4 August 2009

Frustrated (yet frisky) Stanhope pushing again for the trainer wheels to come off

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times brings word that the usual Stanhopian approach to negotiation (and doesn’t it work so well?) is underway as the Frisky Leader tries to nag the Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O’Connor, into letting the ACT Legislative Assembly stay out after midnight.

No wait, they’re after an end to Commonwealth veto of our laws.

    Mr Stanhope said Canberrans should be given the same democratic rights as other Australians to pass law.

    ”I am concerned that it has never been seen as an issue of any priority that the Federal Parliament was prepared to devote time to. But these are important issues for Canberrans. I hope its [failure is] not around continuing concerns around some of the legislation we might, as a very progressive government and community, be inclined to pass, for instance in relation to civil unions.”

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How many Laws were passed in Canberra without any vote or public consultation?
Plenty. look at the changes and amendments to the A.C.T. Freedom of Information ACT. Did any voters in good old Canberra get a say in that? Mr Cowbell has been changing A.C.T. laws for years with little or no public consultation, so how much more power do they need? Quick answer…None… They have way too much now, and I for one am glad that the Feds can over rule these polly’s, otherwise they would probably be showing up to the assembly in hot air Balloons, funded by the Taxpayer’s again, and who said that there was no such thing as a free lunch. We need to drain the Swamp too, and not pay for their free lunch…

If Stanhope had bothered to check with The-RiotACT (http://the-riotact.com/?p=3206), he would have realised that this argument has been going on for a very long time…

To put it another way, the model used in the States (and Federally) is a powerful Executive, a rubber-stamp lower house and checks by a frequently gerrymandered and in one case non-existent upper house. I reckon we can cut out a redundant layer by having a powerful Executive and checks by a proportionally-elected lower house.

It may interest you to know that Queensland doesn’t have an upper house either.

I contend that we could achieve a better check on the executive by moving to entirely 7-member electorates, so that it becomes a realistic impossibility for any one party to get an absolute majority in the Assembly.

I agree with Granny but when we have a questionnable government, it’s somehow reassuring to know that Poppa can over-rule. I’m all for the greater good of Canberra and its residents but frankly find it insulting when Stanhope pushes his priorities under the guise of what’s best for Canberra and Canberrans. Since when has he listened to us anyway?

caf said :

We should probably be putting up a united front with the Northern Territory on this.

Or, for that matter, Norfolk Island… we could lobby for the same rights as the Norfolk Territorians! That’d throw some spanners in the works!

But, as much as I detest being treated as a second class citizen just because I live in the capital, I agree with Granny. The Federal Parliament is a good substitute for an upper house in a jurisdiction like ours.

Since we don’t have an upper house, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to have some kind of check.

It would be very frustrating for those concerned, however; and where it doesn’t reflect the will of the people it is probably wrong.

I loved it when Hawke saved the Franklin in Tasmania, though. There are occasions where it is good if the federal government can override state or territory governments.

We should probably be putting up a united front with the Northern Territory on this.

Stanhope is so selfless,

he really only wants the extra power so he can serve us better.

PigDog: Yep, before my time though (1978 referendum). Then the powers that be decided that we must have the ability to make laws for ourselves (while maintaining an vice like grip on what can pass and what cannot).

Do we really want to give the muppets in the assembly more power? They’re doing such a good job with the powers they already have.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy11:48 am 04 Aug 09

Good points all. Canberra exists to serve and support Australia.

Didn’t ACT residents vote against self-government in the first place?

Look, let’s be realistic. This city wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for NSW and VIC arguing about the location of the capital all those years ago. We exist because of Federation.

Canberra doesn’t exist for Canberrans, it exists for Australians.

As a result, we’ll never be able to truely shape the city into something that’s “ours” and I seriously doubt that the Federal Government will relax their veto any time soon.

barking toad11:08 am 04 Aug 09

Local councils lead by mayors with delusions of grandeur always want more powers.

It’s the little man syndrome.

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