Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Change of Government.

Another Change of Government!
Julia Gillard has replaced Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, in an upset typical of party politics—good for one and public pain for the other.
Now—let’s compare parliament when the ballot will rule all decisions.
Firstly, questions of loyalty, which triggered the current upset, will never occur as all power will belong to the ballot of all the parliament’s members, with parliament operating as a cooperative government team.
Next, there will never be a change of government as that role will be filled by the parliament itself, all ministers and other important positions being filled by a ballot of all the members. Thus each appointment, from PM down, will have been endorsed by a substantial majority of the members, choosing the best for each office, to act under the authority of the whole parliament.
Few and rare will be the occasions for any change – because all ministers will be under parliamentary authority with the ability to make decisions only within their area of responsibility, set by parliamentary decisions and policies, all of which can be reviewed whenever necessary.
Questions beyond a minister’s recognized responsibility and authority will naturally be referred to parliament, as in any well-run business—strength, stability and continuity of government as never seen before!
Can anyone disagree? No? Well, let’s just get to work on this change of government!

Friday, June 25, 2010

How will 'Ballots in Parliament' be better?

Frequently asked questions - from Secret Ballot Website FAQ

Q. We won't know how they vote, will we?
A. Yes, no doubt you wouldn't know which way your MP voted. But under the present system it isn't worth knowing anyway. Arguing with a party MP about the the merits or otherwise of a measure is a pointless exercise. The backbencher has no influence on policy.

Q. You refer to ex-party MPs but I don't think you have explained why an MP is, suddenly, no longer aligned to a party.
A. They can be. But when the party is no longer able to control it's MPs' votes the game will change. From that point the party's interest in endorsing that member will vanish, as no member can then be relied upon to vote according to the policy decided upon by the party.
The basis of the power and financial support for the party to win the next election and pass desired legislation rests on the foundation of the compliant voting team in parliament.
AS the financial support dries up, the power of the party hierarchy will vanish.
Existing and prospective party members will therefore have little option but to relate realistically with their electorate, literally.acting as independents.
Existing members, in safe seats, will find a subtle change in their security as many voters sniff a fresh wind of opportunity for change.

Q. You are proposing that votes be secret, but when they debate they indicate which way they are going to vote, so then their vote is publicly known. So, their vote is only secret if they don't participate in the debate?
A. Certainly they will disclose their attitude on the issue by debating, and their vote could be reasonably assumed. But any member will have the opportunity to succeed on behalf of the electorate point of view by persuading others who all have the free vote (whether in debate or in the lobbies!). That will be far more important than any single vote. Thus the electorate will judge by the debate and the ballot result. If favourable, the issue will be concluded favourably. If not, the matter is controversial and will be deferred, and become a hot topic in the electorate and subsequent meetings with the MP.
Participants in debate may well be few, if issues are clear. If not, many will feel the need to debate, and more time and progressive votes will be needed to clarify the position and obtain a sufficient majority.
NB, the days of fifty per cent plus one constituting a sufficient majority will be history. Large parliamentary majorities will become constitutionally required for serious, far- reaching issues, like war etc etc.
Thus, with all members free to respond, a majority of the whole parliament will be free to be won on any issue - by persuasive debate. Progressive ballots will clearly show the maturing view of parliament, substantially simplifying the task of forming and concluding decisions in parliament, based on responsible debate and genuine electorate representation, -- with an economy of parliamentary time and removal of useless frustration.
Members will act independently in achieving results desired by their electorate -- an attractive scenario for all worthwhile members.

Q. Why would a political party not still be relevant?
A. A party is a group specifically designed to seek political power - to win elections, establish an executive and rule without reference to other competing groups. The ballot in parliament will severely inhibit, even prevent, that kind of objective, with parliament-appointed ministers to be responsible for public service department business. Some of those executives may have been party executives, but will then be subject to parliamentary rule, or be deposed.

Q. People of similar mind (ideology?) will still meet to discuss how to win their objectives.
A. There is nothing to prevent that. But it will become evident that local meetings will present free, and preferable opportunities for protagonists to pursue any particular issue of merit more effectively.
All issues will then be better attended to with effective impact in local meetings. Ideology will give way to objective community assessment of the various issues which will each need to win the needed support on merit, and be launched in parliament by the local member. People acceptably active in local meetings will be possible rivals to a sitting member who proves inadequate.
But, as Abraham Lincoln said:'In this country public opinion is everything.' That is the democracy to which we aspire.

Q. Local members, or aspirants, may be amongst the smartest, most confident, most articulate, most charismatic etc . Would these not attract substantial following in respect of certain issues and overwhelm all opposition.
A. Possibly. But the local member, local media and other constituents are not likely to lie down under such an eventuality. The danger appears less than at first might be thought. With the ballot we are facing a new democratic system, growing in strength to combat undue influence.

Q. Perhaps a ghost-writer could write a novel that might throw light on the way it would work out in practice, outlining in detail the transition to ballots in parliament in a way people could relate to.
A. Sounds like a great idea! We'll just have to see if a writer might catch the vision and volunteer!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Common Sense - Decentrallisation of Power

I chanced to hear Professor Carson on ABC interview on Friday morning. I was very glad she is doing what she is, to foster community access to government. I have been long time interested in people access to government. It seems to be an active subject but substantial, effective change seems a long way off. At 87, will I see it?

We have a problem with two sides. People generally entertain no hope and are passive, although you can 'scratch' anyone any time and uncover a hostile view on the subject of politics and government, be they young or old - especially quiet ones. On the other side the parties are contemptuous of the people, effectively isolating us from involvement.

For example the government could have the Electoral Commission convene regular monthly Electoral Forums, round the country. Why not? Its cost would be much less than its value in steadying and improving the progress of government. But will it happen? I recently announced a local forum -- but for three meetings not one turned up. 'Little people' can't do it on their own.

I spoke to a Man. Dir. of a company involved in Aged Care, a man of quiet, submerged hostility on the subject of government. He said that we need decentralisation of power. He suggests a 'common sense party'. I couldn't agree more, having been pursuing the elimination of party power by secret ballots in parliament for 30 years,
I recently announced a local forum -- but for three meetings not one turned up.

Meanwhile party politics is proving more and more chaotic and hopeless. I honestly feel sorry for all of the politicians who are really trying, but especially the ones whose sincerity is uppermost. The system defeats and soon dispenses with the best. What costly nonsense! With half-baked, short-term decisions to 'fix' long term problems!

Until the system is changed to stop the centralisation of power in its party pyramids all the good efforts by the many concerned people are building steam but no motion.

A long time ago, on ABC, the presenter said we need an effective circuit-breaker to stop the merry-go-round of party politics. We do. But I know none other than the secret ballot in parliament, to reduce all MPs to independent status, truly dependent on, and intimately accountable to their constituents, (making statesmen/women of them) and able, in parliament, to choose the best as ministers, by ballot -- a parliamentary democracy. Is there a better answer anywhere? I would like to hear it.

A surge in active and effective community involvement, starting with the presently most concerned, would soon follow -- making a lightning rod for oppressed people around the world, and a democratic world government soon to follow, to deal with the crisis of factional and government oppression abounding in the world.

All we need is a flood of people to catch the vision and join the (no-fee) Secret-Ballot Party (or Common-Sense Party ) --- whose aim is its own early demise!