Double dissolution election looms as a possibility

senate_img.jpgThe media speculation is that Australia will be headed to the national polls on July 2 for a double dissolution (DD) election.

This is where both Houses of Parliament are dissolved and all senators face the voters (rather than only half as per normal).

The provision of a DD is a constitutional safety valve designed to allow the passage of what the government considers important bills. In effect, it’s designed to break a Senate deadlock by allowing both Houses of Parliament to vote together on the blocked legislation.

The ability for government to utilise a DD requires some specific circumstances with the final determinant being a request from the Prime Minister to the Governor-General.

Firstly, the bill must be rejected by the Senate on two occasions with a minimum of three months between each rejection.

Secondly, there are restrictions on when a DD can actually be called in relation to the government’s scheduled term. It can’t take place within six months of the end of the current House of Representatives’ term.

So with an election scheduled for later this year, the constitutional time limit for calling a DD falls on May 11 - the day after the Federal budget.

If this were to occur, it would deny the opposition their ‘budget in reply speech’ and also limit the prospect of the passage of important supply bills. These are the bills that allow the government and bureaucracy to continue to function and pay their accounts during an election campaign.

One way past this would be to bring the budget forward by a week, thereby allowing supply to continue as normal.

This could then see a DD election called with the earliest possible date at the polls being July 2.

At a DD election, senators’ terms are backdated to 1 July immediately preceding the election. This means that a new Senate would become effective from 1 July 2016, putting senators’ terms neatly in sync with the House of Representatives.

If such an election was held after the passage of the mooted Senate voting reforms, the composition of the Senate would be vastly different to what it is now.

Such a strategy brings with it some important considerations for the government, not least of which is the prospect of a long 10-week election campaign.

It also begs the question that if the Australian Greens are so supportive of the Senate voting reform process, shouldn't the conservative side of politics be a bit worried?

Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to sort the Senate out more than I do but anything that entrenches the Greens as the balance of power party is fraught with danger.

I can only hope that the government has done a comprehensive analysis of the implications of the reforms they are proposing.

An imminent election means I’ll need your support.

In 2013 I ran a solid campaign to drive down the Greens vote in South Australia and I’ll be seeking to do the same again this time.

I also want to offer as much support as possible to conservative candidates across the country.

You can help by making a contribution to my campaign fund.

Showing your financial support is quick, easy and totally secure using our online donor system. Please consider helping out as every dollar aids the conservative cause.


  • commented 2016-03-23 18:52:33 +1030
    Bring on the DD election, and I certainly hope that that Cory Bernardi is not re-elected at all.
  • commented 2016-03-18 18:33:14 +1030
    Where is Malcolm Turnbull’s great ability to engage in an innovative and agile manner with the cross bench? It seems to me he has made a mess of this relationship. Now they won’t talk to him. Tony Abbott got them to repeal the carbon tax, the mining tax and stop the boats.

    When Kevin Rudd regained the office of Prime Minister he came with a plan and took action from day one. Turnbull came waffling about a sailor setting the course and he has been going every way the wind blows since then. Fluent in political correctness, impeccable in progressive leftism, champion of the ABC but with no plans, no solutions, nothing but keeping his popularity.

    I am an LNP member but voting for conservative minor parities.
  • commented 2016-03-15 20:11:49 +1030
    Hi Cory
    Not sure what happened in the Senate today, but there’s little doubt that the Govt could have got its legislation to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission past the Independents with more work and less threats. The crossbenchers helped them repeal the carbon tax, the mining tax and stop the boats, and was disposed favourably to the ABCC legislation. Oddly enough, the crossbenchers are behaving much more in accord with the Constitution as a house of review than most of the Coalition Senators who think their role is to act as a Govt rubber stamp.

    The Govt seems to think, that with the proposed voting legislation, it will win a Senate majority in its own right, when it is far more likely that it will hand the balance of power to the Greens for a very long time indeed. You must be aware that if that happens, the ABCC legislation has no chance, but worse, the Liberal party will be on the nose with its conservative supporters for at least the same length of time.

