Standing Up For >your electorate here<

I’m finding the faux outrage by the Coalition and their supporters in the News media over the independents securing deals for their local electorates both amusing and head-slappingly frustrating.

First, securing deals for local electorates is the whole point of the single-member electorate system. You might not like it – and I don’t, and have repeatedly argued for multi-member electorates that don’t disenfranchise voters for broad-based smaller parties – but that’s the system they’ve put in place.

It’s also the system they regularly claim to support. You must’ve seen the election material produced by both big parties and put in your letter box each national poll, all about how LOCAL CANDIDATE X has secured LOCAL ADVANTAGE Y for your area due to their participation in their big party. Their whole appeal for your vote is based on how much their candidate for your area has managed to get out of the rest of the country.

Finally, it’s particularly ironic for the Coalition to complain about this, since holding the rest of us to ransom on behalf of the bush is pretty much the whole raison d’etre of the National Party. Just because they’re no longer very good at it – as the independents’ successes have embarrassingly highlighted to their voters – doesn’t mean that they can have any credibility complaining about the only policy approach in which they’ve ever believed.

If you don’t want local electorates holding the rest of us to ransom, then support a more proportional, broad-based system – like, for example, the one I’ve been advocating. If you insist on single-member local representation being the fundamental principle of the House of Representatives, then don’t complain when that’s just what happens.

2 responses to “Standing Up For >your electorate here<

  1. Good post. Also, pretty outrageous that after an election that exclusively appealed to the parochial, petty and xenophobic concerns of Queensland and Western Sydney, suddenly a different form of parochialism is verboten.

  2. Motivated purely by the desire to enjoy the predictable shrieking and bleating which resulted from the Independents’ decision, I did something I have not done for a couple of years and visited Blotty’s site.
    I was amused by the fact that if the Independents had opted the other way, we would have had sanctimonious observations that they made a wise choice and that this is proof that the system works.
    Given that it went the other way, naturally the system was roundly condemned and the endless parroting of primary vote statistics and bitching that their coalition ought to be allowed whilst the nasty Lefty Greenie coalition should not.
    Apart from pointing out that it was all fine and dandy when Beazley lost after winning the greatest number of votes but fewer seats, I was prompted to raise this point when confronted with their shrill screams to change the system.
    I remember the Constitutional Convention very well and was sickened and later stupefied by the constant repetition of the slogan “if it aint broke, then don’t fix it” from Conservative Monarchists. This was the standard slogan pitched by the likes of Sophie Mirabella and Co. in response to suggestions that the Political and Electoral system in Australia might be altered or fine tuned.
    It is childish beyond belief to adopt an automatic oppositional stance purely on the basis that the status quo suits your political party at the time but to then adopt a contrasting view when the situation changes to one which is unfavourable, as has happened.
    I take my vote very seriously and chose to make it work as hard as it could in my safe Labor seat by selecting the Greens first, Labor second etc. in the House of Reps and marking every box below the line in the Senate. It is the first time that I have not put One Nation last and the Shooters second last as I thought that this place was reserved for Family First, or last in this case.
    Accordingly, I really hope that the current state of affairs in the Parliament is one which in some way reflects the ideal, where issues are debated and discussed amongst members whose vote actually means something and maybe, just maybe, the good of the nation and its citizens might come before the wish to keep power in the next election.
    Amazingly, what politicians do not know is that it is precisely by doing this that they will in fact get re-elected.
    Over the years I have become disheartened by party alliances which are almost akin to wearing blinkers or having a brain injury, whereby representatives of all persuasions simply object to what the other party presents on principle. On the ABC programme AM for example, if say Joe Hockey or Tony Abbot are interviewed, there is no question that their stance will be critical, involving silly slogans and presenting hyperbole which presumes an insulting level of stupidity in the listening voters.
    Clearly this is not restricted to the Coalition reps. Labor and minor party reps. can be just as guilty.
    Perhaps I am naive but I am hoping a new era of fairness and honesty will prevail, with co-operation and genuine debate. Is it not sad that this historically only occurs in times of war?

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