Saying it was willing to ‘try anything’ to get more women in parliament, the Liberal Party is considering altering a decades-old rule that requires a female member of the party to have signed permission from her husband or father before entering parliament.
The controversial move, proposed by moderates within the party, would see a relaxing of the rule, meaning an unmarried woman wishing to run for office could provide permission from her de-facto partner of five years or more.
The move is likely to be opposed by the party’s right, which has already labelled the proposal as ‘reckless’ and ‘dangerous’. A spokesperson from the right said he supported equal representation “100%”, but that checks and balances needed to remain in place.
“This is a very slippery slope. You allow this and next thing you know women will be expecting to run in safe seats. I’m all for equal opportunity, but it has to be done on merit, not some strange system where the playing field isn’t level”.