Democratic reform

As night follows day and as certain as death and taxes, citizens can be assured that in the not too distant future, our political elite will seek to put to a referendum their favourite grab bags of ideas under the innocuous heading of “democratic reforms”.

With democracy meaning:

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system

and reform meaning:

the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc,

it is almost guaranteed that the proposals our political elite will seek to put to citizens will unlikely be democratic or reform.  What the proposed “reforms” will likely be are changes to make the lives of politicians easier and to make the passage of laws and regulations easier.

The proposals will almost certainly be bipartisan and will almost certainly include changes to Section 44.i. (aka the dual citizenship clause) and to extend parliamentary terms to 4 years. They will be presented as enhancing and strengthening Australia’s democracy but the common thread will be a net transfer of power from citizens to politicians.

You can bet your bottom dollar because it certainly won’t be their bottom dollar.

Here are some real democratic reform ideas that our political elite will never put to the people.  Cats will probably have their own in addition.  But our political masters will likely never put these to the people because the people would likely vote for them and in doing to, take power away from Canberra.  How about citizens being offered some of these apples:

  • citizen initiated referenda
  • term limits
  • recall elections
  • citizen juries
  • representation through sortition
  • a balanced budget clause in the Constitution

Can’t see this happening.

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34 Responses to Democratic reform

  1. What I’d like to see is a system where we vote for the party (much as we do now) and that we vote for the Prime Minister of that party as a separate vote. The Prime Minister cannot be ousted other than for something that would oust them from Parliament.

    I would also like to get rid of preferential voting. One party, one vote. One PM, one vote. First across the line. No bargaining/negotiation other than after Parliament is formed, if votes for legislation are required.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    our political elite will seek to put to a referendum their favourite grab bags of ideas under the innocuous heading of “democratic reforms”.

    What, like this referendum question?

    Do you want the government to be like a boot stamping on a human face forever?
    Y/N

    Orwell warned us about these people in 1948.

  3. A Lurker

    Here are some real democratic reform ideas that our political elite will never put to the people. Cats will probably have their own in addition. But our political masters will likely never put these to the people because the people would likely vote for them and in doing to, take power away from Canberra. How about citizens being offered some of these apples:

    You left out Voluntary Voting.

  4. entropy

    How about a constitutional amendment to omit the number of senators to two from each state, just like me the yanks. And oh, the senate can only review Bills and run estimates, and can’t be in the ministry.

    I reckon that would be a serendipitous change with benefits far beyond the immediately obvious.

  5. entropy

    Getting rid of preferential and compulsory voting would be good, but doesn’t need a referendum, surely.

  6. entropy

    I just have to fix that, not used to this new iOS on new iPad Pro

    How about a constitutional amendment to limit the number of senators to two from each state, just like the yanks. And oh, the senate can only review Bills and run estimates, and a Senator can’t be in the ministry.

    I reckon that would be a serendipitous change with benefits far beyond the immediately obvious.

  7. entropy

    As a quid pro we could give a sop to the politicians that the state parliament selects the senators.
    None for the territories of course. They would be aligned with a state for their senators.

  8. Joe

    As a quid pro we could give a sop to the politicians that the state parliament selects the senators.
    None for the territories of course. They would be aligned with a state for their senators.

    From within the state sitting members of the states lower house.

  9. John Constantine

    We see right now that their election winning machine, the turnbull debacle team, is simply running the clock down to their shortfilth crime foundation taking over.

    The economic genocide of old productive Australia is a non-issue, their preening black handed turnbullites simply cronying along with their corrupt media and their corrupt shortfilthites to fill the newspapers with reforms to the pace of social engineering, and how soon to topple old australia and replace it with a bankrupt and compliant satrapy of their transnational looting cartel elites.

    The string of headlines created by their turnbullites election grasping machine this last six months, as Australia approaches a summer of deindustrialisation makes for grim consideration.

    They are really going to get away with it.

    Comrades.

  10. Joe

    Also thinking about the senate full of state MP’s. Get rid of the senate chamber. The Reps pass legislation that is sent to each state for ratification. Unanimous acceptance passes, all else rejected.

  11. John Constantine

    Australia can no longer make its own ice-cream, and these low grade blurting quisling fartbubbles indulge themselves in theatre with their esteemed and learned partners in soggy law-biscuits about how to draw out their showtrials until they have completely bankrupted the capital of the Australian nation.

