Midnight Oil

Subject: Re: [powderworks] Re: Is Peter still on the front bench?
From: Miron Mizrahi
Date: 21/07/2010, 10:23 am
To: Chris <seeker42@gmail.com>, Tom <tomspencer@eml.cc>, Powderworks <powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au>

Midnight Oil

I agree with you. it is a drawback of the Aussie system. If you look at the US system, the separation of legislative and executive is much cleaner. so you vote for a person when you vote for the executive. the govt ministers are not elected (though approved by those who are). then there is representative votes for the houses. so you voting for a republican rep. has nothing to do with you voting for a democrat senator and an independent president.

the other end of the spectrum is Israel where you don't (in reality) vote for a person at all. you vote for a party which publishes its ranking of candidates. if the party gets 25 seats, then candidates 1-25 are in.

ofcourse, both system, just like any man made thing, have their own problems

I don't think this drawback is necessarily inherent in the system but it definitely opens the door for this situation. and it can be avoided. if you rank each candidate then your pref. count, not the inter-party agreements. except that most people don't.

How could people get so unkind?

From: Chris <seeker42@gmail.com>
To: Tom <tomspencer@eml.cc>; Powderworks <powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au>
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 9:14:43 AM
Subject: [powderworks] Re: Is Peter still on the front bench?


> But as to voting for your local representative, s/he represents a party, as well as you. Otherwise we're
> back to 19th century Britain, where individual reps need not follow any party line, except that line pointing > to a party to celebrate a new construction contract, such as 'tunnelling' a highway in your home state:

Oh, quite. I'm just a bit personally bitter about it - at the last
election, my local seat ended up with the worst MP in the country
(Belinda Neil, for those in Australia), based on an election campaign
which went something very much like this:

"Kevin Rudd has a very forward-thinking view for Australia. We should
vote for Belinda Neil because then Kevin Rudd will be Prime Minister
for Australia and everything will be wonderful"

The campaign worked, just well enough. Primary votes still favoured
the incumbent Liberal member despite a 7.8% swing against him (45.63%
of the vote to 42.93%) but after accounting for preferences, largely
from the Greens, Belinda Neil won the 2 Party Preferred race by 184
votes, making this the most marginal seat in the state.

That's really not how Representative democracy is supposed to work.
Particularly when, on the whole, the incumbent MP (Jim Lloyd) had been
politically effective and well liked by the community.

Which I guess speaks to a failing of Representative government, in
that the majority party leads alone - the community wasn't
dissatisfied with Jim Lloyd. They were annoyed that John Howard
refused to step down before the election. I don't know anybody (in my
own region) who voted for Labor based on policy - they just wanted a
new leader, and didn't much care if a new party came with it.

- Chris