    There are many of us who are now hoping that, under the present leadership, you lose the next election, and set about rebuilding it on conservative principles that clearly differentiate it from the ALP, hoping enough of the conservative base will return to the fold to justify the pain.
  • commented 2016-03-12 09:27:13 +1030
    David Sires in a comment below makes a comment about how the current preference system for Senate votes would be fine, if only everyone would bother to vote bellow.
    Unfortunately not. Sorry. The theory of my vote/my preference is great, but the practice is different.
    To best understand this it is unfortunately homework time. Head to the AEC site and work through your state at the last election and see how the votes get re-shuffled. It does take a while to get your head around it but the basic important thing to remember is that a quota is 1/(total spots +1).
    Or, in real terms, if there are 6 senate spots up for grabs, a quota is 1/7 of the total vote. Now the people who have just dragged out their calculators have worked out if there are six senators and a quota is 1/7th, then doesn’t 1/7th of the vote never get used?
    This is the issue. (again here best to go onto an AEC site or similar and work through a real world example). Quotas are filled from the top, but preferences are worked out from the bottom. So normally the first 4 or 5 spots are filled pretty easily and in a way everyone would agree is pretty fair. Problems are with the last ones. (again, AEC site, work through the real world examples).
    First the smallest is taken away. Often they literally have something like 100 votes. Those 100 votes are added based on preferences to where ever. So far so fair.
    But remember this is the senate, and you stop when all spots have been filled, not when all votes are counted. So up at the top of the list are the ‘big’ parties with bunches of votes still unassigned. In many cases a ‘big’ party will have about half a quota of ‘spare’ votes waiting around while the last senate spots are being filled. This can be something like 75000 votes.
    What happens them? They sit up the top of the table while the AEC wipes out the little parties (with say 1000 votes) at the bottom and gives those 1000 votes to someone else and slowly, 500 or so votes at a time, some little minor who only got say 2000 primary votes gets built up by all the other 500 vote minors until they have enough for a quota.
    And those 75000 votes I mentioned before? They DON’T GET COUNTED.
    Is a system where some 75000 votes gets ignored and someone with 1000 primary votes gets elected fair? That’s the big question.