    Their turnbull, the legacy of bringing in mecury lightbulbs and taking out the Australian ice-cream industry.

  12. Amadeus

    Spartacus, methinks the “citizen jury” has morphed into existence via blogs of this quality where debate, intellectual input and serious analysis and linked referencing is posted day in, day out. We don’t have to agree on everything but the weight of real evidence tends to point towards good policy and practice where the whole community benefits, not the squeaky wheels, fads, fetishes or rent-seekers.

    On the basis of my current analysis of the “citizen jury”, our economy is in a shambles and Turnbull is a dead man walking.

  13. Alex Davidson

    The underlying problem with democracy in Australia is that it has become little more than mob rule. Thanks to democracy, the plundering class now outnumber the plundered, and see nothing wrong with it.

    What we need are reforms that ensure principles such as contract, consent, and the sanctity of property cannot be overridden by voting.

  14. H B Bear

    Getting rid of preferential and compulsory voting would be good, but doesn’t need a referendum, surely.

    This!! +1

    This first responsibility of a political party is to get their supporters off the couch and casting a vote. Not required under a Textor-esque strategy of the modern Lieboral Party and look what has resulted.

  15. Joe

    What we need are reforms that ensure principles such as contract, consent, and the sanctity of property cannot be overridden by voting.

    That will never happen. No one will vote to decrease the amount of ill gotten booty they can extract from others. Certainly, they will never vote to put resources beyond their reach.

  16. Lysander

    citizen initiated referenda

    No, nay, never. Can you imagine the fun that’d be had be ABC/Green activists with such an idea! If, say, one million citizens were require to initiate a referendum nationally, I’m sure the filth could pull this together in the timeframe of one hour after a Four Corners story on, say, NT detention of kids…. hey, wait!?

    You left out Voluntary Voting.

    Indeed, but the first step toward this is Optional Preferential Voting. And the way you get leftists on-board with this is remind them that, under the current system, they are forced to put a number against Hanson, Bernardi, Christians in the lower house or their vote is not valid. OPV eliminates this and you can determine when you want your ballot to be “spent.”

  17. It is good to see “sortition” on your list. That’s why I liked Ricky Miur in the Senate and not some lawyer or technocrat.

  18. Dr Faustus

    The HoR is elected to enable policy, based on the platform that attracts the most votes at election time. The Senate is there to review legislation and the implementation of policy by the executive and check that the interests of the States and Territories are not trampled. Not to obstruct policy voted for by the majority.

    An appropriate Senate reform would see the Senate allowed to reject a Government Bill twice (with or without amendments), on the second occasion leading to an immediate vote of both houses on the rejected Bill, followed by an automatic Double Dissolution election if the Bill is voted down.

    Self-interest would certainly cut out the posturing by extremists and low-wattage twats looking forward to an agreeable career on the public purse.

  19. Dr Faustus

    citizen initiated referenda
    No, nay, never.

    Amen to that. Aside from the constant stream from the ABC/Get-Up we would be exposed to great ideas originating from Peter Helliar, Waleed, Cate Blanchett, celebrity cooks, the Footy Show, Alan Jones – and every other fucker with a two-bob view and an audience.

    Probably not too different from the present situation, but at least some of the parliamentary degenerates live in fear of being suddenly unemployed because of crap ideas, badly implemented.

  20. Combine Dave

    citizen initiated referenda
    term limits
    recall elections
    citizen juries
    representation through sortition
    a balanced budget clause in the Constitution

    Sorely needed!

    Along with voluntary voting, voter ID and this reform to immigration would also be of importance in ending the influx of vote herds = undermining democracy !

  21. Tator

    Joe,
    Poor idea, as then you could have dimfucks like Weatherdill vetoing everything that doesn’t adhere to his far left ideology. Make it the majority of States as there are 6, so there is a 66% approval of all state parliaments, the others cannot complain as they are outnumbered 2 to 1.

  22. You can bet your bottom dollar because it certainly won’t be their bottom dollar.

    So, so very true. It’s always our bottom dollar personally, never theirs personally.

    As for 4 year terms, well that just means we have to wait even longer before we can turf out the useless buggers.

