The View from Labor Unions on Changing the Senate

John Faulkner

By giving this piece of writing the title "A Labor Perspective on Senate Reform," I have purposefully given myself a lot of room for maneuverability. In the context of a more general argument regarding the significance of the voting systems we use to the vitality and consistency of our governmental institutions, I will examine the reform that took place in 1948 and argue for the necessity of additional voting system changes. In doing so, I will discuss three specific proposals for future reform: a change to the procedures for allocating short- and long-term senators after a double dissolution election; the introduction of four-year terms; and a limitation on the Senate's power to block appropriation bills. All of these changes would be implemented after a double dissolution election.

When it comes to any analysis of electoral procedures or discussion of potential reforms, political parties always bring a partisan viewpoint to the table. Any political party worth its salt will look for any advantage it can wring from so-called "electoral reform" in order to further its own interests. However, this does not imply that our viewpoint is solely political in nature. Not even close. The findings of a recent Research Note issued by the Parliamentary Library are supported by the opinions of the vast majority of politicians, who say the following:

In order for the democratic process to be carried out in an efficient manner, electoral systems have a number of functions that must be maintained in a state of equilibrium. An electoral system has a responsibility to ensure that it is representative of the population in terms of its geographical locations, political beliefs, and societal and cultural characteristics. The system must be just and cannot favor one group over another. Other functions and criteria for an electoral system include the facilitation of viable and effective opposition, the promotion of stable government, and the requirement that the system be fair. that the number of seats won should, to the greatest extent possible, be proportional to the number of votes received, and that the amount of power wielded should have some relationship to the number of votes received [1]

Voting procedures need to be honest and uphold a high level of integrity. Regardless of the flaws that may exist in the voting systems that we use in the House of Representatives and the Senate, I am confident that the Australian public would agree that these institutions fulfill the requirements. I am also of the opinion that the Australian Labor Party has a very strong history of promoting and defending the honesty and integrity of our electoral system. In this regard, I believe they have a very strong track record.

When conducting an analysis of the voting process in the Senate, it is imperative that we keep in mind the constitutional mandate that each state be granted an equivalent number of seats. This was a condition of the constitutional settlement that allowed for the formation of the Commonwealth, and the political landscape is currently structured in such a way that it is extremely unlikely that this provision will ever be altered. The idea that "one vote equals one value" will, as a result of course, be distorted or, more accurately, subverted by this requirement. To put it another way, one could say that it is inherent to a congenital defect. It leads to the current situation, for instance, in which 12 senators represent 330,000 electors in Tasmania and the same number represents more than four million electors in NSW. As I have argued in the past, this system, regardless of what else it may be, is not even close to being a model of representativeness.

However, the result that is produced by the Senate system does produce an accurate reflection of the voting strengths of parties within the boundaries of state and territory. This was not the case with the voting systems that were in place prior to the implementation of proportional representation (PR) in 1948. These included the traditional first-past-the-post system as well as the preferential voting system that came into effect after 1919. The first system led to outcomes such as those that occurred in 1910, when Andrew Fisher's Labor Party won all 18 Senate seats; 1914, when, after a double dissolution, the ALP won 31 of the 36 seats; and 1917, when Billy Hughes' Nationalists won all 18 Senate seats. All of these outcomes were produced by the first system. Under the preferential voting system, these results became even stranger than they already were. During the process of preparing this paper, I came across an interesting letter that was stored in an archived file. The letter was written by Senator Burford Sampson (Liberal, Tasmania), who is an advocate of proportional representation. In a letter he sent to Ben Chifley in 1945, he stated, "The purpose of this letter is to emphasize the general opinion that the present method of election of members of the Senate is about as bad a voting system as such can be." Ben Chifley was the recipient of this letter. " He went on to describe such "grotesque and unfair results" as in 1925, when Labor had 45% of the votes but did not have a single senator, while the Nationalists, with 55% of the votes, had 22 senators. He said that this was an example of "grotesque and unfair results." And in 1943, when Labor was led by John Curtin, the party was victorious in all 19 seats, receiving 55% of the vote. These voting systems, in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins the entire election, have no place in multi-member electoral constituencies like the ones we have in the Senate.

