People who read my last post on my Libertarianism might be surprised to hear that I’m ecstatic with Justin Trudeau’s early actions. I even sent him an email the other day to tell him (in slightly more formal speech) that he’s fucking nailing it! First of all, he’s basically Obama 2.0 in terms of his demeanor and public speaking ability. He’s charismatic, ostensibly honest and a great face for Canada. In terms of his early movements he’s nothing but net so far. Starting the process of ending overseas killing and the ridiculous prohibition on marijuana, engaging with the public both in common spaces and online and pushing for equality in many different sects are all well in line with both my personal morality and my political beliefs.
Most recently, Trudeau came through on his promise to elect a gender balanced cabinet. When asked by a reporter why he did this his mic drop response “Because it’s 2015” was brilliant. I am so happy to be alive and vibrant during this historical breakthrough in our government.
…But then a thought occurred to me. A little voice in my head started saying some unpopular things. I tried to tell it to shut up for a while but then I think I started to make sense of it. The question that was eating at me was; If a gender parameter (or race or age or religious affiliation) is set ahead of time then isn’t it likely that a qualified person will be left off in the name of equality?
Suppose for a moment that Trudeau is building a 100 person cabinet (I could actually take a second to look into how big his new cabinet is but I’m too lazy and 100 is an easy number to work with). He has now decided on 50 women and 49 men. To fulfill his promise he HAS to elect another man, even if there are 4 or 5 women who are better suited to the job. How is that not sexism?
I’ll try to answer my own question by first assuming that my hypothetical scenario, although proposed with the best of intentions, was probably actually the opposite situation in real life. We still live in a patriarchal society that has granted many men many more opportunities over time for reasons that are entirely unfair. The playing field, although improving, is not yet level and therefor an equal and potentially flawed parameter may be a necessary plan at this moment in time.
Ultimately, I wish the Liberals expressed their desire for gender equality in their cabinet and did everything in their power to remove innate gender biases from their decision making process (ex. nameless/gender free resumes for starters). Then they could have fully disclosed to the public the reasons for electing each individual and why that person was better suited for the job than the other few people that were being considered in the final stages. This way I’m certain that the gender ratio would still have been extremely close (maybe 57/43 or something like that) but everyone also would have gotten a fair chance. This would have been the Libertarian approach.
Is unequal but fair better than equal but unfair? I honestly, don’t know. This is just what the voice in my head ponders. 57/43 certainly isn’t as sexy on the global scene. I wouldn’t be able to backpack around the world and brag about our almost equal cabinet. I’m very curious what other people think on this. This certainly isn’t an original thought as I’ve already seen an article saying something similar. Just another drop in the bucket for the marketplace of ideas.