Image for Transforming a system in crisis

The art of politics in a failing Western democracy is one of compromise.

It involves:

• Toeing the party line over public policy,

• Cabinet solidarity,

• Supporting one’s fellows for better or worse,

• and most important of all getting re-elected; never mind the cost.

The result is a system in crisis.

I would like to further stimulate debate … how about a totally new system in which:

No one can stand for Parliament until they have reached the age of retirement currently 65.

An individual can only be elected once.

All individuals can only be elected via their local council and through council elections.

The community elects 12 local councillors of which two are elected by their fellow councillors to represent the community in State or Federal Parliament; one in the Upper house, one in the Lower house.

We elect at each election a half house at a time to ensure continuity.

This system surely would abolish all political parties, their stooges and the third-rate hacks.

The community will no longer vote on a compulsory basis; as a result only those with a real interest will vote.

Candidates would have to address at least three public meetings prior to election and only those who have actually attended these public meetings would be entitled to vote.

Candidates must speak about their life, experience, achievements and qualifications and why they consider themselves suitable to represent their community in council and if elected by their fellows to sit in State or Federal Parliament.

Through their local council the community would have direct access to their political representatives

Government is then conducted by committee with each committee placing its recommendation’s before the Lower House for approval and subsequent review by the Upper House before being passed into law.

Membership of a committee is based on an individuals experience in the real world, a world they have just left and presumably understand in detail.

For example a former soldier would be appointed to the Defence Committee, a nurse, Health etc.

Having just left the Service they would be aware of the practical problems and be able to advise accordingly.

Committee policy would be refined from within the Parliament by open debate and a subsequent free vote.

This should see Government by Consensus rather than as now by unworkable unpleasant adversarial system.

The Speaker will act as a permanent non elected Government Administrator present only to organise but not influence the business of government.

To provide an incentive to public service those elected would be paid tax free, thereby reducing costs.

The individual’s pension would be unaffected.

Anyone found to act dishonestly would be tried before the House and if found guilty sentenced to Life.

The above is just an outline and I suggest a very small start.

Using the power of the internet TT’s readership may like to add or subtract to the above and thereby help to develop a people’s policy for the future government of Tasmania.

The Editor may like to act as a Moderator.