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

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  • 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. #31
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But is the problem really that women aren't interested in going into politics? I see it as a combination of double standards and other factors...women are more likely to be perceived as bitches if they voice strong opinions (e.g. Hillary Clinton), more likely to be asked questions that no male candidate would ever be asked (e.g. Sarah Palin), more likely to be reviled if they hold a leadership position (e.g. Nancy Pelosi), etc. Often these cognitive biases are in our subconscious mind, and we don't even think about them, but I don't doubt that they are there. Perhaps these attitudes simply discourage women from entering politics in the first place.
    We have a lot of women interested in politics - a lot. We've paved the path - we have 18 women who were there without *any* requirements making it a necessity - don't undervalue that significance. Each state has their own values and approaches to things which they jointly follow in their choosing, I think that should be respected.

    If the State of Colorado have no notable women in their political circle to be a Senator then that's fine - maybe in a few years they will.

    Freedom of choice means not everyone has to be one or must see it as being qualified.

    Being in congress is a choice - a path - and not a requirement of anyone but a desire that must be fought for.

    To your other questoin in the OP: what type of difference will it make - it won't make much of one to have 'more balanced' numbers of women vs men - we're talking about an increase of few people if the #'s of members stay where they are. If we increased it to 100 we're just constipate the system - nothing would ever be done, can you imagine? I can: ugh!

    They represent their states, women these days don't necessarily have a collective view or value we fight to uphold or something like women's sufferage or the right to be paid the same wages - because of changes in our society towards women it's not necessarily like it once was - in fact, it's never been that way. Senators represent their states and their political parties, etc - just like the men do. I don't think it would make as much as a difference as you're imagining if we had a few more and they had a few less.

    That's really just suggesting that men can't vote in favor of certain bills and such that effect women - of course they can. They can and they do. That's also like saying women can't vote for something that might be seen as challenging some of these 'gained rights' (like abortion) but we gained the right to vote, started reshaping views of women and mothers in general and so on with only one female representation in Congress near that time: Jeanette Rankin. . . and she was out in 1919 - and some women believed she'd HURT the women's sufferage efforts by being there!

    Other countries might have different rules - that's fine - we're the USA and they're whoever they are. It's ok for us to be different.

    What's next - wanting gender-representation in the presidency and vice presidency: instead of 1 there should be 2?
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 04-15-12 at 10:11 AM.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    To your other questoin in the OP: what type of difference will it make - it won't make much of one to have 'more balanced' numbers of women vs men - we're talking about an increase of few people if the #'s of members stay where they are. If we increased it to 100 we're just constipate the system - nothing would ever be done, can you imagine? I can: ugh!
    I was referring more to keeping the same overall numbers, and just dividing the seats up so that each state would elect one male senator and one female senator.

    They represent their states, women these days don't necessarily have a collective view or value we fight to uphold or something like women's sufferage or the right to be paid the same wages - because of changes in our society towards women it's not necessarily like it once was - in fact, it's never been that way. Senators represent their states and their political parties, etc - just like the men do. I don't think it would make as much as a difference as you're imagining if we had a few more and they had a few less.

    That's really just suggesting that men can't vote in favor of certain bills and such that effect women - of course they can. They can and they do. That's also like saying women can't vote for something that might be seen as challenging some of these 'gained rights' (like abortion) but we gained the right to vote, started reshaping views of women and mothers in general and so on with only one female representation in Congress near that time: Jeanette Rankin. . . and she was out in 1919 - and some women believed she'd HURT the women's sufferage efforts by being there!
    I agree that it would make little difference in terms of any specific issue. I don't doubt that the states which typically vote for anti-abortion men would continue to vote for anti-abortion women, and the states which typically vote for pro-choice men would continue to vote for pro-choice women, for example. I'm not so much suggesting that women and men, as a bloc (let alone as individuals), have different views on any particular issue, but rather that their overall priorities, negotiating styles, and ways that they approach issues are different in very subtle ways, which would cumulatively add up to major changes.

