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The Forum > Article Comments > The senate is where governments need control to govern > Comments

The senate is where governments need control to govern : Comments

By Peter Baume, published 11/11/2013

When I was Whip in the Senate, the Leader of the day told me that the only essential bills were the Budget Bills and the Supply Bills and that anything else was 'cream'.

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Taking the argument a step further, how long will it be before the new minor parties in the Senate realise that their most potent weapon is to block supply unless they get what they want? The chances of this occurring are not high, but they are nevertheless significant. Mr Palmer in particular is unpredictable, and in the right circumstances he may think itís to his advantage to take this approach. If so, Labor and the Greens have no reason to rescue Mr Abbott.

Despite the election result, the potential for unnecessary political instability remains high, mainly because our Constitution is unstable. It allows those who lost the last election to have those who won removed from office, if the former have a Senate majority.

If the Liberals faces this scenario, maybe it will finally dawn on them that the Advancing Democracy model for a republic is worth adopting - www.advancingdemocracy.info.
Posted by Philip Howell, Monday, 11 November 2013 7:53:21 AM
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The Liberal-National-Palmer Government from 1 July 2014 will indeed be entertaining. More entertaining than the absentee Leader of the Opposition or Milner with a whip.

Instead of a Mining Tax there may heavy subsidisation of the mining-resources sector.

Turnbull's backdoor run for First President of an Australian Republic may also be exciting.
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 11 November 2013 8:44:32 AM
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I'm betting the government will not need a double dissolution in order to repeal the carbon tax.

As for the rest of the supposed problems caused by an obstructive Senate, the solution is simple: just stop trying to pass legislation they don't want. Win/win. If the Labor government had followed this advice, and simply done less, they'd still be there. There's plenty of legislation already. The idea that we need these sociopaths constantly churning out more 24/7 churns my stomach. In fact, we'd all be better off if the politicians just took their pay and didn't turn up to work for the next three years.
Posted by Jardine K. Jardine, Monday, 11 November 2013 9:03:39 AM
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