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Please support democracy in the Senate (Read 3321 times)
freediver
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Re: Please support democracy in the Senate
Reply #30 - Sep 3rd, 2016 at 9:47am
 
In a couple of years they will pass another resolution promising to use the new, fairer method next time there is a double dissolution election.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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freediver
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Re: Please support democracy in the Senate
Reply #31 - Sep 3rd, 2016 at 9:25pm
 
Why did the media make so little of the fact that Labor and Liberal both reneged on resolutions they had passed previously? Most failed to mention it, as if the decision was entirely arbitrary.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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freediver
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Re: Please support democracy in the Senate
Reply #32 - Sep 10th, 2016 at 6:22pm
 
August 31? Talk about sloppy journalism. But at least they reported on it.

http://australianpolitics.com/2016/08/31/senate-rotation-of-members-confirmed.html

The Senate has voted to confirm the agreement between the Coalition and the ALP on the rotation of senators following the double dissolution election.

As has occurred on each of the previous six occasions when double dissolutions have been held (1914, 1951, 1974, 1975, 1983 and 1987), the first six senators elected in each state have received six-year terms, whilst the second group of six will serve for three years. The rotation is required under Section 13 of the Constitution.

The major parties rejected the recount method whereby the Senate votes are recounted as if it was a half-Senate election. This method would have meant that the Liberal and Labor Parties each lose one long-term senator (Scott Ryan and Deborah O’Neill) in favour of minor parties (Derryn Hinch and Lee Rhiannon).

The rotation was approved by 50 votes to 15. The four One Nation senators and Jacqui Lambie supported the proposal. The Greens, Nick Xenophon Team, David Leyonhjelm, Bob Day and Derryn Hinch all opposed the resolution.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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freediver
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Re: Please support democracy in the Senate
Reply #33 - Sep 17th, 2016 at 1:35pm
 
Got this response from a lower house MP on September 5.

Quote:
2 September 2016 

Dear Mr ****,

Thanks for your correspondence about allocation of Senators’ terms of office.

I appreciate the concerns you have raised in your email. However, the Labor Opposition in the Senate supported the Government’s proposal to allocate Senators’ terms of office according to the order in which Senators were elected in each State.

I believe that this is both consistent with the convention of the Senate following a double dissolution election and an adequate reflection of the will of voters.

The rules of the Senate articulated in Odgers’s Senate Practice state that –

‘on the seven occasions that it has been necessary to divide the Senate for the purposes of rotation, the practice has been to allocate Senator’s according to the order of their election.’

I also refer to section 13 of the Constitution, which provides that –

‘As soon as may be after the Senate first meets, and after each first meeting of the Senate following a dissolution thereof, the Senate shall divide the senators chosen for each State into two classes, as nearly equal in number as practicable; and the places of the senators of the first class shall become vacant at the expiration three years, and the places of those of the second class at the expiration of six years, from the beginning of their term of service; and afterwards the places of senators shall become vacant at the expiration of six years from the beginning of their term of service…’
I note your concerns about the special re-count provisions in section 282 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth). However, I believe that the Senate’s adherence to both the Constitution and the convention of the Senate does not affect the legitimacy of the Senate. It is still an institution where neither major party has a majority of Senators and the cross bench has actually increased in size this election.

If you would like to talk about this issue with me, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me. You can reach me on .....

Yours sincerely,


I wrote back:


Of course the Labour party position is consistent with convention. The whole point of your party's changes to the electoral act in 1984 - and your party's pledges to the Australian people (1998, 2010) to support those changes in the event of a double dissolution election - was to discard the convention and replace it with the new, fairer method.

In what sense do you consider this to be an "adequate" reflection of the will of the voters? Should the outcome of an election not be the "best" reflection of the will of the voters? Is the new method that your party promised to the Australian public on several occasions (and now abandon) not a better method?

I am curious as to why you failed to address your party's support for the changed method in two different senate motions. Were you unaware of the past promises of your party, or is this a deliberate effort on your part to obfuscate?

Your party's move certainly does effect the legitimacy of the senate. After the next federal election, two senators - one from your party and one from the Liberals - will be occupying stolen senate seats. That your party can so blatantly backflip on a promise made to the Australian people out of short sighted self interest and vote to give yourself more senate seats than you deserve absolutely calls the legitimacy of the senate into question. To take advantage of the constitution in this manner and vote to give yourselves more power in the senate is an affront to democratic principles, which is why your party lied repeatedly to the Australian public in the past when you promised not to do it again. Your insipid efforts to put a positive spin on your party's actions are the essence of why so many Australians despise politicians. You deserve that contempt, and you know it.

Do you think your party will pass another motion in the senate in the coming years to play fair next time? Do you think we will ever be able to trust Labor party senators to fulfill Labor party promises, or is the best we can hope for that one day it will be in your short sighted self interest to do so?
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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Unforgiven
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Re: Please support democracy in the Senate
Reply #34 - Sep 17th, 2016 at 1:47pm
 
Onward and forward. He ain't heavy; he's Freediver's baggage:

...
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