The documentation of history demonstrates that Sampson was not the only person who held the opinion that action needed to be taken. The Royal Commission on the Commonwealth Electoral Law and Administration made the recommendation to adopt a proportional representation system for the Senate in 1915. In 1922, Earle Page was successful in getting the House of Representatives to approve his motion to introduce PR in the Senate. "to investigate and report on the method of election of the Senate," Joe Lyons' United Australia Party (UAP) government promised in 1934 and again in 1937 to establish a Select Committee "to investigate and report on the method of election of the Senate." It is illuminating to look back on the discussion that took place in the House of Representatives in May of 1939 regarding this motion. [2] If we were to discuss a motion of the same nature right now, in the year 1999, I have no doubt that very similar points of view would be expressed. When the time came to argue the need for change, it was the conservative parties who did so. According to Thomas Paterson, a Country Party member who represents Gippsland,

Anyone who gives the matter even a moment's thought must realize that something should be done to improve the current system, which allows a party to win the entire eighteen seats at any normal election in Australia even if it receives less than 51 percent of the total votes cast throughout the entire country. This is unacceptable and should be changed. whereas a party that only receives 49% of the total votes could end up having no representation in any way, shape, or form in the government.

Josiah Francis, the UAP Member for Moreton, argued the same thing in terms of the democratic legitimacy of the situation:

Nobody that I've spoken to has expressed contentment with the current system that's being used to run elections for the Senate. Following each election, the press is inundated with criticisms of the current system, which are condemned by editorialists, newspaper correspondents, and public bodies alike. The community does not have confidence in this Parliament because of the method that is currently being used, and this Parliament cannot function as it should without having such confidence.

During that time, the Labor Opposition has been very vocal in its condemnation of the government for its political opportunism. Eddie Ward, the Labor Member for East Sydney, was at the forefront of the movement:

I will not deny that, for a good number of years now, there has been widespread discontent with the way that elections to the Senate are currently conducted. What boggles my mind is the fact that the government was oblivious to the extent of the discontent for such a protracted period of time, and that it did not begin to pay attention to the issue until after a general election in which it became clear that the Labor party's fortunes are improving. We are of the opinion that the Government is putting forth these proposals at this juncture in order to undermine the competitive edge that the Labor Party currently possesses.

H stood by his side as support. P Lazzarini, a Labor Party Member for the Werriwa Constituency:

Whenever governments that were made up of honorable members of the opposing party in this or any other Australian parliament have been routed at the hands of the voters and suffered a humiliating defeat, They have always looked for a way to go against the will of the people. Now that the United Australia Party and the Country Party are competing as separate bodies, I suppose that both parties believe that they are entitled to proportional representation. There is a possibility that the Country Party has faith that it can win one or two additional Senate seats.

Even though support for PR in the Senate went back to the constitutional conventions of the late 1890s and shifted back and forth across party lines, Ben Chifley's Labor Government was the one that finally took action on the issue. According to what John Uhr has pointed out in his article, the historical record of the events that led up to Chifley's decision in 1948 is vague. This prompted me to look through some of the other relevant files at the National Archives, in addition to the Cabinet records pertaining to this time period. These indicate that on July 3, 1947, the Chifley Cabinet considered a proposal to increase parliamentary representation, but deferred further consideration until a more comprehensive analysis of the results of the 1947 Census was carried out.

