1 April 2011

The Stanhope/Hargreaves retirement bill?

| johnboy
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Yesterday Simon Corbell announced his intention to make sure that retiring MLA’s can be replaced by the party’s anointed rather than anyone the public might have voted for.

At the time of writing this is very unpopular with our poll respondents.

This morning the Liberals’ Zed Seselja is asking if this is paving the way for the retirements of Jon Stanhope and John Hargreaves.

“The main agenda item we saw from the Labor Government today was a Bill to make sure the Labor machine chooses who replaces retiring Members, not the people of the ACT,” said Zed.

“Labor today tabled a Bill that could potentially see a Labor hand-picked replacement for when either Jon Stanhope or John Hargreaves decide to retire mid-term.

“Clearly unimpressed with the candidates on offer, the Labor party want the ability to choose someone that hasn’t been put before the electorate to potentially step up and be a Government Minister.

On The Beast this morning Mr Stanhope has announced that he thinks he can go on for ever.

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As I said in the other thread on this topic, it seems to be about bringing in, NSW Labor style, an unelected MLA with no mandate for representing anyone other than party interests.

I completely agree with JB on this – Labor more than has the discpline to make sure candidates stand aside to make way for a preferred and unelected option. Otherwise, why not be done with it and rename the Legislative Assemby to the ACT Duma?

Haven’t heard from the Greens yet, by the way.

I believe candidates can declare themselves ineligible Caf. In a disciplined party a great many of them may choose to do so no?

This is utter rubbish. The proposed bill will never apply to the retirement of ALP or Liberal members – certainly not in this current Assembly.

The provision for the party choosing a replacement only kicks in if there are no failed candidates from that party in that electorate at the last election. Both the ALP and the Liberals fielded a “full house” of candidates in every electorate at the last election, so they have plenty of “spare” candidates left.

In the ALP’s case, if Hargreaves retired then either Mick Gentleman, Tracey Macket or Wayne Sievers would be elected on countback; if Stanhope retired, then either Chris Bourke, Adina Cirson or Dave Peebles would be elected on countback.

The proposed mechanism would only ever apply to a smaller party with no “spare” candidate who contested the last election – it might possibly benefit the Greens, one day, but even that is unlikely.

Gungahlin Al11:09 am 01 Apr 11

Assuming for a moment this isn’t anything to do with the Stanhope/Gallagher question (and I subscribe to the “they ain’t going nowhere” camp) but is about Hargreaves tossing it in…

Does this imply that Mick Gentleman is no longer available to fill a vacancy for the ALP, meaning that if this isn’t passed, a recount could let either Val Jeffery or Steve Pratt in? Or even Sue Ellerman for the Greens?

The Brindabella past votes make for some interesting reading given this scenario: http://elections.act.gov.au/page/view/302

I think his chiefliness plans to be in the big chair for the centenary.

Remember Katy has young kids as well.

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