    Other countries might have different rules - that's fine - we're the USA and they're whoever they are. It's ok for us to be different.

    What's next - wanting gender-representation in the presidency and vice presidency: instead of 1 there should be 2?
    I'm not saying I necessarily favor such a system of gender parity in the Senate. I'm just curious as to how people think it would work out in practice.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm not saying I necessarily favor such a system of gender parity in the Senate. I'm just curious as to how people think it would work out in practice.
    Ah well - now you know my view Carry on.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    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.
    Unless their opponent has the same view on a particular issue.

    So why should we force people to vote for one female or another when, instead, we can just let them choose from among people of any gender who decides to run to vote for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    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.
    If that's the case then more women should want to get involved in running for office, not mandate that offices be reserved for women candidates.

    Also, women are already politically active in this country in regards to lobbying movements and activism. The interaction with the public, these interest groups, and politicians mean that anybody - male or female - can serve in these capacities on behalf of women's issues without being a woman. I think it should be kept that way.

    [QUOTE=Kandahar;1060396966]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.

    4 of the 5 female Republican Senators is too small of a pool, though, especially for the constituency of their political party. And Senators don't represent their political party - rather, they represent their state. So they voted based on what they believed was in the best interest of their state, not the best interest of their party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    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.
    No doubt it would. But I don't think that's a proper way of doing a representative government.

    After all, mandating that a certain number of Representatives be homosexual will certainly steer the priorities of the House in a different direction than however many of them are currently serving, and reshape the way legislation is actually negotiated and written.

    The same could be said by mandating certain ratios based on race. Or based on wealth. Or based on education level. Or based on occupational training.

    So the question then becomes where does it end? What demographics should we make mandated seats for? How many seats should we keep safe for them? What happens if nobody who fits that demographic decides to be a candidate for that office?

    And why go through all that bother when, instead, we can just allow people to vote whoever throws their hat in the ring, but also allow people to influence government directly via a process of referendum?
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  5. #35
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But is the problem really that women aren't interested in going into politics? I see it as a combination of double standards and other factors...women are more likely to be perceived as bitches if they voice strong opinions (e.g. Hillary Clinton), more likely to be asked questions that no male candidate would ever be asked (e.g. Sarah Palin), more likely to be reviled if they hold a leadership position (e.g. Nancy Pelosi), etc. Often these cognitive biases are in our subconscious mind, and we don't even think about them, but I don't doubt that they are there. Perhaps these attitudes simply discourage women from entering politics in the first place.
    Hillary Clinton was the First Lady, successfully ran for office as Senator of New York, ran in a very good campaign for the candidacy for President of the United States for the Democratic Party, and is currently serving as Secretary of State, a position considered primus inter pares in regards to the executive Cabinet.

    If you want to talk about how the system needs to be gamed to give women better opportunities in politics, then Hillary Clinton is the wrong woman to mention.

    And, in reality, there is no double standard in regards as to how women are depicted as bad leaders. This is because everybody is depicted as a bad leader by their political opponents. Because of this, there is a fair standard applied to all politicians in that those who oppose them with say anything to weaken their political positions.

    Men get it just as much as women do. How that is expressed may be different, but both genders get it all the same.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  6. #36
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Unless their opponent has the same view on a particular issue.
    That's a challenge in ANY two-way election though, regardless of the genders of the candidates. If they both disagree with you on an issue, and it's an important issue to you, you can vote for a third-party or mount a primary challenge.

    So why should we force people to vote for one female or another when, instead, we can just let them choose from among people of any gender who decides to run to vote for?
    I think one could just as easily ask why we must force people to vote for one North Dakotan or another when, instead, we can just let them choose from among people of any state who decided to run for a Senate seat from North Dakota. Surely there are lots more qualified New Yorkers or Texans or Californians than North Dakotans simply due to population size...but we have two of each in the Senate nevertheless. At a fundamental level, ANY system of representation has some degree of arbitrariness to it.