The historical record makes it abundantly clear that discontent with the voting system used in the Senate had been growing for a number of years, as had the amount of pressure placed on changing to a system of proportional representation. Concern had also been growing regarding the gradual loss of representativeness that had been occurring within the electoral system. When the first elections for the federal government were held in March 1901, each member of Congress was responsible for approximately 20,000 voters. By the time the 1947 census was carried out, this figure had increased to almost 60,000. Based on my own reading of the primary sources, I have come to the conclusion that the combination of these pressures, along with the need for the Chifley government to respond to the results of the 1947 Census with redistributions in five of the six states, was what tipped the balance in favor of the election of Harry Truman. change

Without a doubt, the acute political instinct for self-preservation also played a significant role in the outcome. Uhr is absolutely correct in calling attention to Labor's interest in "smaller, more stable, and consequently more secure seats for the Labor backbench," which would be the result of an increase in the number of members of the House of Representatives. And there is no question that Arthur Calwell—who, according to Fred Daly [3], was the "architect and enthusiastic sponsor of the enlarged parliament and proportional representation"—played this card successfully in order to persuade caucus to accept his proposed formula for change. This is evidenced by the fact that there is no question about whether or not Arthur Calwell played this card successfully. [4] The interpretation that the Senate changes were designed to strengthen Labor's majority in that House in the event of a victory by the Menzies Coalition is less convincing than other possible interpretations. After all, these suggestions were formulated and approved a little more than one year into Chifley's second term in office, at a time when general elections were still some two years away.

Even though it was a significant step forward, the system that was put into place in 1948 was far from ideal. There were significant flaws in it. One of these was the way in which casual vacancies were filled, which was largely addressed by a referendum in the year 1977. Not only could state governments appoint a senator who was not a nominee of the relevant party, but the filling of any casual vacancy in a subsequent election changed the quota for the election of a senator. This was possible because the Senate is elected by a proportional system. The continued possibility of holding elections for the House of Representatives and one half of the Senate at different times is another flaw in the system that has the potential to skew the results of proportional representation. In practice, separate elections for half of the Senate are conducted in the same manner as by-elections held across the entire country; as a result, these elections are not only exorbitantly expensive but also tend to encourage protest voting. This could explain why there has not been one since the year 1970.

It turned out that Attorney General Herbert Evatt's prediction from 1948, which stated that proportional representation would elevate the status of the Senate, was accurate. Public relations have provided the Senate with a popular legitimacy that it lacked in the past. It should not come as a surprise that the Senate's sense of independence, consciousness of its powers, and readiness to exercise those powers have all been strengthened as a result of the legitimacy it has received. PR resulted in a circumstance in which governmental control of the Senate became increasingly unlikely (governments only having majorities in the Senate after the elections of 1951, 1953, 1958, 1975, and 1977), and since 1984, when the number of senators from each state was increased from 10 to 12, virtually impossible. Since the founding of the Democratic Labor Party in 1955, the presence of independents and members of minor parties has become commonplace in the Senate. Their total membership has steadily grown from two in 1955 to its current count of 12 members. They have maintained their position as the party with the upper hand for 32 of those 44 years.

The years of the Whitlam government, which lasted from 1972 until 1975, were the years in which the Senate made the most of its efforts to maintain its sense of independence from other branches of government. During this time period, the Opposition was responsible for the rejection of a record number of 93 government bills, which is 25 more than the total number of bills that were rejected in the entire history of the Senate's first 71 years. After losing government for the first time in 23 years, the opposition, behaving in a manner consistent with a sore loser, declared in April 1974 that it would vote against the Supply bills in the Senate. This was the first time the opposition had lost power in 23 years. Whitlam advocated for a double dissolution, which led to his return to the government. Again, in October of 1975, the opposition made the announcement that it would not vote for the Budget bills in the Senate "until such time as the Government agrees to submit itself to the judgment of the people." They say that what happened after that is now part of history. The nation was thrust into an unprecedented constitutional crisis, the likes of which it had never experienced in the past and has not experienced since.

Malcolm Fraser and Doug Anthony Campaigning

October 27th through November 1st, 1975 issue of National Times

At the time, Fred Chaney served as the Whip for the Liberal Opposition. In a letter dated from the previous year, he

witnessed firsthand the climactic display of Senate power, which consisted of the body cutting off supply to the Whitlam government. It did this on the basis of a rigged majority that was produced as a result of shenanigans carried out by the state governments of New South Wales and Queensland. Despite this, conservative forces remained steadfast in their belief that the Senate possessed the authority not only to change laws passed by the government but also to overthrow an existing government. [5]

That is not a power that I believe should rest with the Senate. The Labor Party doesn't support it either. "constitutional reform to prevent the Senate from rejecting, deferring, or blocking appropriation bills" is something that our platform endorses. I will get back to you on this topic very soon.

