20 June 2005

Proportional representation - Time to give it the arse?

| johnboy
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The whole point of proportional respresentation is that it trades a degree of accountability in return for a greater plurality of representation.

But it occurs to me that the trend in ACT Elections has been very firmly against plurality to the current Assembly where Deb Foskey sits alone as a Green on the cross bench.

And yet we the people languish in a situation where no single member is accountable for the area in which we live and can safely ignore the feelings of 90% of the population as long as they play to a 10% base.

I do wonder if we wouldn’t actually get a more diverse Assembly (and a hugely more accountable one) if we had 17 electorates each representing ~15,000 electors. I’d imagine the Greens could easily pick up a couple of seats in the inner north if they ran good candidates. Also prospective candidates would have electorates they could seriously hope to canvas.

Your thoughts?

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Personally I’d rather have a local representative of a party I didn’t see eye to eye with, but who was vulnerable to the concerted will of their electorate, than the current system where bench warmers occupy the assembly on the basis of party name recognition.

Thumper, didn’t some people from the “abolish” or “no self government” parties try that and lose.

maybe we could form an alliance with, and be ruled by Prince Leonard of Hutt. And Princess Shirley of course.

Thanks for your support bonfire, allegedly I’m the man for the job.


or just revoke self government.

of course we could just rid ourselves of an elected representative government body, appoint a sultan and have him sit in judgement on issues of the day and issue binding and immediately enforceable proclamations.

We had a referendum about this when we went from modified d’hont to hare-clarke, I seem to remember that the ALP was all for single member electorates and ever one else was against it. The estimates had the ALP winning something like 11 or 12 seats.

Single-member electorates would end up more like the current NT situation — we’re talking around 18,000 residents or 12,000 constituents per seat.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it would fundamentally change the nature of the political situation — much more locally driven.

I think the bigger problem is that the ACT government is too small to effectively promote good members to the frontbench and leave worse performers on the backbench.

Personally I think that 5×5 members or perhaps even 7×3 members would be a better system to ensure regions weren’t ignored.

OpenYourMind8:12 am 21 Jun 05

Your comment about the inner north reminds me of how in the past I have heard Ainslie, with all it’s academics/students/greenies etc., described as ‘The Mueslie Belt’ !!

I’m not so sure about that, the different parts of Canberra are quite distinct in their identities.

We’d end up with 17 friggin’ Labour MLAs and no dissention within the assembly (not that we have any now with the wrong Green getting elected)

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