Fixed terms

If I were elected to office …

I’d institute 4 year fixed term elections for the Federal parliament. No more “will he, won’t he, when will she” speculation about when an election will be due. No more calling of elections at the Prime Minister’s convenience. Four year terms instead of three year terms would also reduce the problem of governments bribing the electorate with re-election policies almost as soon as they are returned to office.

In my 4 year fixed term proposal, an early election could be called only in the case of:

  • a double dissolution (as per current constitutional provisions)
  • a successful vote of no-confidence in the government in the lower house
  • at the Governor General’s discretion (to allow for an early election in the case of persistent, overwhelming incompetence and/or corruption in a government)

For less elections, and less election speculation, vote 1. Me.

Sam Hilton – I’m voting for you!

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #51]

Let me explain

Hey all you devoted Buzz followers of mine, in case you’re wondering why I’m being so prolific with these “If I were elected to office …” posts, let me explain. Since I live in an electorate where the result of the lower house ballot is a foregone conclusion, I always feel a little robbed of my role in the democratic process. These posts are somewhat of a compensation for me, and I have decided that at the end of the election period I will be printing out all my posts and sending them to my local member so that she will at least know what’s been on the mind of at least one of her constituents. (I will not include any of your comments unless you specifically ask me to.)

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #50]

Hollowism

If I were elected to office …

I would eschew hollowness. An increasing trend I’ve noticed in recent years is politicians making promises for action so far into the future that they are essentially meaningless. A recent example is the Coalition’s promise to cut the company tax rate… in July 2013! i.e. if elected to office they would not have to do a single thing in their first term, which makes the promise feel a little hollow. Of course Labor is equally adept at this kind of hollowness – they’ve been promising to do something about CO2 emissions in 3 years’ time for the last umpteen years. Labor has even refined this long-term-hollowism to the stage of taking credit for things that haven’t happened yet!

“we will have returned the budget to surplus in 2013”

The tricky balance here is that politicians shouldn’t just be mired in short term policies in order to get elected. We want and need our leaders to have long range goals and targets, but I believe that there cannot be a meaningful long term goal without short term steps.

So for little steps towards meaningful goals, vote 1, Me.

Coalition plans company tax rate cut – ABC News

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #49]

Mr Curly

If I were elected to office …

I would erect at every entrance to parliament house in Canberra a giant statue of Michael Leunig’s Mr Curly (and his ducks of course), in celebration of optimism, simplicity, whimsy, beauty and the fragility of nature. This would be a constant reminder to every MP and every visitor that there is more to serving the Australian public than budgets, bureaucracy and the bottom line.

For a less dollar-driven parliament, vote 1. Me.

The Michael Leunig Website

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #48]

Australia Day

If I were elected to office …

I’d change Australia Day from 26th January to 27th May. Why? Because 26th January marks the day when European settlers claimed this land under the fiction that it was uninhabited by people. 27th May marks the date in 1967 when the Australian people overwhelmingly voted “Yes” in the constitutional amendment referendum, changing the constitution to recognise the Aboriginal people of this land.

For a national day that respects all Australians, Vote 1. Me.

Fact sheets – National Archives of Australia

Sam Hilton 29 Jul 2010: – okay. you’ve got my vote Lachlan.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #47]