The growing dissatisfaction of governments is the flip side of the Senate's increased assertiveness, as well as the growing influence of minor parties and independents. In general, they have exhibited what I consider to be the knee-jerk reaction, and in this observation, I include both the Labor and the Coalition governments as potential offenders. And that is to propose changing the Electoral Act in order to change the electoral system in such a way as to decrease the likelihood of representatives from parties that are not major parties being elected. This reaction is simultaneously an acknowledgment that such a result cannot be achieved through constitutional means and an appeal to the shared interests of the other major political party to join forces in order to enhance the prospects of both parties enjoying at least occasional control of the upper house. Both of these things are important to the parties involved, and both of these things are shared interests. This appeal was made quite explicit by Paul Keating in 1994, when he told the front bench of the Liberal Party that it needed to "think beyond your nose and the next election." This occurred during one of Paul Keating's periodic bouts of frustration with the Senate. Paul Keating said that the Liberal Party needed to "think beyond your nose and the next election." He stated that "the essential robust element of our democracy is the representative nature of the Australian ballot," and he emphasized this point several times. It is not a representative ballot, but rather a proportional ballot that is used in the Senate. ' [6]

At the beginning of 1994, it was widely reported that both Keating and Gareth Evans were considering the possibility of proposing that each state be divided into 12 electorates and that senators be chosen through a preferential voting system rather than a proportional voting system. There is no question that this is not a novel concept. In 1939, the House of Representatives considered and debated a proposal that was similar to this one. Since the Coalition took power in 1996 and developed a radically new perspective on the strategies it had utilized in the Senate while Labor was in power, it has consistently put forward proposals that are very similar to those in the past. Andrew Robb, Tony Staley, Wilson Tuckey, David MacGibbon, Tony Abbot, Peter Costello, Peter Reith, and most recently Helen Coonan have all called for "Senate reform" and proposed changes to the upper chamber of parliament.

All of these proposals have one thing in common: they call for a change to the Electoral Act, which would almost certainly need the backing of both of the major parties. This is the common denominator among all of these ideas. In addition to this, they are intended to bring about a specific result from the elections for the Senate, which is an increase in the representation of the major parties at the expense of the less significant parties. However, it is extremely unlikely that any of the proposals that are currently being put forward by representatives of the Coalition would have resulted in a majority for the Coalition in the Senate from the 37 7 percent of the vote that it received in the most recent election, which is the lowest percentage it has ever received in the history of the Australian federal government According to Malcolm Mackerras's [7] observations, this is the reason why John Howard will not use the mechanism that is made available to him by the Constitution in order to break a stalemate with the Senate. [Citation needed] This is the reason why he will not even consider a double dissolution of parliament, and instead he is trying to manipulate the electoral system in order to decrease the likelihood of such deadlocks occurring. According to a recent statement made by the Proportional Representation Society of Australia, "deliberately distorting voters' wishes by electoral artifice simply cannot produce fairer electoral outcomes." ' [8]

In the current political climate of Australia, proposals for reforming the Senate that depend on making significant changes to the electoral system are no longer viable options. Simply put, Australians are not going to buy them. The Senate will continue to have a place for minor parties. Because of the shift to proportional representation, they now account for about a quarter of the vote in every election. This change is irreversible. The complaints of the government about the obstruction of the Senate have no effect on the voters. After months of complaints from the government regarding the Senate, a poll conducted by Bulletin Morgan in June 1997 showed that 72 percent of voters were against any electoral change that would make it simpler for major parties to maintain control of the Senate. According to the results of the poll, 18% of voters would prefer to see minor parties hold the balance of power in the Senate in order to keep a check on the policies of the government. Seventeen percent of respondents said they would cast their ballot for one party in the House of Representatives and another party in the Senate. Only 10% of voters thought it was a negative thing for the government to not control the Senate, while 67% of people thought it could be either good or bad depending on the circumstances.

