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Greens push for remonstration on self-government

By johnboy - 15 June 2009 33

Uber Green Meredith Hunter has announced her intention to ramp up moves to get the Commonwealth to surrender its power to veto our laws.

    “After twenty years of self government, it is clear that the ACT doesn’t need to have the federal government looking over its shoulder.” Ms Hunter said today.

    “That was the message that came out loud and clear for the 20th anniversary ceremonial sitting on May 11, and the Assembly’s conference the next day.”

    “That is why I plan to move a motion in the Assembly on Wednesday, calling on the Federal Government to give up its power to overrule acts of the ACT Assembly.”

    “I have provided copies of the motion to the leaders of the other parties in the Assembly and would be pleased to work with them in order to get unanimous support.”

For mine, while I’d prefer a more democratic check on the Assembly than the Governor-General acting on the Prime Minister’s advice, I’m loathe to move to a situation where there are no checks on the Legislative Assembly at all.

Although one can see why the London Circuit Soviet would make a grab for un-trammeled power, who wouldn’t given half a chance?

Commonwealth veto over ACT laws

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Greens push for remonstration on self-government
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caf 12:18 pm 19 Jun 09

I advocate getting rid of single-member electorates, yes. They are inherently an undemocratic gerrymander.

No minor party Senators have the ability to pass or block any legislation, either individually or together – they only get that ability when they are part of a majority of Senators, which means that at least one of the major parties is voting with them.

housebound 11:35 am 19 Jun 09

We had a bad version of that in the last Commonwealth Parliament and in the last ACT Assembly.

The so-called nutbages have any sway only as long as Labor/Libs let them. If anything, it should make them at least talk to each other. That they consistently refuse is perhaps one reason that other minority party (I wouldn’t call them nutbags) is currently doing quite well.

chewy14 10:48 am 19 Jun 09

Yes, but that is only first preference totals. Do you want to get rid of electorates?

I agree that both have their flaws, but i would prefer less minority nutbags telling the majority what they can do.

caf 10:23 am 19 Jun 09

chewy14: 2 MPs for 240,000 voters in the ACT, 2 MPs for 120,000 voters in NT. At the last election, Nationals got 5.5% of the vote and 10 MPs – Greens got 7.8% of the vote and no MPs.

chewy14 10:13 am 19 Jun 09

caf said :

YapYapYap: The Senate is elected by a more democratic system than the House.

12 Tasmanian Senators.

caf 9:57 am 19 Jun 09

YapYapYap: The Senate is elected by a more democratic system than the House.

housebound 9:16 am 19 Jun 09

We also have the situation that the Assembly seems to be reluctant to take action in administrative matters, when these are, in reality, the source of most problems people have with the ACT Government.

And, to make it clear, I’m talking about the big decisions such as the decision to buy Calvary, not whether someone can erect a huge pergola or avoid a parking fine.

I could just blame the Westminster system of government we have, but that might be a tad simplistic.

johnboy 8:56 am 19 Jun 09

redrioter said :

Personally I think there’s more than enough checks and balances in the ACT considering that majority government is rare and will probably won’t occur anytime into the forseeable future.

It only in the unusual situations that checks and balances prove their worth.

redrioter 9:40 pm 18 Jun 09

It’s a stunt. The Greens just decided to jump on the bandwagon even though Labor has been discussing this issue for awhile.

There’s been talk about pushing a policy resolution about the rights of territories (ACT and the NT) at the upcoming ALP National Conference in July. It’s been doing the rounds since the beginning of the year at least.

There also seems to be collective amnesia from the media that Stanhope talked about this issue just over a month ago.

What irks me is that they’re a bunch of opportunists but attempt to take the high moral ground.

Personally I think there’s more than enough checks and balances in the ACT considering that majority government is rare and will probably won’t occur anytime into the forseeable future.

Gungahlin Al 4:26 pm 16 Jun 09

ABC is now covering this open door to the debate from Minister O’Connor.

Gungahlin Al 8:27 am 16 Jun 09

Cnaberra Times is reporting this morning that new Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor is talking in a little more conciliatory manner about this. Essentially says he welcomes public debate on the issue of self-determination in ACT, but that any changes would need to be based on comprehensive consultation in the ACT community and broad consensus.

The door is just a little ajar…and all the parties are as one on this issue (the no veto issue). So the stars are aligned so to speak…

Bring it on I say.

YapYapYap 4:48 am 16 Jun 09

Oh, and back on theme, it looks to me like we have plenty of’balance’ in our current electoral arrangements.

As Gungahlin Al correctly points out, we do have a proportional representation system and one that has deliverd just one majority government, during its twenty years. The only majority government, the last one, got hammered for being seen (in my opinion) to have abused its majority position.

Those looking to maintain a system of veto need look no further than the disfunctional, and unrepresentative ‘swill’ that is the Australian Senate, to realise that he last thing the ACT needs is to be second-guessed by a few cretins that have no proper role in telling us what to do.

YapYapYap 4:30 am 16 Jun 09

bd84 said :

Stanhopeless’ gay marriage bill still won’t float even if the dissallowance power is removed. ACT Legislation will still not be able to override Commonwealth Law.. Commonwealth Marriage Law > Stanhope.

In fact it was civil unions law (a registration system) and not a ‘marriage’ law that Howard overturned – and the Feds have no constitutional power to stop the states enacting such legislation should any state choose to do so. Just look to Tasmania.

Makes you wonder why, having committed to stay out of the issue in the wake of the last Federal election, Rudd folded on that commitment.

Don’t let the facts get in your way though bd84 – maintain your rage.

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