    Unfortunately Lord Wuffle has not sold this idea to the voters and if this becomes a DD trigger the general voter’s response is going to be ‘who cares?’
  • commented 2016-03-11 22:42:09 +1030
    Ok Cory.
    1. I believe a DD could prove a disaster because Malcolm – the magnificent –
    Turnbull in my view, and many I am hearing at the Coles checkout, is just proving
    to be just another Kevin Rudd with selfies, mother-hood feel good statements but
    little action especially as his stated reason for knifing Tony Abbott was to improve
    Aussies financial situation and to somewhat give politics a better name and standing
    in the Aussie society ? it would appear according to the polls people believe he has
    lost control ? if he ever had it in the first place because there is so many mixed signals coming out of the LNP and contradictions between Ministers and Turnbull which is
    allowing the Labor party and especially Teflon Billy Shorten traction especially on the
    Now I don’t believe Shorten and his mob would win but I believe the minor parties, independents and Greenies are going to be the ultimate winners and so does Tony
    Windsor in my area of New England and that is why the old Fox is going to have
    another go with the belief that there is every possibility of another hung or minority
    parliament just as he was involved in the NSW State parliament in early to mid 2000’s
    and later with the Gillard mob in 2010 – 2013 the old bugger has a political nose for
    these things and unless Malcolm – the magnificent- Turnbull stops trying to play the
    part of our next Aussie President and statesmen and stops the selfies and get’s on
    with the job of an effective LNP Leader and PM then the Shorten mob plus Greenies, independents and minor parties are laughing all the way to the polling booths.
    2. I agree in principle with the changes in regard to the Senate voting and if the
    Greenies, independents and minor parties get control of the Senate again well so be
    it as far as I am as concerned, because it is up to the LNP, Labor and all those
    concerned to give the Aussie voters enough confidence so that does not happen
    other wise as the saying goes " The people have spoken " and that is what little
    democracy we have left?? don’t blame them or try to rig the voting system to suit
    one group or other you pollies are going to have to get off your well remunerated
    arses and prove your value but unfortunately that these days, with the low regard
    Aussies have for the amateur job you pollies have done over the decades, that is
    really expecting a " Political Miracle "????
  • commented 2016-03-11 10:16:50 +1030
    Hi Cory
    I dont want a DD thanks
  • commented 2016-03-10 20:22:37 +1030
    Nick Xenophon is a fly in the ointment. Add more Greens to the mix and there won’t be enough Mortein to go around!
  • commented 2016-03-10 15:48:11 +1030
    No….. strength of Govt is the only way to convince a twitchy electorate, not a cynical short term attempt at a quick fix. The pm has to show though a greater sense of purpose and of conviction. He’s too “wordy” needs to succinctly describe purpose and not go to a DD just for an easy fix. We can put through Union anti-thug laws by showing strength in Govt, a bit of leadership, Churchillian style, Mr Turnbull!
  • commented 2016-03-10 15:28:33 +1030
    A DD will have dramatic affect on the Senate vote in SA. When Xenophon is actually standing (as he will not be in an ordinary election because he was elected for 6 years last time) then he gets nearly 25% of the State vote. When he is not standing the vote for the “X” team drops to 12.5%. This means that Stirling Griff the X party candidate would probably scrape in if there is no DD> but X team would not get another person home and they would have only Xenophon and Griff. With a DD Xenophon will be up for election and the total primary vote for him will hit 25% which is two 14.5% quotas outright. With the new optional preferential system to take away the liberal and labour party’s de-preferencing of X they have a chance of coming out with 3 Senators instead of two. This is why, in my opinion, Senator Xenophon is such a strong supporter of both the preference system change and the DD. With the above the line change only I was not in support of the new system but with below the line preferencing as well I think that this will have a proper affect and allow serious small parties to get a look in but stop micro-minor players getting whispered home.
    John Bolton
  • commented 2016-03-10 12:37:46 +1030
    The reason, preventing the system being ‘gamed’, behind the proposed changes to the way we vote in the senate is incorrect. We have always had the option to direct our own preferences exactly as we want by voting below the line. Unfortunately the more accurate reason would probably fail the politically correct test, that we are inherently lazy.
    Allowing perhaps twenty minutes making an informed choice, once every three years is too much? On face value it seems a little ridiculous. However when you add a few other factors it becomes clearer. Many people have already spent a couple of hours queued up outside the polling booth on Saturday. The same applies for the increasing numbers who pop in to pre-poll to get it over with and avoid the crush. One wonders if a simple ticketing system might enable polling day to become a social event. “Ticket number 322 to the booth 3 please.”
    Electoral law says it is compulsory that voters make an ‘informed’ choice. Common sense would suggest (it no longer dictates) that Government be a core topic within our education system. Yet there is a void in this understanding of how our government works that unfortunately is being filled by the very ‘progressive’ ideas that Cory most often writes against.
    I once used an opportunity to speak to a graduating class of primary school students to tell them that they now had all the tools necessary to discover anything they wished or needed to know for the remainder of their lives. Most would have at least five years to inform themselves before being required to choose the direction of our country. Yet many are not bothered, and it’s no surprise when more time is spent learning to complete Centrelink forms than understanding our voting system in high school.
    A well-educated population will not only understand hypocrisy, they will have the ability to discern it and call it out. A lazy population will succumb to the offer of having all the critical thinking done for them. "Just watch the ABC to get all your information. Then go to social media to align yourself with popular ideas. Collect ‘likes’ to pass the entrance test to the ‘in crowd’, Trust us.” The progressives decry people of Cory’s ilk to be extreme right wing religious nuts that should be ignored, while at the same time studiously avoiding the fact that they themselves are preaching the gospel according to socialism, the second largest faith based religion after the value of a dollar.
    Inherent laziness is neither good nor bad; it is simply a powerful force. Our past is littered with examples of inventions that Australians have devised to make work easier. It’s what drives innovation. Unfortunately that same motivation causes us to have someone else do the manufacturing.
    I am sure that those who chose to implement above the line voting and then group tickets probably argued it was good for democracy. The proposed changes are a good thing; however they should never have been necessary in the first instance.
  • commented 2016-03-10 11:40:39 +1030
    Hi Cory
    The change in the senate voting system shows just how fearful the main parties are when it comes to the new and up and coming political parties that have formed. The stupid part about these new parties is that they are forming only because of the failure of the Liberal party not seeing the truth about community concerns about important topics such as migration and the dangers of fundamental Islam and its dangers.
    Strange how the Greens are voting with the Libs to change the very system that allowed them to get voted in as a micro party all those years ago.
  • commented 2016-03-10 10:47:35 +1030
    The only hope for this country now is for the true conservatives like Cory to be crowbarred off the LNP body, and form a new group, either a new party, or a publicly recognisable conservative voting bloc within the LNP.