If there is a problem with Senate powers, and the behavior of the Senate from 1972 to 1975 demonstrated conclusively that there is, then we should look for a solution at the core of the problem: the Constitution, which sets down those powers. If there is a problem with Senate powers, then the behavior of the Senate from 1972 to 1975 demonstrated conclusively that there is. The ability of the Senate to veto, amend, or simply fail to pass legislation that can be considered to be of a more routine nature does not pose a risk to our democratic form of responsible government. It is true that it frequently serves as a thorn in the side of governments, but there are solutions at hand. A government has two options: it can either put aside its ego and withdraw the bill, or it can use the s. 57 deadlock process

The real problem arises with regard to the Senate's power to deny financial sustenance to a government, particularly when such power is exercised not because of any objection to the content of the legislation appropriating the funds, but rather to bring down the government. The real problem arises with regard to the power of the Senate to deny financial sustenance to a government. This runs counter to one of the fundamental tenets of our democratic form of government, which holds that a government is accountable to the House of Representatives and can only remain in office for as long as it maintains the confidence of that body. During the constitutional conventions that led up to the writing of the Constitution, this question was one of the most hotly debated ones. For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, enthusiasts should look into the Final Report of the 1988 Constitutional Commission [9] and the chapter written by Brian Galligan in Responsible Government in Australia [10]. [9] and [10] respectively. In order to provide the following historical account, I have relied heavily on the sources mentioned above.

Conventions were dominated by the issue of how to reconcile the traditional idea of responsible government centered on the people's house with a bicameral legislature consisting of two almost equally powerful chambers. This issue nearly derailed the entire Federation project. However, it is interesting to note that the power of the Senate to amend tax bills served as the battleground, rather than the Senate's power to block tax bills. It was the larger states that made the argument that if both houses had the power to amend money bills, the traditional form and practices of responsible government would be put in jeopardy, and the government would become ineffective. The weaker states desired to be represented in a strong states' house so that they could advocate for and defend their own interests. They minimized the dangers that could be posed to responsible government. Josiah Symon, the Chair of the Judiciary Committee for South Australia at the 1897 Convention, argued that the right of the Senate to amend tax bills would not threaten responsible government because they could "trust to the good judgment and conscience of the Senate." which would be composed of "eminent men who will not readily or wantonly put difficulties in the way of the government of the country," and which would be appointed by the president. '

The resolution of this dispute, which favored the large states, shifted the focus of the Convention delegates onto the issue of deadlocks between the houses. It turned out that Richard O'Connor was an especially prescient person. He distinguished between normal deadlocks, which could be broken by reaching a compromise, and dangerous deadlocks, which required some unique method for breaking the impasse. In the first category, he included all policy matters, including taxation bills; in the second category, however, he only included appropriation bills for the regular annual services provided by the government. These more recent impasses were perilous because they threatened to halt the functioning of the entire government apparatus. In the event that the Senate failed to pass a Supply Bill for the second time, he proposed that both chambers meet together in a joint session to break the impasse.

In the end, after much back-and-forth discussion, the 57 decided to go with the double dissolution mechanism. It was acknowledged that this would only be appropriate for handling ordinary deadlocks given that the timing requirements were obviously too drawn out for supply deadlocks. However, it seemed that O'Connor was the only one who saw this as a legitimate issue. The majority of delegates believed that his dangerous deadlocks were of such a serious nature that they were unthinkable. The inability of Congress to pass an appropriations bill would, in the words of Patrick McMahon Glynn, "open the way to a revolution," and the fear that such an event might take place would "operate as a sanction to prevent it from taking place." William McMillan expressed his belief that the Commonwealth's entire monetary system would be thrown into disarray as a result of the blocking of supply, and that this "would mean revolution." William Trenwith, an additional delegate, concurred that this was an "inconceivable" occurrence.

