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The Forum > Article Comments > Direct democracy comes to Australia > Comments

Direct democracy comes to Australia : Comments

By Andrew Murray, published 7/9/2007

Australians often feel disenchanted with our political system and that they are ignored. The Plebiscites Bill could change all that.

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First, we need a Bill of Rights. This should be the first issue on which to hold a CIR.
Both major political parties have shamefully backed away from introducing it, claiming incorrectly that our parliamentary system is a guarantee of a citizenís rights.
With a Bill of Rights people would have more chance to defend themselves in the event that a later CIR might restore for instance, capital punishment.
How could you seriously exclude a referendum on such an issue as capital punishment if, god forbid, the weight of public opinion was for it?
Posted by macropod, Friday, 7 September 2007 5:39:40 PM
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The problem I have in a Bill of Rights is that it places faith and power in the judiciary, not elected politicians. For this reason it could be also seen as anti-democratic. At the end of the day, a Bill of Rights would take the decision-making powers away from people and give it to judges. Judges, not people, would be deciding.

Ans, as the following post shows, judges cannot be trusted to defend our rights and liberties:

http://leonbertrand.blogspot.com/2007/09/qld-small-claims-tribunal-part-5.html

Another classic example is how Justice Kirby recently wrote a judgment invalidating a control order imposed on a former member of Al-Queda. A Bill of Rights would give more opportunities for judges to protect the rights of members of terrorist organisations over the rights of ordinary civilians.
Posted by AJFA, Friday, 7 September 2007 6:27:20 PM
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mr murray hasn't grasped the concept of democracy.

as he points out, a plebiscite is non-binding. parliament remains the master. the point of democracy is: the citizens are the masters.

it's like black and white.

this is just empty showmanship, but it's nice to be reminded that every parliamentarian is convinced the sheep must not run the station.
Posted by DEMOS, Friday, 7 September 2007 8:32:06 PM
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Hooray for CIR! Let's look at some of the first issues that would be put to the people:

1. Bring back hanging.

2. Summary cancellation of the pensions of former politicians.

3. The salaries of current politicians to be limited to the dole (but as a special concession, they would be exempted from the work test.)

4. Political corruption to be eliminated by providing that all candidates must irrecovably assign their affairs to a public trustee, who will ensure that throughout the rest of their lives they will not live better than they did before entering politics.

5. No bill of rights to be enacted without the consent of the electors.

6. and so on.... others may feel free to add to the list.

pigs might fly!
Posted by plerdsus, Friday, 7 September 2007 8:41:54 PM
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There is a website titled UPMART which is claims the currant existance and provision of help with the tools for direct democracy. My understanding is that sites creator (Malcolm McClure) is claiming that people can already have there say utilising there own honorable will, the constitution and common law. Site claims a number of legal successes across australia including excemption from paying road tolls. Site was reffered to me by a group called HER (Honourable Electors Referendum) in Noosa Qld who are organising a "legally binding peoples referendum on the question of almagamation".

Has anyone heard of Upmart or Malcolm Mcclure?
Is he/ group credable?
Is peoples organised legally binding referendum remotly possable?
Posted by buttons, Saturday, 8 September 2007 3:57:36 PM
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Yep,

Here's the link : http://www.upmart.org/

Go get 'em !
Posted by Iluvatar, Saturday, 8 September 2007 10:58:13 PM
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