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20 years of the Legislative Assembly

By johnboy - 11 May 2009 41

So apparently today marks the 20th year of sittings in the London Circuit Soviet also known as the Legislative Assembly.

Having done the fogey reminiscence to mark the anniversary of the first election let’s instead look forward.

What would you change to improve the governance of our Territory?

What’s Your opinion?

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41 Responses to
20 years of the Legislative Assembly
old canberran 3:57 pm 11 May 09

Give it back to the Federal Government. It’s their responsibility to govern it as the nation’s capital on behalf of the people of this country.
They cannot and should not expect the residents of Canberra to pay for the upkeep of the nation’s capital. I have to say that after 20 years of self government it’s obvious that it’s not working. The place looks very tired and unkempt particularly in the older suburbs.

Trunking symbols 3:26 pm 11 May 09

Interesting to remember that single member electorates were ruled out because Labor would win every seat. In other words Labor was penalised because they were too popular. Thus we got modified D’Hondt then Hare-Clark. Also remember the three No Self Government MPs and the Abolish Self Government MP elected in the first Assembly. One of the No Self Government MPs (Craig Duby) became Urban Services minister in Trevor Kaine’s government and another of the NSG MPs became speaker. I remember talking to Craig Duby before the 1st election in 1989 and he actually told me that they didn’t advocate no self government at all but rather a town council (local government). They really fooled everybody.

seekay 2:55 pm 11 May 09

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.

Hey! We watched that on Saturday night.

I can’t think of a more appropriate quote other than maybe, “We’ll come in low out of the rising sun, and about a mile out, we’ll put on the music.”

Gungahlin Al 2:50 pm 11 May 09

I notice John Warhurst put forward the idea (which I have also floated here from time to time) to expand out the ACT to Yass and Bungendore.

PM 2:21 pm 11 May 09

The feds gave up the ACT because it was costing too much money. We are now suffering as a result. We need to offer solutions.

I’d expand our borders to take in Quangers, Murrambateman and possibly other nearby areas. Let’s face it, we’re paying for the use of our infrastructure by NSW residents who work here. Also, they can’t be experiencing great governance by having the NSW govt responsible for them. We need extra land in order to streamline interconnectivity with the captial region (eg business, transport, etc) as well as allow for sufficient diversification of the ACT economy.

I’d change the electoral boundaries to allow for Gungahlin to be represented only by people who live there. If we add extra areas to our boundary, I’d have Hall represented by the Murrumbateman region. I think we should then keep multi-member electorates, but increase the size of the assembly slightly but realign things.

screaming banshee 2:12 pm 11 May 09

Skidbladnir said :

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.
Its the only way to be sure.


frontrow 1:36 pm 11 May 09

Why do we need any electorates? An electorate at large seems the way to go to me.

The ballot paper will probably be insane from time to time but that is a small price to pay in my eyes.

Gungahlin Al 1:21 pm 11 May 09

Agree with Caf. The current size is unworkable – each MLA is (or should be) chronically overworked, the ministers have far too much in their portfolios. People decry many decisions or lapses in attention. Although stupidity or laziness is sometimes to blame, more often it is entirely understandable and only a few more MLAs will resolve it.

There is a requirement for odd number of electorates, odd number of MLAs in each, and odd number in total. So 17, 19 (7,7,5), 21, 23 (7,7,9), 25, and so on.

I’m torn between 21 (3×7) and 25 (5×5).

7-member electorates are more likely to see minors and independents elected – a Good Thing in my opinion. But the size of electorate is so large that it acts to prevent those same minors and independents from being able to finance and mount a decent campaign – thus it is bordering on undemocratic.

5-member electorates would address the size issue, and as caf said allow better matching of electorates to communities. But the required quota is larger thereby meaning perhaps less of those same minors/independents getting up.

I think I err on the side of better democracy, and therefore favour 5×5. I just fervantly hope the Greens acquit themselves well this term and people are better disposed to look beyond the two old parties, thereby off-setting the quota issue.

But we need to get this issue on the agenda, as neither ALP or Libs appear prepared to broach the size differences.

As to those espousing single member electorates, I’d suggest reading Crispin Hull’s column in today’s CT, where he explains that the last two elections would have seen EVERY seat go to ALP under that scenario. And remember it is a single-house parliament – no checks or balances. Just a virtual dictatorship from term to term.

caf 12:54 pm 11 May 09

A small increase in the size of the assembly would be warranted, mainly to allow a corresponding increase in the number of allowed Ministers. This would also let us redraw the electorate boundaries to better align with geographic realities and give an equal number of representatives to each electorate.

Trev 11:35 am 11 May 09

Better building planning and regulation would be good. A system of independent building inspectors would be good, too.

Clown Killer 11:28 am 11 May 09

Sorry, obviously that opening sentence should read: believe that the Legislative Assembly isn’t broken.

Clown Killer 11:27 am 11 May 09

I believe that the Legislative Assembly is broken. It’s the electorate that needs a good seeing to. Ultimately we get the representatives we deserve. Endlessly bitching and moaning about our MLAs, crime, justice, roads, rates, health and education … (list continues ad nausea) is great sport for those too dumb to realise their contribution to the territory is only measured in greenhouse gas emissions.

Changes? Keep the Hare-Clarke system as it’s great at helping identify the MLAs we detest the least and make voting voluntary so that we can live in a true democracy.

peterh 11:21 am 11 May 09

Skidbladnir said :

What would you change to improve the governance of our Territory?

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.
Its the only way to be sure.


colourful sydney rac 11:17 am 11 May 09

single member electorates

Skidbladnir 11:12 am 11 May 09

What would you change to improve the governance of our Territory?

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.
Its the only way to be sure.

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