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Assembly shrieks at the idea of getting a real job

By johnboy - 14 May 2009 19

CityNews is carrying howls of outrage from the Legislative Assembly at the very idea that they should crap or get off the pot.

Or to put it another way, that the ACT might possibly be better served by our representatives only staying around for 12 years or three terms.

Apparently this strikes at the heart of our democratic freedom to keep comfortable faces in the corridors of power.

On the other hand it would send a very clear message that a seat in the Assembly is a temporary public service, and not a career.

12 year term limits for the Legislative Assembly?

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19 Responses to
Assembly shrieks at the idea of getting a real job
phototext 4:24 pm 14 May 09

“I would like to suggest that the ACT Electoral Office consider doing away with those expensive ballots for the next election and just use a poll here on the RiotACT. Surely the result couldn’t be any worse.”

+1

shutterbug 4:15 pm 14 May 09

I would like to suggest that the ACT Electoral Office consider doing away with those expensive ballots for the next election and just use a poll here on the RiotACT. Surely the result couldn’t be any worse.

trevar 4:08 pm 14 May 09

Has anyone served that long?

I would like to think that if we ever find one good enough to re-elect that many times, we should be able to keep him/her. My suspicion is that we’ve kept some hims and hers in office despite the fact that we’ve never found one good enough…

I don’t think it’s a particularly bad thing to limit terms, but I do think it would be better to vote them out rather than legislate them out. Therefore I would like to suggest a better system: public ballots. That way whoever the idiots were who voted for Hargreaves and Gallagher could be named and shamed…

dvaey 4:00 pm 14 May 09

I think its worth considering a term limit for the leaders, but you dont want to be cycling the entire assembly too regularly, unless you want an assembly of inexperience as well as incompetence every 4 years when those up for their term limits move on. Having said that, Chief Jon has been better behaved than some others who have been around longer than he.

However, those people who are members of government, are elected by the people to represent them and in some situations (think rural areas) they may wish to continue with a known and established representative. That thinking doesnt so much apply in this situation, but.. better the devil you know.

colourful sydney rac 1:40 pm 14 May 09

phototext said :

Two term limit, something Costello wishes had existed here I’m sure.

+1

phototext 1:36 pm 14 May 09

Some states have term limits for the Governor, some state legislators have them and New York has a two term limit on (or been changed to three by Bloomberg ?) elected officials, Giuliani couldn’t run again for New York Mayor.

Two term limit, something Costello wishes had existed here I’m sure.

colourful sydney rac 1:34 pm 14 May 09

Bad idea. There are a couple of problems with limited terms

1 (don’t laugh) the politician could be doing a very good job. They should not be excluded from continuing to represent their electorate merely becaus of their length of service

2 third term politicians would have no incentive to perform in their third term -excluding making a better world (clearly).

If the electorate does not like a politician we have an opportunity to get rid of them every election. If they are past their use by date but keep getting elected, well, that’s our fault.

staria 1:24 pm 14 May 09

I believe the US system only kicks out the President after two terms. I think this is a good idea and should be adopted for all levels of Australian government for the leader of a party. This would encourage better handover to future leaders, and also stop entrenched party leaders from thinking that they can do anything they want. While we’re able to elect whomever we want in our system, we can’t actually pick our PM (in Federal level) except by picking an entire party.

barking toad 1:09 pm 14 May 09

1-2 terms in the local council is enough.

Then they should butt out and be productive in the real world.

While this might just mean a regular swap of party hacks, it might give a chance for unearthing some talent (or not).

amarooresident2 1:06 pm 14 May 09

I presume Senator Byrd keeps getting elected because the majority of his constituents think he is doing a good job, so why artificially restrain them from electing him?

As caf pointed out, Hare-Clark allows voters to punish non performers while maintaining party allegiance, if that’s what they want to do. No need to change.

johnboy 12:55 pm 14 May 09

caf said :

The US also has examples like Robert Byrd, a Senator for more than 50 years.

Although Senator Byrd is more usually cited as a case FOR term limits.

caf 12:50 pm 14 May 09

The US also has examples like Robert Byrd, a Senator for more than 50 years.

phototext 12:44 pm 14 May 09

If there is one thing the Americans got right it is term limits…. that and some damn fine Jewish comedians.

Eight is Enough.

caf 12:41 pm 14 May 09

The premise behind the poll is flawed. You can believe “If they can’t get anything done in 12 years its time to move on“, but also believe that the responsibility is upon the electorate to enforce this.

Since the Hare-Clark system allows us to support particular candidates rather than just Party tickets, there’s really not a strong argument that the electorate can’t get rid of the timeservers if it wants to. Didn’t that happen to a Liberal MLA or two at the last election – beaten by a newcomer from the same party?

Spectra 12:28 pm 14 May 09

If they can’t get anything done in 12 years its time to move on

If we as voters decide to keep them around after 12 years of not doing anything, that’s nobody’s fault but our own. What if, god forbid, someone spends 12 years doing excellent work? Should they be forced out because we’re too…whatever we are…to vote out the incompetent ones? If the populous bothered to pay attention during an election, rather than just going “I’m voting [Major Party] because I’m a [Major Party] supporter” then maybe the parties would actually have to work to maintain their near monopoly on assembly seats.

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