    If that's the case then more women should want to get involved in running for office, not mandate that offices be reserved for women candidates.
    I agree. I just question if our political system is actually designed to encourage female participation. If the optimal strategy for a female candidate running against a male opponent is to show that she can be just as ballsy and full of testosterone as he is, then perhaps it dissuades many women from running for office at all.

    Also, women are already politically active in this country in regards to lobbying movements and activism. The interaction with the public, these interest groups, and politicians mean that anybody - male or female - can serve in these capacities on behalf of women's issues without being a woman. I think it should be kept that way.

    4 of the 5 female Republican Senators is too small of a pool, though, especially for the constituency of their political party.
    This is true. However I find it interesting, especially in light of some comments that other female officials have made: Hillary Clinton's notion in 2008 that she couldn't beat a male opponent unless she appeared as tough as possible (which may be why she voted for the Iraq War originally, and later refused to back down), which suggests to me that the tough veneer she displayed during the campaign may have mostly been a facade to try to overcome sexism. Or Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent in a Supreme Court case involving strip searches in high schools, which she felt was an unreasonable search and seizure, where she noted that "none of her colleagues had ever been a 13-year-old girl." To me, statements like those made by Clinton, Ginsberg, and the female Senate Republicans indicate that many women fundamentally view some issues in different ways than many men do...and not just in ideological terms, but in the entire way that they approach an issue.

    And Senators don't represent their political party - rather, they represent their state. So they voted based on what they believed was in the best interest of their state, not the best interest of their party.
    In theory true, in practice not at all true. Party-line votes are much more common than regional votes in today's Congress.

    No doubt it would. But I don't think that's a proper way of doing a representative government.
    Fair enough. I'm not sure I support the idea either, I'm just seeing what people think of it.

    After all, mandating that a certain number of Representatives be homosexual will certainly steer the priorities of the House in a different direction than however many of them are currently serving, and reshape the way legislation is actually negotiated and written.

    The same could be said by mandating certain ratios based on race. Or based on wealth. Or based on education level. Or based on occupational training.
    Ehh...I'm not so sure about that. It's probably true that mandating representation by sexual orientation or race would change Congress' views on civil rights, or changing representation by wealth/education/occupation would change Congress' views on fiscal matters...but I don't think any of those changes would affect its views on much of anything outside the realm in question. Whereas I think equal representation for women would change far more than just "women's issues," since men and women are fundamentally different in how they think, in a way that's not true of blacks and whites, or gay men and straight men.

    And why go through all that bother when, instead, we can just allow people to vote whoever throws their hat in the ring, but also allow people to influence government directly via a process of referendum?
    A federal referendum would be an interesting idea, but the logistics of doing it for a country of 300 million people would probably be tough. I guess it would depend how it was implemented.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 04-15-12 at 11:36 AM.
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  7. #37
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    If this parity were possible, which, in my opinion it is not, the legislation would be improved, in the long term..

  8. #38
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I think one could just as easily ask why we must force people to vote for one North Dakotan or another when, instead, we can just let them choose from among people of any state who decided to run for a Senate seat from North Dakota. Surely there are lots more qualified New Yorkers or Texans or Californians than North Dakotans simply due to population size...
    No, it wouldn't. North Dakotans distrust foreigners (ie. the rest of the union). :P

    The oil boom is causing a conservative reflex in our state, where almost daily the newspapers exclaim that the root of all evils are the foreign invaders throwing bottles of piss on the road and clogging our highways :P
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 04-15-12 at 09:33 PM.
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  9. #39
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Politically it probably wouldn't matter given that the political ideologies wouldn't change. However, any way you look at it, you're talking about a forced quota system, which is not only illegal as hell, it's flat stupid.

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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    The ideology of Olympia Snowe is vastly different from the ideology of Rand Paul.
    Yes but is that due to sex or geographical location and the realities of the ideological types that can concievably win election in said locations?

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