    Once the election is called there will be a social media campaign urging people to take a thick Texta (Textor) felt pen to the polling booth, and mark their voting slip WDM (We DO Matter). Further, the LNP will be issued with “The Textor Challenge”, calling on them to agree to make felt pens available at polling booths, so that we long term supporters of the LNP, who they have declared “don’t matter”, can actually demonstrate whether we really do or not.

    It is unlikely that the LNP will have the cojunes to take up “The Textor Challenge”. However, with a bit of luck the media will, and hopefully other parties will happily supply pens from their polling stations. Suitably marked pens will also be available for sale via ebay.

    If just 5% of voters who would normally vote LNP, instead mark their House of Representatives voting slip WDM, it will cost the LNP 22 seats, and the election. That’s the downside. The upside is that it gives Cory and the other conservatives an assurance that there is quantifiable support for them in the electorate.

    It is a desperate plan, but we’ve reached the point where it’s all we have.
  • commented 2016-03-10 08:48:26 +1030
    It will take more than a Double Dissolution election to clean out the deadwood from Australian politics.
    This country needs to get a point where those who choose to argue like kindergartners and behave like spoilt children, actually work towards doing something that benefits the country and the people – rather than themselves and their mates.

    This includes cleaning out the moronic bureaucrats who get paid far more in $ and perks than the politicians but are unelected and cannot ever be sacked for their utter ineptitude (unless there is a solid media byte in it for someone).

    I don’t know Malcolm Turnbull personally but if someone can run a business and make a mint, then they are qualified to run the country.

    People who join The Greens are oblivious to having jobs where actual work is required – and you cannot join the ALP if you don’t have a law degree and aren’t partial to the ambulance-chaser/shyster personality trait. Again, people who’ve never done a day of work in their lives – and somehow think it is acceptable to have the taxpayer subsidise their post-parliamentary lifestyles long after they have retired.

    We have a glut of fools and idiots running the country who are oblivious to the concerns and needs of everyday people and think that pandering to minorities is somehow working on the Australian sense of ‘fair play’ and the barest minimum of effort with continue to get them elected. Somehow it does.

    We need more Cory Bernadi types and less Sarah Hanson Young & Bill Shorten fools. The latter aren’t fit to ask “… do you want fries with that?”
  • commented 2016-03-10 07:35:18 +1030
    Cory, much of what now passes as governance throughout the West is nothing but representation to those few who actually control the purse strings of the West. Ask yourself why there is in place a central Bank throughout all Western countries and that works in tandem with the World Bank, the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund?

    Why does the west need these so very aggressive Banks if not to bleed the populations throughout the West of their now hard earned readies while flooding all our countries with people, who, that is even obvious to a simpleton, will never fit in?

    The political process is now beholden to international agendas as proscribed through the United Nations and we have been taking this anti-national -anti-patriotic path since the end of World War Two.

    You are one of the few within politics who is prepared to call out those who actively participate in our own destruction as a once homogenous nation that has now become an ungovernable country of cultural tribes. That is why there are now so many registered minor parties that when it comes to selecting the House of Reps at Federal Election time, we are issued with a table cloth sized ballot paper – which just goes to show the absurdity that we have now reached as a western ‘democracy’.

    Changes to the electoral system will never work in getting back what we used to have because the system is now broken and I believe you may already realize this.

