Parliamentary Reforms

Hot on this heals of his proposal to ratchet up taxation, former ASX CEO Elmer Funke Kupper has offered his ideas on improving political governance in Australia.

Funke Kupper offers 3 ideas:

  1. Abolish the senate
  2. Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years
  3. Setting minimum thresholds of primary votes thus making it harder for independents to get elected

He does not detail how these reforms are to be implemented, but waves his hand and say “make it so”.

Putting aside little things like the constitution, and ignoring the history of why Australia has a senate ( states’ house) in the first place, Funke Kupper notes that:

The productivity improvements alone would be material. More importantly, reforms would have a better chance of being implemented.

On this, he is absolutely correct.  The productivity of parliament would be improved and the speed with which parliament can draft and pass legislation would be materially improved.  Legislation such a carbon tax, increased GST and mining tax would quickly breeze through the parliament.

And with longer parliamentary terms, the second government of Kevin Rudd could have run for 15 months rather than the 3 months that it did.

Keep your eyes open.  I believe Funke Kupper’s next contribution to the public debate will be an homage to the tooth fairy and the recipe for turning lead into gold.

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27 Responses to Parliamentary Reforms

  1. alexnoaholdmate

    How will entrenching politicians in Canberra for a longer period of time, as well as removing one of the major checks on the government’s power altogether (the Senate), possibly make for better governance?

    Oh, I see. “Better governance” means “no one can possibly stop the government from passing whatever laws it wants.”

    Silly me. I should have known it was NEVER about improving the quality of our political system, but about making it more difficult for voters to keep their representatives in check.

    PS. I am in favour of reform of the Senate. Reform – but not abolition. QLD under Beattie and Bligh is the perfect example of what happens when there is no upper house to provide a check to the power of the executive.

    And whether you liked Joh or hated him, he was able to stay in power only by an undemocratic gerrymander that gave undue weight to rural seats likely to vote for his Nationals. An upper house would have made this impossible.

  2. Senile Old Guy

    Spot on. I do love how those proposing these reforms never address the complete impossibility of getting any of them enacted. Or the fact that some conflict with that document called the Constitution. Or the history of referendums in Australia.

  3. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Q. How many terms should a politician serve?

    A. Two! The first in parliament, and then the next in prison!

  4. stackja

    Abolish the senate.

    No

    Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years.

    No and introduce recall.

    Setting minimum thresholds of primary votes thus making it harder for independents to get elected.

    No decrease thresholds so there are more independents to make parliament more representative. Then need a coalition of many to get legislation passed.

  5. Dr Fred Lenin

    Nicholas totally agree there are peopke in jail who have never committed anywhere near the crimes the lawtradespersons in parliament have . Thorough invetsigation of all politicians past and present would reveal some huge surprises . You would have to put four in a present day one person cell to acccommodate them .

  6. Bruce of Newcastle

    Funke Kupper offers 3 ideas:
    1.Abolish the senate
    2.Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years
    3.Setting minimum thresholds of primary votes thus making it harder for independents to get elected

    Because that works so well in Queensland? Funky!

    Annastacia Palaszczuk slammed for ‘review, not do’ strategy

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s minority government has overseen 145 reviews, inquiries, taskforces and new ­bureaucratic offices in less than two years, prompting concerns her administration is plagued by “paralysis”.

    Curious how a government which effectively has absolute power can’t find its way out of a paper bag without first having a review. Recall also that Ms Palaszczuk wants to destroy her own state with a maniacal 50% renewbull energy target.

  7. RobK

    1930s Germany is a good example illustrating Mr Kupper is correct; there would be efficiencies of a kind but it also shows these kind of efficiencies are not the answer. I think it is fairly clear there is no one clear answers for all situations so to me the safest thing to do is to cede power back to the states. Let them compete. Federal government; pare right back to basics. It is easier to learn by example.

  8. I offer Funke Kupper 4 ideas:
    1. Go to hell
    2. Go directly to hell.
    3. Do not pass the Confessional.
    4. Do not collect 200 Plenary Indulgences.

  9. Senile Old Guy

    I offer Funke Kupper 4 ideas:
    1. Go to hell

    So that’s a ‘no’, is it?

    Kupper has some problems with normal methods of management:

    The head of the Australian Securities Exchange, Elmer Funke Kupper, has quit his $3.5 million a year job over allegations that he knew of a $200,000 payment to the family of Cambodian strongman prime minister Hun Sen. The $200,000 payment was made when Mr Funke Kupper was chief executive of gaming giant Tabcorp and is now the focus of an international anti-bribery investigation led by the Australian Federal Police.

