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

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    Gender parity in the Senate

    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?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 04-14-12 at 09:16 PM.
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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?
    I don't think it'd make much difference. A politician is a politician. Anyone who thinks that women would make more kinder/gentler decisions need only look to Nancy Pelosi.
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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?
    Because Senators are voted on it should not be changed to accommodate specific genders. It would mean other groups would require equal representation as well. Blacks, gays, lesbians, orientals, Latinos and so on. Can't happen and be fair to all the groups. Women can run for the Senate as can anyone else. If they win their race they are in and some make it.
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    I don't think it would have a significant effect on legislation since they would still be chosen based on ideology.
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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?
    I think this is a tough question, in general with the current nature of politics I dont know if mush would change because of the games they play so much.

    if politics was just about best for people for people in the sense of rights freedoms and liberty I think a balance would help but thats not the case.
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    When reading the op I couldn't help but think of my son's essay on why boys and girls shouldn't be separated at school - applying his charming logic - women should be equally represented to the populous on account that having more of us there would be more quiet, collective order, respect and all around improved self control - meaning less fighting, bickering, partisan hackery and filibusters.



    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.

    Overall: I think requiring equal-representation would falsify the numbers and actually throw off representation and cheat the electorates and states out of what's more important and the actual center of attention.

    If a woman has earned the respect and consideration of her peers - she'll be a candidate and put up for consideration. . . that should matter more - not gender.
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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?
    Horrible idea. People should vote for whoever decides to run for office.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I don't think it would have a significant effect on legislation since they would still be chosen based on ideology.
    The ideology of Olympia Snowe is vastly different from the ideology of Rand Paul.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Horrible idea. People should vote for whoever decides to run for office.
    Yes - and the idea of having 100 senators - holy poo, that's so wrong. LOL.
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    Re: Gender parity in the Senate

    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.
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