    The Liberal Party as a major political party is now finished. You really need to be looking at taking up other options than to remain in a party that has now been discredited in the eyes of a large portion of the Australian electorate.
  • commented 2016-03-10 06:27:16 +1030
    Cory, suffice it to say, Malcolm has done what he set out to do, destroy the Lib’s! Australian Liberty Alliance, Rise Up Australia, CDP, One Nation are all better conservative parties at this time and will receive our backing now, whereas I would have always supported the Lib’s! Now I find it as deceitful as Labor and their partners in crime the Greens. Too many changes (unlawful) Australia Act 1986 and a host of others to undermine our constitution and thr Lib’s have not stopped them! Howard’s rant on Port Arthur and gun control by a simpleton shooter who couldn’t possibly have been responsible for a Rambo style slaughter! The agenda of World Governance by people of a (higher) order whatever name you wish for them today is coming! The affore mentioned options are what I see as the only way to change this evil course and would urge you to join them and us in this quest! I am asking all my friends and families to put Lib’s Lab’s and Greens last at this next election!
  • commented 2016-03-10 05:33:22 +1030
    It would probably leave you out of the equation Sen. Bernardi, but what we do need is a benevolent dictator! How is New Zealand travelling without an Upper House? Do we need a senate? Nice in theory, but it doesn’t work that way. Our voting system is in disarray. With few exceptions, politicians don’t care about Australia and its people, are clueless and by and large seem incapable of tying their shoelaces when they’re not distracted by duplicity, social engineering and self-aggrandizement. Off with their heads
  • commented 2016-03-10 05:20:49 +1030
    The proposed voting reforms are simply a further attempt to undemocratically monopolise power for the major parties.
    The proposed system permits a vote 1 only above the line (leaving other squares blank) but disallows any preference flow. Voters should be empowered to decide for themselves how they want preferences (if any) to flow, not have this right removed. Currently above the line preferences are decided by the party’s group voting ticket which of course is fundamentally undemocratic. With the new system, big budget parties will be able to advertise ‘vote 1 only’ and by so doing, completely kill any preference flow to minor parties.
    Instead, we should have a return to optional preferential voting in the House of Reps as per the Langer option.And the same system should be utilised in the Senate.
    In other words, democracy should be strengthened, NOT destroyed.
  • commented 2016-03-10 00:44:11 +1030
    I recognise the caution towards the senate voting amendments due to the Green’s support but I discard these concerns. My view of the DD is that it should have been called for February when Motionless Mal had clear support as well as a trigger. He has lost his chance but its necessary anyway.
    First target is to isolate the idiot fringe members who won by contrivances last time. In due course the Greens will stand or fall on their merits and like the Democrats before them they will disappear. It is more important to keep out the Windsors and Oakshotts of this world and start with a clean slate.
    Keating was right when he described the senate as “unrepresentative swill”. Having it composed of truly representative members will overcome that label. It was never contemplated at Federation that the senate would govern. Its role was to protect state rights as a house of review.
  • commented 2016-03-09 23:49:42 +1030
    I am not in favour of this reform. The Senate is a house of review, not a rubber stamp for the major parties. I do not want Australia to become a Chinese province! Turnbull must be busy picking out his retirement villa in the chinese countryside. Shorten has so many knives in his pocket he can’t sit down. Xenephon wants the reform to instill his own party in the Senate. I will be voting for the Australian Liberty Alliance at the next election, and any other independents. The Liberal party has lost my vote. All you have done is prostituted our country to China and any country that signed the FTA. Shame on you!
  • commented 2016-03-09 23:21:07 +1030
    As for the voting reform, it does not go far enough. I call the voting to reform to adhere to the letter of the Constitution which it does not. I therefor call that every Candidate for the Senate be put on a ballot paper and if under the logo of the party it represent, and a mark (X) must be drawn for the Senators of the party you vote for in the State you are in. In the case of a DD it will the names of the Senators a party nominate for that state and in all case the party must nominate for the amount of senators allowed in every state at the election in question. I reject the preferential system.
