EYE-BALL Opinion on – Democracy v Party Politics … The reason why it fails us all …
Democracy v Party Politics
… The reason why it fails us all …
5th July 2012.
|The recent Immigration/Asylum Seeker debate proved yet again that regardless of what our MP’s feel or believe in – the tug of Party Politics fails our Democratic system in many ways.
In previous posts on the Asylum and Immigration debate during last week – click here to read Part 1 of 5 with links to all five– I advocated that ALP Member Kevin Rudd should have crossed the floor on the Oppositions Amendment Bill put forward by Scott Morrison to break the deadlock on this matter, and see if Gillard would have voted against the Bill in the Senate with the Opposition Attachment.
If she failed to support the Bill with attachments n in the Senate it would have sent another clear picture just how her Government is intent of denying Abbott any victory. It would have proved she had not real intent to try and help the Asylum seeker problem.
Had the ALP Senate supported the Bill with the Amendment – it would have been game on between her and RUDD yet again.
Why RUDD never crossed the floor is unknown and pure conjecture right now. Whether he wants the Leadership again is also unknown – but if he does, and had he crossed the floor Gillard would now be on a ‘slow-roast spit’ to hell.
This prompted some research on how many ‘floor-crossings’ have taken place in the Federal Government, and particularly the House of Representatives. I thought it would have been miniscule – but the following document published on-line from the Parliamentary Library and – linked here – gives a statistical summary of MP’s in State and Federal politics who have crossed the floor since 1950 and up to 2004. The Document is reproduced below and makes for some interesting reading:
This data is up to 2004 and it has been advised that the Parliamentary Library has kept the data feed up to date. Aa updated version will be made available at some point in the future. A source has been helpful in advising were recent data can be found – in particular since the 2010 minority Government came to power.
It is worth noting that the current Minority Government is where any crossing of the floor would have had a serious impact on the Government – all previous crossings in the Federal Senate and the House of Representatives had no impact or outcome to any Government Legislation – please note the quote from the research paper above:
Therefore it is a fair question to ask: when MP’s in the House ‘cross the floor’ when there is no risk to Government or of a Party sanction – does that mean that MP’s are truly voting their conscience and own beliefs?
The flip question is: when there are risk’s involved – i.e. the current minority Government where crossing the floor by any Member of the Government could have significant and dire consequences for the Government and its Leader – why do Members not follow their conscience and cross the floor to vote against or for a Bill they believe in or their conscience tells them to?
The example of this of course in in the debate that took place last week on the Oakeshott Bill concerning Immigration and Asylum Seekers when Opposition Immigration spokesperson, Scott Morrison proposed his Amendment Bill that was finally defeated 73-72 with the GREENS Member Adam Bandt abstaining.
Please look at the data reflection all the ‘floor crossings since this 2010 minority Government was formed below:
There is clear evidence in the research paper that the ALP do not allow crossings – they are viewed dimly and dis-endorsement would be the sanction if it did happen. See research comments from above:
In the research data to 2004 – and of Members who were still sitting at the time – no Labour Member had crossed the floor.
For RUDD to have crossed the floor last week and voted for the Morrison bill – it would have been monumental in Labour land.
Perhaps that is what is necessary to extract from this Government some recogniseable accountability in how the Labour Party hold their MP’s in tow and follow the Party Line.
There were plenty of Labour MP’s who did not support the Government Bill put up through Oakeshott – yet no Labour MP’s or Independent broke ranks. These recent boat tragedies, the many before and the many still to come demanded action. To data more than 800 lives have been lost. For this House to break without a resolution to this urgent problem is unforgiveable and demonstrates where the Governments priorities lie.
It is easy to blame Gillard – but she is only the bun part of the hamburger – the Greens got their Carbon Tax price for getting into bed with Gillard to form this minority Government – and now it seems that it plans to grow its strength by opposing the Government on this issue as support for Gillard flounders.
If RUDD had of wanted he could have made the difference in the House – there was still the question as to whether the ALP Senators would have supported the Bill with the Morrison Amendment attached. But by then RUDD would have sent the message – and if the Government voted against the Bill in the Senate – then all sorts of things would and might have happened.
The media would have been on it like flys on dung – Gillard’s support would have evaporated in the caucus and galvanised behind RUDD for showing Leadership in a time of crisis – it would have been Churchill like.
Instead – the public are in open outcry – the Government and Opposition have retreated to their Hitler Bunkers – Gillard has thrown a bone in the form of a Labour stacked Committee chasing paid for recommendations that Gillard can bring back to the House. She is an absolute twit if she thinks she is fooling anybody – she did the same on the Garnaut Climate Change Report and the Flannery report on that report … all which netted her the Carbon Tax she had to get through to keep the GREENS on side.
If one was to talk about the moral integrity of this Government – there is none – and as for the presumption of Democracy – if every vote by any MP is not a conscience vote then they have no right to be in Parliament. The Party side of Politics is ruining our Democracy and every other Democracy around the World. It has come down to the money raised by the Party machine and the allocation of those funds to MP’s who tow the Party line during the course of their tenure. Break ranks and you’re dis-endorsed.
Here is an interesting point – and raised in the ‘None of the Above Campaign’ submitted to the Joint Standing Committee of Electoral Matters” (JSCEM) after the 2010 election. Click here to download PDF file – please go to page 17 and 18 to see confirmation data presented below.
After the 2010 election, each of the major parties received the following reimbursements from Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on a vote reimbursement of $2.32291 per vote.
Yes that’s right – elections are a business income for Political Party’s and Independent candidates who poll above a certain percentage of the vote. So when early elections are called – Party coffers are replenshied sooner then they should be – all paid for by the taxpayer.
This is why the Government has had compulsory voting – every vote cast to the major parties and Independents earns them $2.32291 and it does mount up as can be seen.
The theory is that it is supposed to cover campaign costs – but in effect the Political Party’s use these funds to plan strategy advertising and attack campaigns against teh other candidates. It gets them the Members they want elected and there is plenty left over to fund the Party until the next election. It’s a great business model and all voted in by the very same Members who use these funds to get elected.
In effect the Parties run their media campaigns and spend based on what they expect to receive back from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) based on their expected vote count. The more informal votes the less it costs the AEC. Addition monies come from Party memberships and political donations – these political donations will be the subject of another story some time soon.
Can you believe it – this is our Democracy at work!
It’s a business first, and then when or who ever wins Government – the gravy ride really starts with all sorts of perks, addition pay for Committee Positions and House titles, overseas ‘fact finding’ trips, electoral office funding and expense accounts, the free Parliament House and Lobbyist lunches, the travel perks as Mr Slipper has been expose and proned to abuse, the retirement packages, and then there is of course the under the table payments that come for Business’ seeking an audience with a Minister and the like.
The Party Fundraisers are also in the mix as well … it really is a house of cards scenario and they all get sucked in and don’t dare blow the whistle on others when the corruption is glaringly exposed – they all now their turn will come as long as they stay Party loyal and don’t cross the floor.
It really is the cesspool of all corruption arrangements and all done in the name of Democracy.
Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.
The EYE-BALL Opinion …
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