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The Forum > Article Comments > From parliament to the people > Comments

From parliament to the people : Comments

By Brian Holden, published 25/9/2007

Itís time to look seriously at introducing genuine direct democracy.

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I can't imagine extended media blackouts being healthy in a democracy... and why would we want to stop bloggers and talk back radio complaining about particular issues? If people want to devote their time and money to those mediums and those discussions then let them.

That said the idea of being able to vote on a particular piece of legislation seems like a good one. However, actually voting regularly would be a full time job as voters would have to read hundreds of pages of legislation (imagine reading 400 pages of Workchoices). On the other hand it is not inconceivable that summaries of legislation could be made by various groups (bloggers, lobbyists, special interest?) that advise voters on the implications of their vote. It would be messy but theoretically workable.
Posted by Sparky, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 4:31:28 PM
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Australian two party system: "They have become narrowly based, factionalised, undemocratic oligarchies...controlled by too few people,
closed to public view but open to manipulation and outright corruption." Harry Evans, Clerk to the Senate in The Australian; 10 March 1997.
Posted by Sapper_K9, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 6:13:56 PM
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By all means let us have citizen initiated referendums.

However the first one would have to be on bringing back hanging.

The other need is to deprive the political class of any income from politics, with salaries limited to a basic allowance (the dole would be a wonderful symbolic amount).

At this stage the flying pigs are getting a bit thick so I will sign off.
Posted by plerdsus, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 7:47:08 PM
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Why is hanging always top of the list whenever people discuss participatory democracy?

History has laready proven it is no deterrent and simply reduces the rest o fsociety to the wrost level of criminality. How can you "berate" others for the thigns you are prepared to do yourself?
Posted by K£vin, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 12:04:38 AM
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Has anybody else seen a delightful minor film classic from Peter Cook entitled 'The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer'? Cook played a politician who got the PMship in Britain by offering everyone a vote on everything. The electors soon became so bogged down in paperwork that they gladly accepted him as a benevolent dictator.

Nevertheless, I am totally in favour of the suggestion; I think it would enable those of us who are genuinely interested in issues, and who will take the trouble to become informed on ALL aspects of them, to have an influence on parliamentary decision.

But can we please PLEASE start with fixed terms. How much of the 'political reporting' of the past months been about actual topics and how much about election day speculation? The behaviour of the PM in dithering about setting a date for the election would be contemptible were it not so pitiful.

Diana
Posted by Diana, Monday, 1 October 2007 9:37:15 PM
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Sparky: as voters would have to read hundreds of pages of legislation (imagine reading 400 pages of Workchoices). On the other hand it is not inconceivable that summaries of legislation could be made by various groups (bloggers, lobbyists, special interest?)

How about giving the "minor offenses" jailbirds a go on that paperwork, they don't make cloth pegs anymore do they? It would serve their country wouldn't if lots of them learn political editorship?
Posted by eftfnc, Friday, 26 October 2007 1:43:19 AM
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