    I also do not support the “conscious vote system for members in parliament, I did not vote for a MP or Senators conscious, only what he present to me as his Parties policy. I notice that none of the parties in Australia has a program of principles MP and Senators must adhere to.
  • commented 2016-03-09 23:05:26 +1030
    Dear Senator,
    I will not be voting for the Liberal party with Malcom Turnbull as the leader. And neither will I vote for any of the Liberal party Senators. I will scrap my Membership of the party so I can effectively work against the party. Turnbull’s actions this weekend has changed my mind when he gave prominence to the sodomy that took place in Sydney. I said that if he called a DD election I will support the party with my family. We now have decided not to and are working diligently informing all of our friends to do the same.
    I am sorry to burst your bubble on this. If we cannot find suited alternatives we will rather spoil our papers.
  • commented 2016-03-09 22:56:00 +1030
    Think it is a bad move for democracy in this country and a bad look for the government.
  • commented 2016-03-09 20:50:30 +1030
    I believe the smaller parties need to retain their say, they are the ones who have a closer contact with the real people of Australia and are not centered on big business and big money. The problem that our politics has at present in my opinion is that we have only 2 parties to choose from, a long way down from what we used to have. As for the DD, the sooner we have the chance to get rid of Turnbull the better, mind you I have been a Lib supporter for a lot of years but since Turnbull no more.
  • commented 2016-03-09 20:38:20 +1030
    I like the idea of a DD as it might make it easier for minor parties to get some candidates elected. I am in favour of minor parties having a say in the Senate. It may well make it difficult for the major parties but then that is what democracy is all about. I do not like the stranglehold that the major parties have and I like that they have to negotiate with the cross benches. I am very suspicious about these ‘reforms’ as inevitably they will be in the interests of the major parties who want to stamp out these annoying minor parties with views different to their own. I would not like to see the Greens hold the balance of power. I am a traditional Liberal voter but I will not vote for the Liberals while Turnbull is the leader. What is the point of having two Labor parties? The Liberals need to move back to their conservative heartland and start expressing truly conservative, right wing views again. Turnbull is just a left leaning popularist only interested in swanning around as PM while doing nothing for the country. Sadly I would rather have three years of Labor if it meant the demise of Turnbull and some real Liberal soul searching to return to a real right wing position with a real right wing leader with some vision. I will be voting for the Australian Liberty Alliance.
  • commented 2016-03-09 20:12:44 +1030
    The problem with a DD, to my understanding, is that the Senate quotas are halved probably making it even easier for the micro parties to get up, despite changes to the voting legislation. Nevertheless, the way the Senate is behaving at the moment, I say we have to go for a DD and if it does not work in favour of the Libs/Nats then so be it on the heads of the people, who will end up with what they deserve
    John Willis
  • commented 2016-03-09 19:46:58 +1030
    Cory, I am going to be very short and succinct. Where I now live there is no Liberal Member, I am a member of the national party. I have made it abundantly clear, I will not vote for ANY party that has the Globalist Malcolm Turnbull at it’s head. I will not vote informal as that is outright stupid, I will vote for a party that will not give preferences to anything Turnbull is part of. If that means Labor I may even do that. We have discussed this in public meetings and I have not heard a objection yet. Rather 3 years with Labor and a conservative Senate, than another day with that UN shill.
  • commented 2016-03-09 19:16:01 +1030
    How could the LNP have given the initiative to these gangsters that is currently the labor leadership?? Billy boy appears to be standing on the ring’s centre, something that Howard or Abbott would have never permitted. I like Turnbull, except that his own pc and weakness are his worst enemies. I am appalled, but maybe voting for ALA (given that Nationals may not present candidates in my district) may force the LNP to negotiate and include ALA in a wider conservative-liberal alliance Very confusing times ahead.
  • commented 2016-03-09 19:08:45 +1030
    Scott, as a self-educated CONSTITUTIONALIST I like to alert you to some constitutional legal embedded principles.
    Firstly any Appropriation Bills/Taxation bills for the 2016-2017 financial year must be passed prior to the commencement of this financial year on 1 July 2016.
