WHEN A DOWNER IS A GOOD NEWS – One of the perennial complaints is that we need more women in politics, particularly on the centre-right of politics. We certainly need more women like Georgina Downer:
Georgina Downer, the daughter of one-time Liberal leader and foreign minister Alexander Downer, has been endorsed unopposed as the party’s candidate for the upcoming Mayo federal by-election.
Ms Downer confirmed she was seeking preselection last week, after the incumbent, Rebekha Sharkie, announced her resignation.
Ms Sharkie was one of four federal MPs to step down in the wake of the High Court’s decision over Labor Senator Katy Gallagher’s eligibility, but intends to recontest the seat.
Ms Downer’s preselection comes at a time when the underrepresentation of women in the ranks of Liberal MPs is under close scrutiny, following the dumping of Assistant Minister for Disability Services Jane Prentice.
Her preselection defeat at the hands of Brisbane City councillor Julian Simmonds prompted another Queensland LNP MP to tell the ABC women were ready to quit the party.
Just 18 of the 84 Liberal MPs and senators in Parliament are women.
Georgina is part of a political dynasty, which I’m generally not a fan of as they rarely produce consistent quality (like any other dynasties), and while it no doubt helps to have the surname Downer in Mayo, I’m happy to make an exception for her. Georgina has got a career in the foreign service behind her, as well as a prominent role at the Institute of Public Affairs, where for several years recently she kept fighting the good ideological fight in many public forums. She has the right ideas, the weight, and the abilities. And, on top of that, she is a very nice person. Disclosure: I first met Georgina a few years ago when she was working at the Tokyo embassy and looked after me and my then boss for a few days of our official visit to an aid summit and then the inspection of the post-2011 tsunami devastation near Fukushima.
Had she stayed in foreign service she would now be an ambassador. In politics, I have no doubt she will be a Cabinet Minister one day. These are the sorts of people we need more in politics, both male and female. Good luck, Georgina!