Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hung Parliament Conjecture

I don't know why the media goes all crazy when there is a hung parliament, and declaring its a bad thing. It seems like everything is working properly to me. the way it should. So maybe we should use the term to refer to the requirement to hang the members of parliament for a failure to do their job properly.

I don't know about elsewhere, but here  in Australia, we have a federal constitution. Under the constitution we elect representatives. These representatives form the body of the government and are split into two houses: the lower house and the upper house. A house of representatives and a senate. The governor general is the head of the government. The governor general has the responsibility of selecting an executive council to advise on the will of the government and execute the will of the government. Real debate is supposed to occur in parliament to determine the will of the people and to properly and fairly represent all the geographical regions.

What happens in practice is that political parties hijack the electoral process and then parliament. The political party with the majority of seats in the house of representatives hijacks parliament, appoints itself as the executive council, and appoints a new governor general. We then have a puppet government, debate is pointless, as the party with the majority of seats will simply vote things through. If the senate is dominated by another political party then it may be able to stop bills from being passed. The mass media refers to us having either a Labor government or a Liberal government, and to having a government and shadow government. I contend it is nonsense and unconstitutional. Anyone not in the current political party holding the dictatorship over parliament, need not be there, they can go home without pay.

It is a bad situation and unacceptable. It is inefficient, and the cause of a lack of progress as things are implemented and then dismantled to the wants and whims of the political parties not the will of the people.

Right now both members of the Labor and Liberal parties occupy parliament, collectively they constitute the government, and collectively they are both responsible for any mess that is made. So come the next election, no blaming the other party: they are both responsible. They were both elected to parliament to identify and implement necessary change, or otherwise keep out off the way and let the bureaucracy get on with the task it has already been given.

I suggest that we modify our constitution and implement a requirement that no political party is permitted to have more than 20% of the seats, even better would be 10%. Not practical? We have preferential voting, so yes it is practical.

First the political parties identify their electoral preferences both in terms of other political parties and geographical regions. The people vote, if a party gets more seats than it is permitted then the extra seats are redistributed.So the party keeps those seats in the electorate it ranks highest preference for, and loses the rest. However, there is an exception anyone who wins their seat with over 50% of the vote gets to keep their seat, this takes precedence over the party rankings. If less than 50%, then lose their seat on basis of the parties geographical rankings. When they lose their seat their votes are then redistributed based on preferences: either party preferences or the voters preferences if the voter has given preferences. We already have redistribution of votes if a candidate doesn't get a high enough percentage of the votes.

If a party can only hold between 10% and 20% of the seats, then there needs to be between 5 and 10 political parties. Going with 20% and 5 political parties seems feasible with the current offerings. The big parties already considered to have factions such, the left, the right, the far left and the far right. So each party could split into 5 independent parties. Though even without doing that there is probably at least 5 parties already.

Now the argument is, that if  a political party cannot hijack parliament then they cannot get anything done. Sounds good. The only reason for the government is to deal with necessary change and exceptions to the normal run of things. Change for change's sake is not acceptable. Also change from Labor philosophy to Liberal philosophy is also not acceptable. The point of the government is recognition of diversity and properly representing such diversity. So it is not acceptable to impose the politics of one party on the people. The purpose of government is to reach compromise which benefits the people not just one political wing. Real debate is supposed to occur in parliament. Parliament isn't just some retirement plan for members of the political parties, it is supposed to represent we the people.

And whilst we have mandatory voting I am not about to vote for any of the candidates, the current mob of jokers which keep standing for election. The strangle hold of the two major parties needs to be broken.

We the people need to toss aside all the ideological classification and start dealing with the problems at hand. It is unhelpful to immediately classify something as socialist, communist or capitalist and toss the solution away. Does it solve the problem. Yes! Then implement it. Will it cause other problems. No! Go back and have another look, everything has advantages and disadvantages, so you better have looked at which advantages you want and which disadvantages you are willing to tolerate.

As for privatisation, then the government just gets reduced to a board of directors and bunch of project managers and possibly inspectors: with everything else outsourced. So we could outsource everything, and just elect a governor general. No need to be limited by what we have: as I have already indicated the political parties have already hijacked the system for their own ends. Therefore we the people can always take it back.

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[17/06/2017] : Original