  10. CraftyNipper

    …waves his hand and say “make it so”.

  11. Eyrie

    Well, at least we know not to buy shares in any company this dickhead runs.

  12. Petros

    Greece has a unicameral parliament and it is a lousy system. Not recommended at all. Maybe the senators should behave like the senate is a house of review, not a house of policymakers.

  13. Craig Mc

    Someone needs to read Frank Herbert’s “Whipping Star”

  14. Andrew

    Plan for reforms to the ruling classes and their supporters:
    1) Compile a list of people being investigated for conduct prima facie contrary to national interest
    2) Introduce horsewhipping as penalty for first offence
    3) Install triangles outside head offices of 3 tiers of govt.

    That should focus their attention on improved governance, and that Australians (and not “Syrians”) should be the beneficiary.

  15. Boambee John

    Riccardo at 1311,

    You have understated the response.

    Just add “and the horse you rode in on”.

  16. John Carpenter

    NZ also has a unicameral government and no states and it seems to work quite well.

  17. .

    John Carpenter
    #2258772, posted on January 11, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    NZ also has a unicameral government and no states and it seems to work quite well.

    No.

    Hot on this heals of his proposal to ratchet up taxation, former ASX CEO Elmer Funke Kupper has offered his ideas on improving political governance in Australia.

    Funke Kupper offers 3 ideas:

    Abolish the senate
    Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years
    Setting minimum thresholds of primary votes thus making it harder for independents to get elected

    In other words, he wishes Whitlam won consecutive elections in 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983…

  18. John Carpenter

    So are you denying that NZ is doing quite well?

  19. Petros

    No doubt there are lots of factors JC. The point is without an upper house, politicians can pass lots of dodgy, ill-conceived legislation. Btw all large countries have states within or the equivalent thereof.

  20. Rob MW

    2.Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years

    With the power of impeachment or “recall” he/they can stick that where the sun don’t shine. Brainless prick !!!

  21. Nato

    Would ‘sardonic’ be the right word?
    Love this post!

  22. Tel

    The Senate is doing an excellent job.

    Anyone who wants to abolish it can go jump.

  23. Tel

    More importantly, reforms would have a better chance of being implemented.

    What are these “reforms”?

    We don’t need new laws that you we have more than enough already.

  24. Deplorable

    Now let’s look at what 4 year terms have done for Victoria with Deluded/dangerous Dan in the chair.
    Marxist socialists (CFMEU) are destroying Victoria and our way of life. To give the Federal government 4 year termswould be a dangerous move to take, imagine 8 years of Rudd Gillard Rudd and what another 2 years would have done to Australians. The voters require control over the “elites” and the only way is to keep 3 year terms . Even this has its shortcomings with the rubbish we elect in 2 major parties. It is time to “MAKE AUSTRALIA GREAT AGAIN”

  25. Deplorable

    Abolish the senate.

    No

    Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years.
    Abolish the senate.

    No

    Increase parliamentary terms from 3 years to 4 years.

    No and introduce recall.

    Setting minimum thresholds of primary votes thus making it harder for independents to get elected.

    No decrease thresholds so there are more independents to make parliament more representative. Then need a coalition of many to get legislation passed.
    No and introduce recall.

    Setting minimum thresholds of primary votes thus making it harder for independents to get elected.

    No decrease thresholds so there are more independents to make parliament more representative. Then need a coalition of many to get legislation passed.

    Could not agree more Stackja

  26. Cynic of Ayr

    No one seems to agitate or comment on this, but the role of a State Senator, as I understand it, is to protect the Senator’s individual State.
    That is, no Federal legislation causes the Senator’s State to be disadvantaged, at the advantage of the other States. This was the reasoning behind the States having equal numbers of Senators each, irrespective of population or wealth.
    The reality is far, far from that! Now, an individual Senator has the voting power to both influence advantage to his/her State, and to influence the governing of the Country as a whole!
    The Senate is a “State’s House of Review.”
    I do wish someone with more accountability, public standing and courage than I, would call out these Senators and ask, “How does your vote act in the affairs of your State alone, and does not meddle in the affairs on the Country as a whole?”
    In short, if the legislation does not create unfairness or disadvantage to the Senator’s State, compared to the other States, then the legislation should pass.

  27. I am Spartacus

    US Congress-persons (excuse the microagression) have 2 year terms. Not 3. Not 4. They stand for election every 2 years. This is not a fault in the US system. It is a feature. To make it hard for legislation to pass.

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