Quotas: Good or bad?

Bryn Donovan

AP Comp Gov

Memo #13

In Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, the topic of Gender and Ethnicity and their relation to each other. The reading poses the question: Should government positions include man, women, rich, poor, masters, and slaves? Historically, most of society has been patriarchal and white in most developed worlds specifically in the west. Quotas are often in a place that set percentages as to what minimum percentage needs to be held for minority groups. In Argentina, the quota is 30% of political parties need to be women. Women usually receive quotas while ethnic groups get reserved seats. The difference is that reserved seats are a fixed percentage that has to be filled by election. There are patterns that show that more women vote in leftwing parties then in rightwing parties, and ethnic minorities tend to cluster into political parties.

Are quotas reverse discrimination?

Elizabeth Warren has been in the news a lot recently because of her 2020 presidential campaign. Omitting her political opinions, part of her campaign is that she is both a woman and an ethnic minority as a Native American. CNN published an article about Trump’s comments where he called her Pocohantas to mock her because he didn’t believe she was Native American. The idea that quotas could be reverse discrimination is not true because since white men were the majority of politics for so long and other qualified peoples were denied positions based solely on the fact that they were female or not white makes the quotas necessary. This minority aspect is something that Warren can play off of in her campaign by appealing to the people who feel silenced because of aspects they can’t control.


Dickovick, J. Tyler, and Johnathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Politics. Oxford University Press p. 255-264


Krieg, Gregory. “Here’s the Deal with Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Heritage.” CNN. October 15, 2018. Accessed January 28, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/29/politics/elizabeth-warren-native-american-pocahontas/index.html.

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