According to Galligan's analysis, the founders were aware of the potential for deadlocks to arise between a government that was centered in the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, they reasoned that such deadlocks "would be avoided primarily by the good sense of those who worked the system, or alternatively resolved by the cumbersome "mechanical" method of double dissolution." However:

The founders were not prepared for the rapid rise of disciplined parties that were based on class so soon after the federation. nor did they anticipate the level of partisanship and reckless brinkmanship that characterized the year 1975... The founders had provided no adequate mechanical means for breaking supply deadlocks because they never anticipated that politicians would engineer such dangerous things for short-term gains.

The power of the Senate to block supply, as well as the delineation of this power in the Constitution, is therefore unfinished business in a very real sense. It was an occurrence that our pioneers did not foresee, and as a result, no provisions were made for it. It is possible that this presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our nation to address this issue and take preventative measures to avert a constitutional crisis similar to the one that occurred in 1975.

Labor is committed to constitutional reform in order to prevent the Senate from rejecting, deferring, or blocking appropriation bills. This commitment is shared by the other major parties in the House of Representatives. The Democrats have committed to not employing supply-blocking strategies that involve the Senate. In addition, the Coalition is searching publicly for potential solutions to stop the Senate from acting as "an obstructional competitor, frustrating, or substantially delaying urgently required responses to national problems." ' [11] There must be some overlap between these different points of view, right? I am in no way implying that there was any kind of conspiracy between the major parties in order to remove a source of contention for both of them. This is not a dispute that can be resolved between the two main parliamentary parties, or even among the three of them for that matter. In the end, the decision rests with the people of Australia, who, through the process of a constitutional referendum, would have the final say. But as we all know, there is not much point in holding a referendum if the major parties take positions that are diametrically opposed to one another on the issue.

The Constitution Amendment (Legislative Council) Act, which was passed into law by the New South Wales parliament in 1933, would make for a good place to begin. The following section was added to the Constitution of NSW as a result of this Act's amendments:

5A (1) If the Legislative Assembly passes a Bill that appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government, and the Legislative Council either does not pass the Bill or rejects it, or if the Legislative Council returns the Bill to the Legislative Assembly with a message suggesting any amendment to which the Legislative Assembly may agree, then the Legislative Assembly shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this section. The Legislative Assembly shall does not agree Despite the fact that the Legislative Council has not given its consent to the Bill, the Legislative Assembly may still direct that it be presented [to the Governor for Royal Assent], with or without any amendments suggested by the Legislative Council. This is the case even though the Legislative Council has not approved the Bill.

(2) The Legislative Council shall be considered to have failed to pass any such Bill if the Bill is not returned to the Legislative Assembly within one month after its transmission to the Legislative Council and the Session continues during such period. This provision applies only if the Bill is not returned to the Legislative Assembly within one month after its transmission to the Legislative Council.

(3) If a Bill that appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government is enacted into a law as a result of the provisions of this section, then any provision in that law dealing with any subject other than such appropriation shall be null and void and of no force or effect; this provision shall apply only to the extent that such appropriation is dealt with in the law.

Given the low rate of success that referenda have in this country, Senate reform through constitutional amendment has been considered impossible for a very long time. But the upcoming referendum on the Republic, the impending millennium, and the 100th anniversary of Federation will create an atmosphere in which Australians will be more prepared to contemplate other possible amendments to our Constitution. This will be the case because these events will create a climate in which Australia will enter a new millennium. According to what Kim Beazley has stated, it "could very well crack open the constitutional conservatism of this century." "[12] In such an atmosphere, Labor would be willing to discuss with other interested parties, other aspects of the Senate's constitutional powers, and participate in a public debate.

In a situation like this, Labor would also support at least two additional proposals, including the modification of the current system for the rotation of senators and the implementation of four-year terms. On May 13 of the previous year [13], I gave a speech in the Senate regarding the initial proposal, and I subsequently moved a motion to put it into action. The Senate voted in favor of approving that motion on June 29, 1998. Many people might think that this is an unimportant issue, but it is actually an important reform that will ensure that the distribution of short-term and long-term places in the legislature following a double dissolution election is carried out in accordance with democratic principles.

