State Elections

SA and Tasmania results are in, and I have to agree with Andrew Bolt on Tasmania – their proportional system is just a recipe for instability. The Liberals are claiming victory after a staggering 12% swing against Labor, but the split of seats is 10-10-5 (Liberal-Labor-Greens). Either way, the Greens are the big winners.

I like the idea of proportional representation (PR), but believe in Australia, it works best in the upper houses (the Senate, and state Legislative Councils of NSW, Victoria, SA and WA). Actually, my ideal method for state elections would be if we had only one house using PR, but with a directly elected executive (Premier/Governor) for stability.

Meanwhile, in South Australia, it looks like Labor’s Rann might just hang on. However, it seems that neither side is willing to concede. Fun times.

18 thoughts on “State Elections

  1. Personally, I am scared sh*tless of the greens. Make no mistake about the greens – they are essentially the reds. Reading through their policy positions is downright scary.

    I think they are going to increase thier position insanely in Australia. As religion declines the ‘green’ ideology is increasing. I honestly believe they are the biggest threat to our freedom. The liberals are still to alike to labour. They need to make a radical departure. Stop spending money on any of these green non-sense, start downsizing government. Start being real liberals.

  2. That’s why I was reluctant to join the young libs and joined the LDP instead. Though with Abbot in, I’m tempted to defect…

  3. Steve – the LDP don’t require that you renounce your membership if you join some other party.

    Fleeced – what is it you like about “stable” government? In NSW we have “stable” government and it doesn’t seem that great to me.

  4. Terje – I dunno, we’ve had a few premiers, lately – but I see your point… personally, I’d rather any premiers get sacked by the people (through recall) rather than just a few blokes of an ALP faction installing a new one.

    So: four year terms; directly elected executive; proportional parliament; recall elections;a and while we’re at it – let’s add approval voting for judges.

  5. @mundi – I agree about that the Greens are the biggest threat to our liberty. Anyone who votes for these evil clowns need a smack upside the head.

    I suspect that many vote just as a form of protest – anyone but the major parties (and with the Democrats gone, they are the “third party”), but as bad as the two majors are, the Greens are much, much worse.

  6. Fleeced – I agree about a unicameral PR legislature and a directly elected executive. It’s my preferred option for a repuiblic. Otherwise we can dole out reserve powers to the Senate, Cabinet and High Court and the PM becomes de facto head of state.

    It looks like I wrote the rest of your replies.

    I dunno. Maybe I’ve become influential?

    State elections seem mostly about management. Policy gets overlooked.

    As for NSW, I don’t care who gets in, but I sincerely hope they abolish developer fees and payroll taxes.

  7. Speaking of a republic, I think the only way forward on that is for the states to go republic first (eg, combining the governor/premier position and directly electing as suggested above)… assuming the states choose different models, we’d have a basis for deciding what to do federally.

  8. The trouble is, the Greens have convinced everyone they DO stand for liberty by adopting some trendy causes like gay rights, drug legalisation, reducing restricitions on live music venues and opposition to Internet censorship. Ironically, for such an anti-capitalist party, they use marketing, one of the main tools of capitalism, very effectively.

    Never mind that their economic policies are essentially socialist, or that they would regulate the crap out of the workforce if they got anywhere near power.

    People also think that being anti-business means being pro-individual liberty. The LDP has its work cut out to market itself better.

  9. Sorry, fleeced, but i disagree.
    1) States should be bicameral. The lower house should be one big electorate of 100 seats, and they are given to parties to fill based on percentage of votes, ignoring fractions. (A vote of 50+1/2% becomes 50 seats your party can allocate as it likes.) Perhaps spare seats left over from those fractions could then be given to the biggest winners as extras.
    2) The upper house should be composed of ambassadors from the counties and shires, appointed by the mayor of each local government.
    3) I think we can minimise changes to the constitution by allowing the current governor-general to take over all duties of the royals, being called regent, and becoming an ombudsman, able to look into the affairs of any member of parliament. Thus the Regent is not just a figurehead, or puppet of the current government. And if the Regent were elected at each general Federal election, you’d be likely to get a Regent not of the same party as the government. Then the states could still appoint their governors, with the Regent confirming the appointment, as a perogative of the Australian Crown.

  10. The Greens advocacy of rights is less about individual freedom, and more about imposing their own idea of morality. Eg, they’ll support gay rights (fair enough), but also support anti-vilification laws.

  11. I agree, Fleeced. But the majority of voters care about outcomes over ideology. The greens are “gay friendly”, so if you care about gay rights (because you’re gay or have a close friend that is) it’s the party you’re going to support over the two majors.

    The rise of the greens, especially amongst youth is because the social agendas of the major parties are out of touch with younger people.

    As for the greens being radical, by libertarian standards they are. But they are hardly socialist. They are just rather strong social democrats. Similar governments have been elected in other countries and while I wouldn’t say that it’s helped their economies I also wouldn’t say those countries aren’t capitalist. The reality of government forces everyone to compromise.

  12. If you define socialist as explicitly wanting to overthrow capitalism, then the Greens aren’t socialist. Though I suspect a few of their members wouldn’t mind a Soviet-style revolution.

    The Greens oficial position is to keep capitalism, but regulate the bejeesus out of it until it resembles something like socialism. In this regard they are definitely more ‘socialist’ that, say, the French Parti Socialiste.

    Fleeced – good point about imposing their own view of morality. While I agree with them on gay rights and drugs (to some extent), in this regard they are no different from Family First.

  13. I thought it was very telling of the Greens that Labor would rather be in opposition with no power, than be part of a coalition in power (even with more ministries) but have to share that power with the Greens.

    “four year terms; directly elected executive; proportional parliament; recall elections;a and while we’re at it – let’s add approval voting for judge”

    -a very good idea, except for the four years for the legislature. I think the Americans have it right with the two year bit. The shorter the term the more responsive the pollies are to the electorate. None of this “introducing unpopular legislation” and hoping the voters will forget about it by the end of the term.

  14. I disagree. They keep on introducing too much popular legislation in the US. I don’t want them to react to the electorate. The US has a very high rate of incumbency. A initiative and referenda power to strike down bad laws may well be enough.

  15. Terje – Thanks for telling me that 🙂 I’d already thrown my hand up for some volunteer efforts they’re putting in down here so we can shake off the image of layabout rich kids (of which I am neither, might I add :P), so it’s good to know I can join and do all the social stuff as well ^_^

  16. SLR – Speaking of high rates of incumbency – I should add that I also support term limits… of, shall we say, 12 years for parliament and 8 years for executive? We really should try to eliminate the career politician.

    Philip – excellent point about long terms (though this would be mitigated with term limits)… perhaps 4 year terms with half-elections every two years would be a decent compromise? (combined with voluntary voting, of course)

  17. Term limits are great but their use may be problematic if we keep Parliamentary Government.

    Law and order typically makes a starring role, and the usual recriminations about soft sentencing does as well during State elections.

    I actually just want fair judges, not Draco. Election through approval voting or; appointment by the Premier, approved by the Legislative Council but nominated by a supervisory body isn’t a bad idea. This is or was LDP policy, or close to it…or it was once proposed for NSW…

  18. In ‘The Australian’, they mention that the Tasmanian ALP might be able to hang on to office. I wonder what that will mean, federally? Good for Rudd, or bad?

Comments are closed.