    Further, if the Senate fails to pass them twice a DOUBLE DISSOLUTION is to be called, which means that the 3 months between the two Senate sessions and the time required to hold an election and if the Bills are again introduced into the Houses and fail then a Joint sitting is to take place we are looking at least 6 months period prior to 1 July 2016. As such by latest the Bills must be passed by the Senate before the end of March. Having been first introduced in the previous calendar year!
    When the Appropriation/Taxation Bills fails to pass the treasurer is supposed to resign!
    Also, the 3 year period commences upon the day of the return of the writs and a new election is to be held within the 3 year expiry date of this. Hence, 3 + 3 equals 6 years for the senate. As such to align the Senate (Half Senate elections) is not needed if the ordinary general elections are held on a 3 year rotation. The DOUBLE DISSOLUTION trigger was deemed to apply only to critical bills, where if the government was defeated in the Senate for the second time and didn’t there and then call a DOUBLE DISSOLUTION then the DD trigger was deemed to no longer applicable. As such no such thing as to keep a failed bills for later as a DD trigger. Neither is it permissible to amend the appropriation/Taxation Bills that have been passed for the duration of the financial year, as such no mini budget either. Malcolm Turnbull as a claimed constitutional lawyer seems to know nothing about the true meaning and application of the constitution as otherwise he would have ensured that the Appropriation/Taxation bills were the first time introduced before last Christmas into the Senate, to ensure that ample of time was allowed for any DD is required.
    As for modification of the b allot papers, they should be without voting above the line and only a vote counted for the number of squares that are marked. As such an elector may mark only a few squares and when they are exhausted then the ballot paper no longer is used. It is the voting above the line that has caused the problems, besides being unconstitutional as it denied equality in candidate’s rights. The same with payment per primary vote. Submission to the JSCEM I found was a waste of time. So much more to state but for now should be sufficient indication that Malcolm Turnbull himself is acting as a terrorist.
    Hansard 9-3-1898 Constitution Convention Debates (Official Record of the Debates of the National Australasian Convention)
    Sir JOHN DOWNER.-I know that my right honorable friend, judging probably from the time I am taking now, thinks that in such a case I would take a long time, if I were in the Senate. I admit that his surmise is quite right in my case. I admit there are persons on whom this terrorism could not be practised, or on whom, if practised, it would probably not be effective. But I am thinking of persons of weaker minds and wills, and I say that, as far as this Constitution is concerned, it is absolutely necessary to put some provision in this Bill which will strengthen the Senate and prevent it being intimidated in the way indicated. We have been frittering away the first principles of the Federal Constitution long enough.
    Well if the senate is to force to vote for appropriation/Taxation bills without allowing for the time frame of a DD then clearly this is terrorism upon the Senate.
    No Appropriation/Taxation bills can be passed for the financial years once it has commenced!
  • commented 2016-03-09 19:04:16 +1030
    The Senate reform that I’d most like to see is its abolition. It’s worse than useless.

    My second option is to make the Senate a States’ house to protect State interests; that was its intended purpose at Federation. An election of Senators is unnecessary. Each State government should choose the Senators to represent it (and surely 2 for each State is enough). They should hold office for as long as they have the confidence of the State government. Naturally, whenever the State’s government changes, the State’s Senators would be replaced.
    Perhaps the Senate’s powers should be reviewed and limited. What we want is a genuine review of proposed federal government legislation considering the interests of the States without completely frustrating the federal government’s ability to govern.
    And if the Senators are acting for the State they represent, the State should pay for them.
  • commented 2016-03-09 18:30:02 +1030
    The only voting reform, if any is carried out, that I would support is complete elimination of above the line voting. I believe the principle of preferential voting is sound, and leads to a best possible compromise, when there are more than 2 candidates.

    I recall it from my childhood when my parents voted, and when I first voted as an adult. We should not expect that people able to participate in the process of electing parliamentarians should have excess difficulty filling all squares with sequential numbers. They can follow a Registered Party or Candidates How to Vote. These will look remarkably like the Group Voting Tickets which are prepared by parties and registered with Electoral Commissions, and available to all anyway.

    The existing rules allow up to 10% errors, which already seems excessively lax to me.