  23. Suburban Boy

    Citizens’ juries are a really bad idea, which is why they seem to be very popular with the leftists who dominate politics and the MSM. It might look on the surface like an opportunity for ordinary people to overcome the dominance of leftist elites – but it achieves quite the opposite.

    The problem isn’t the citizens – mainly decent people with common sense – but the “experts” and oversight panel. The experts and oversight panel are drawn from the current elites, and almost by definition they skew to the left. Think of the selection of judges, or commissioners of the Australian Human Rights Commission. No matter which party is in power, the people selected will generally be of the left. Same thing with people running citizens’ juries.

    Unfortunately, in the absence of political savvy and expertise in the area under discussion, decency and common sense cannot withstand a sustained stream of plausible but strongly left-biased indoctrination. Citizens’ juries actually legitimate the process of ingraining leftist positions, because they provide a veneer of democratic process.

  24. Leftists like Nick Greiner who leads the research committee of the newDemocracy Foundation?

    Can you offer an example (ideally in Australia) to support your point?

    The oversight groups are designed to be a group of critics from polar opposites of the issue who would scream blue murder if there was a bias – it defeats the point to assemble one that doesn’t have a strong level of polarisation.

  25. Ian Walker;
    And after three years, due to the Miracle of Entryism and the Leftist habit of infiltrating every organisation they can loot for money, influence, and jobs for the girrls, your newDemocracy Foundation will be dead in the Canberran waters.

  26. Well Winston, we’ve been going for ten, and we’re entirely privately funded, but how about we have a little bet as to our survival. The Internet is forever, and you seem very sure. Go on, be a sport.

    It seems a very lazy approach to say “I don’t understand something. Therefore I don’t like it. Therefore I decry it as Leftist.” Why don’t you/we ask renowned Leftists Campbell Newman and perhaps Nick Cater what they think of our approach?

    I would have thought/ hoped participants on this blog would welcome a methodology which asks a random sample of everyday people from all walks of life to consider multiple sources (including those they identify themselves) to see if they can make a recommendation and support it with a rationale. Our problem is the primacy of public opinion based on little but a reaction – and we argue that this needs to be replaced by public judgment instead.

  27. Dr Fred Lenin

    To further control polliemuppets we could ,limit office to one term per person per lifetime , curb donations to $10. Per person or organisation per year , forbid lobbying of politicians Minimun]m five years jail for attempting to influence decisions . Abolishing career political workers volunteers only . . The other curbs combined with mine would destroy career politics and political parties. A very good thing for real democracy rule by the people . The present mob would have to get a real job .

  28. Suburban Boy

    That would be the Nick Greiner who as Premier: attacked free speech by making it a crime to say the wrong thing about protected victim groups; jumped early and hard on the global warming bandwagon; and gifted NSW with its Independent Commission Against Corruption (the petard on which he was so quickly hoisted). The same Nick Greiner who is now the Patron of the “Yes” case for SSM in the Liberal Party.

    Is that the Foundation’s idea of a right-winger?

  29. Roger

    The underlying problem with democracy in Australia is that it has become little more than mob rule. Thanks to democracy, the plundering class now outnumber the plundered, and see nothing wrong with it.

    You say you want a revolution?

    No representation without taxation!

    Only those citizens who make a net contribution to the Treasury should have a vote.

  30. citizen initiated referenda
    recall elections

    Let me see…..Marxist professors with their army of 18-22 year old fuckwit students plus environazis and the GetUp crowd versus conservatives too busy working to make ends meet…hmmmmmm
    NAH!! FUCK THAT MATE, that won’t end well, won’t end well at all.

    p.s. Not to mention in a generation or so a substantial number of Moo-ham-medinas.

  31. Rob MW

    ◾citizen initiated referenda
    ◾term limits
    ◾recall elections
    ◾citizen juries
    ◾representation through sortition
    ◾a balanced budget clause in the Constitution

    Add: Codifying the Common Law under the Constitution & binding the States, specifically, for the protection of life and property.

  32. Whalehunt Fun

    Employment by the ABC should be a capital offence. The law must be changed to mandate a cruel and slow death for the crime of working for the ABC. Auctioning the rights to be the executioner would make the system a profit centre.

  33. Spring is coming

    Should also include a cap on government expenditure as a % of GDP

  34. Rockdoctor

    Voluntary OPV. Fixed Judicial terms with provision to extend if doing a competent job, you don’t get appointed for life.

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