According to the Constitution, senators should serve for terms of six years, and at the end of each ordinary election for the Senate, half of the seats should be up for election. In the event that there is a double dissolution in accordance with s 57, the normal rotation of senators is disrupted, and after the election, the Senate is required to divide itself into short-term and long-term senators in order to fulfill its constitutional obligations. The Senate will decide how to divide the votes according to their own preferences. The Senate has, for the most part, adhered to the practice of allocating seats to senators in accordance with the order in which they were elected to the chamber. On the other hand, while the proportional representation system does a good job of distributing seats in the Senate, it is not an effective method for ranking senators according to the weight of their votes. Any candidate for the Senate who reaches the required number of votes is ranked higher than a senator who is elected through the redistribution of a surplus from a candidate higher up on the ballot. As a result, less significant parties benefit from this arrangement. As soon as they meet their quota, this ensures that they will be given a senator who will serve for a long period of time. In an election with double dissolution, this indicates that, provided they receive more than 7 They will receive a long-term senator if they receive 69 percent of the vote, whereas a party that receives 44 percent of the vote may only receive two long-term senators. The principle of proportional representation cannot be upheld in the face of such a conclusion.

In 1984, parliament passed an amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act to provide for the allocation of short- and long-term senators after a double dissolution based on a recount with the quota that would have applied had a half Senate election been held. This amendment allowed for the allocation of short- and long-term senators based on the quota that would have applied had a half Senate election been held. In the opinion of Labor, this constitutes the most equitable approach to distributing positions. The concepts of voting strength and election order are distinct from one another. The order of the election is based solely on the sequence in which successful candidates reach quota. Voting strength is more comparable to proportional support for parties that are running for election. The method of recounting half of the Senate votes is not foolproof, but it does provide a more accurate measurement of voting strength and a more accurate measurement of the will of the electorate than any other method. As a result, it is a more democratic system.

During the discussion of the 1984 amendment, Senator Robert Ray, speaking on behalf of the administration that was in power at the time, emphasized that, in the event that this procedure were to be put into use, it should be agreed upon in advance of any double dissolution election. This is still the position that Labor holds. In the event that an agreement is not reached in advance, the parties will take a wait-and-see approach until after the election, at which point they will advocate the approach that affords them the greatest opportunity for political gain. After the next double dissolution election, whenever that may take place, I have high hopes that the resolution passed by the Senate on June 29 of the previous year will carry enough weight to ensure that the method that was ratified by parliament in 1984 will be used. My hope is that this will be the case. It is important for the Democrats to avoid viewing this proposal as merely another attempt by the major parties to put the minor parties at a disadvantage. The Proportional Representation Society of Australia has expressed their support for this proposition, and Malcolm Mackerras has stated that "The motion should be seen as a correct statement of democratic principle which may help major parties at this election and minor parties at that election." ' [14]

The evergreen nature of four-year terms is the last topic I want to touch on for a little while. In addition to the necessity of holding elections for both the House of Representatives and the Senate at the same time, the arguments in favor of making such a change are compelling. According to our Constitution, the maximum term length is three years. In point of fact, the average length of time a government has been in office since the implementation of proportional representation in 1948 has been exactly two years. This works against the goal of maintaining stability and achieving maximum productivity. It is a waste of resources, in terms of both energy and money. We simply cannot afford such a constant state of flux. The vast majority of nations around the world that have democratic forms of government have terms that are either four or five years long. The legislative terms in all of the state legislatures, with the exception of Queensland's, have been reduced to four years. The Constitutional Commission in 1988 was just the most recent expert body to recommend increasing the length of the term from three to four years; the first such recommendation came from a Royal Commission in 1929. It is high time that we looked into this matter once more.

