elected unless she projected toughness...so Obama was able to capture the more dovish element of the Democratic Party and ultimately the nomination. I don't know if Hillary was right about that, but it's certainly not an implausible theory IMO.

    If, on the other hand, there was a "female Senate seat" and a "male Senate seat" from each state, then women would always be running against other women for that seat. So I'm not sure if the same electoral calculus for female politicians (i.e. show that you have more balls than your male opponent) would apply.
    I'd rather all of our senators have to prove their mettle - what if at some point there are no ideal women to choose from? What if at some point there are no ideal men to choose from? I don't think it should be required to fill slots based on criteria other politics.

    Genders should not be political gamepiees - I don't even like it when they refer to women in general as a voting base to be won.

    Some being there on their own merit is good enough for me - I'll have concerns if there are none but we're not heading in that direction.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    As some of you may be aware, the gender imbalance in Congress is pretty overwhelming. There are 82 male senators and 18 female senators, for whatever reason. So I have a hypothetical question for you guys: Suppose that every state were constitutionally mandated to have one male senator and one female senator, so that women were guaranteed equal representation. How (if at all) do you think it would change the type of legislation that was passed? Would it change the way that the Senate approaches issues, or do you think female senators vote pretty much the same way male senators of similar ideologies do? Would there be any subtle gender differences in negotiating style that would affect the final composition of legislation?

    I'm intrigued by this idea because some countries actually reserve a certain number of seats in the legislature for each gender. I'm not really interested in a philosophical debate over whether it's "democratic" to limit who people can vote for...I'm more interested in what the practical outcome would be of such a policy. What do you think?
    First, I think it would be stupid to mandate gender equality for any elected office. To answer your question, I think that if that were to happen, it would probably result in much greater Senatorial interest in social policy and things of that nature.

  6. #16
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    The thing is, though, that women are allowed to vote as well, and they may disagree politically with the women who run for office.
    Well, you'd still have a female Democrat competing against a female Republican for the Senate seat, so there would still be some ideological diversity. I don't see how this would be any more of a problem than it is now...if someone disagrees with their senator they can vote for his/her opponent.

    So you can't really say that making the system require women government representatives will actually lead to more representation of women's interests.
    Not necessarily "women's interests," narrowly-defined as things like abortion, contraceptives, equal pay, etc. I'm just thinking that having more female viewpoints would probably be good for the overall balance of power in this country, due to the different thinking/communication styles men and women have. That may or may not manifest itself in ideological differences, but it would certainly change the types of issues that the Senate focuses on IMO.

    After all, there is just as much debate between women over contraceptives and birth control as there is between any other demographic.
    Not among the ones in the Senate, it seems. 4 of the 5 female Republican senators (Snowe, Collins, Murkowski, Hutchinson) have criticized or voted against their own party on these issues. I'm not saying that female politicians will never play ball when it's in their political interests to do so...but I do think that having 50 female senators would probably steer the priorities of the Senate in a different direction than 18 female senators can, and reshape the way legislation is actually negotiated and written.
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    I'd rather all of our senators have to prove their mettle - what if at some point there are no ideal women to choose from? What if at some point there are no ideal men to choose from?
    They could still mount a primary challenge, or recruit a third party candidate who is better, or write someone in. Even the smallest state has over 500,000 people...surely there is a qualified woman and a qualified man somewhere among them. And I'd also like to point out that we ALREADY give each state two senators, regardless of whether they can dredge up two minimally competent (let alone ideal) senators. That's not always fair to the states who *do* elect good people, but hey, that's our system.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    They could still mount a primary challenge, or recruit a third party candidate who is better, or write someone in. Even the smallest state has over 500,000 people...surely there is a qualified woman and a qualified man somewhere among them. And I'd also like to point out that we ALREADY give each state two senators, regardless of whether they can dredge up two minimally competent (let alone ideal) senators. That's not always fair to the states who *do* elect good people, but hey, that's our system.
    No - it is not up to us to go fishing, the fish must grow legs and walk on land!

    That is exactly why I oppose it - the effort to run for office and be a notable working individual within our government must be fought for and proven to be won by the individual to hold the position.

    If women aren't interested - then they aren't interested. This can go to other groups: religious, political and race respects. You cannot create an interest if there is none. You shouldn't force participation if it's not there already.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    As some of you may be aware, the gender imbalance in Congress is pretty overwhelming. There are 82 male senators and 18 female senators, for whatever reason. So I have a hypothetical question for you guys: Suppose that every state were constitutionally mandated to have one male senator and one female senator, so that women were guaranteed equal representation. How (if at all) do you think it would change the type of legislation that was passed? Would it change the way that the Senate approaches issues, or do you think female senators vote pretty much the same way male senators of similar ideologies do? Would there be any subtle gender differences in negotiating style that would affect the final composition of legislation?
    What about racial parity? While we're at it, why don't we mandate that senators and congresscritters be “elected” in proportions that accurately represent the racial makeup of their states and districts?

    And we might as well require parity on other matters, such as religion, sexual orientation, handicapped status, and so on.

    Do we really even need elections? It would never be practical to assure proper fairness and parity if we leave it to the voting public. Let's just have a “Congressional Affirmative Action Commission” that appoints members to the Senate and the House in correct proportions, representative of the states and districts that they are to represent.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm intrigued by this idea because some countries actually reserve a certain number of seats in the legislature for each gender. I'm not really interested in a philosophical debate over whether it's "democratic" to limit who people can vote for...I'm more interested in what the practical outcome would be of such a policy. What do you think?
    It doesn't matter if you're “interested” or not in the consequences of what you propose. The consequences would be to destroy any vestige of governmental representation of the will of the people. That's the only thing that matters about your proposal. Anything else is meaningless fluff.
    The five great lies of the Left Wrong:
    We can be Godless and free. • “Social justice” through forced redistribution of wealth. • Silencing religious opinions counts as “diversity”. • Freedom without moral and personal responsibility. • Civilization can survive the intentional undermining of the family.

  10. #20
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    as long as they are better looking than Hillary or Diane feinswine it works for me

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