In this paper, I will argue that the structure of government in Australia, including the electoral system that underpins it, is generally considered to be just, efficient, and acceptable in international circles. The conflicts between democratic representation and the institutional design of the Senate, as a states' house with powers almost equal to those of the people's house, were largely reconciled with the introduction of the system of proportional representation in 1948. This system was first implemented in the United States. As I've mentioned before, the most important thing to consider when thinking about making any changes to these systems is whether or not any modification of the system can maintain the advantages while reducing the drawbacks. It is my firm belief that each of the three suggestions that I have put forth is capable of passing this examination.


[1] Margaret Healy and Gerard Newman, "An Electoral Threshold for the Senate," Research Note Number 19, 1998–99, page [Research Note Number 19, 1998–99] 1

[2] Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, May 3, 1939, pages [2] 57–70

[3] Fred Daly, "From Curtin to Hawke," published in Melbourne by Sun Books in 1984, pages 51–52

[4] According to Daly, Calwell won over Caucus by convincing Labor senators that they would be re-elected in 1949 and that the new voting system favored them in the future. Daly claims that this was the key to Calwell's victory over Caucus. '

[5] The Australian on the 29th of December in 1998

[6] Laura Tingle, "Showdown at the Senate," Weekend Australian, 5 March 1994. [Citation needed]

[7] Letters that were published in the Canberra Times on July 13, 1999

[8] Notes on Quotas, March of 1999

[9] Constitutional Commission, Final Report, volume 1, AGPS Canberra, 1988

[10] "The Founders' Design and Intentions Regarding Responsible Government," in P. Jefferson's The Federalist, Weller and D Responsible Government in Australia, Jaensch, Richmond, Victoria, Australia 1980, Drummond Publishing year of publication

[11] Helen Coonan, "Dysfunctional Senate a handbrake on democracy," Sydney Morning Herald, February 4, 1999. [Sydney Morning Herald]

[12] Address given by Kim Beazley to the Local Constitutional Conventions Forum in Canberra on April 28, 1999

[13] CPD, 13 May 1998

[14] Letters published in the Canberra Times on the 25th of May in 1998

Discover Where to Watch The Suicide Squad Online in Australia!
Discover Where to Watch The Suicide Squad Online in Australia!

The Squad's new gang of misfit anti-heroes should not be held too dear: all are fair game in this rousing blend of humor and violence. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, cementing fan hopes that this DC Comics reboot would deliver the explosive mix of laughter and cartoon mayhem they were hoping

Author: Grania Borrey Author: Grania Borrey
Posted: 2023-06-06 01:18:04
"Transform Your Smart TV Experience with 10 Play Activation"
"Transform Your Smart TV Experience with 10 Play Activation"

Revised on: Thu, 18 May, 2023 at 1:27 PMWhich gadget are you attempting to set in motion?In the event that your television or device is not visible, it means we do not have a functional application for it, or it does not feature a login option on an existing app.To ascertain whether your device will be

Author: Grania Borrey Author: Grania Borrey
Posted: 2023-06-05 00:59:56
Discover the Secrets to Finding the Perfect Seller on eBay
Discover the Secrets to Finding the Perfect Seller on eBay

If you are looking to buy a product from eBay, all you have to do is type in the item you are looking for in the search bar. However, if you want to search for a particular seller, it requires a bit more effort. Here’s how you can do it.Search for a Seller on eBay on a Web BrowserIf you have had a

Author: Grania Borrey Author: Grania Borrey
Posted: 2023-06-04 00:01:58
Toyota Class Action Allows Claims for Aggregate Damages
Toyota Class Action Allows Claims for Aggregate Damages

A class action lawsuit was initiated against Toyota on behalf of both initial and subsequent motor vehicle owners due to the malfunctioning of the diesel exhaust after-treatment system (DPF System) in their allegedly defective diesel motor vehicles. The DPF System was responsible for capturing and

Author: Grania Borrey Author: Grania Borrey
Posted: 2023-06-03 00:01:12
Showing page 1 of 25

Increase your standard of your life with various helpful tips of every field from! - Since 2022

Gen in 0.0727 secs