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The Forum > Article Comments > The state of democracy in Queensland > Comments

The state of democracy in Queensland : Comments

By Scott Prasser, published 24/12/2007

Queensland has made some progress on democratic reform, but the steps have been small and the journey is far from finished.

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Scott, in line with your concluding comments, I think that Queenslanders get the governments they deserve. Not only did they not protest against the appalling Beattie government, they give PB huge opinion poll support for years. As you note, those of the left who criticised aspects of the former Coalition governments, have remained silent in the face of worse abuses by Labor. With no interest from the populace, and no sign of a coherent opposition, the prevailing government has no incentive to lift its game.

Re "incentives", a word of caution to Kevin Rudd. The National Competition Policy process provided financial incentives for States who undertook reforms. I didn't understand why the Premiers should have to be bribed to act in the interest of their own people. In practice, Queensland failed to take advantage of NCP to make positive, lasting changes, but pursued only minimum compliance to obtain the relatively measly "competition payments." Rudd offered financial incentives for the states to cooperate in the COAG reform process. This will only work if the Feds have a large and intrusive monitoring process with more access to state officers and base documents than the NCC had.
Posted by Faustino, Monday, 24 December 2007 12:30:47 PM
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We all know that Democracy has many flaws, but it's still the best of all the rest.Perhaps a basic reform would be to bann Parties from elections and only allowing them to form from the Members elected after the election.The Leader could then be elected and become the Premier!At least this would allow the uninformed voters who were not interested in Government business to vote without bias for a local who looks like the most likely to work for the electorate but be able to be more than a cypher that votes in Parliament on a platform whether he agrees with it or not.
Posted by TINMAN, Monday, 24 December 2007 3:09:57 PM
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i am always a little bemused when ozzies start referring to 'democracy' in oz, or any part of it. i've never seen any, myself. there is instead, a westminster society, nominally a monarchy, actually an oligarchy.

that's why when ozzies quote lincoln's famous phrases from the gettysburgh address, they leave out 'by the people', as there is an embarassing lack of rule by the people here. i don't know why people are ashamed of this lack, but they are. david flint aside, they never say, "in our monarchy".

of course there is little progress in q'land, how could it be otherwise? do you really think pollies are going hand over power if they don't have to? if you want progress, start with yourselves: find out what democracy is, and how to get it. until you make yourselves into citizen-quality people, you will continue to be treated like the subject-quality you are.
Posted by DEMOS, Monday, 24 December 2007 3:13:02 PM
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Scott

One problem with your article - the vast majority of Queenslanders support amalgamation. Noosa and Redcliffe are not Qld.
Posted by ruawake, Monday, 24 December 2007 5:04:02 PM
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One of the best reforms Queensland could make is to join the rest of the states and have an Upper House. Elected by proportional representation, it would give some representation to minorities and prevent the distorted majorities that follow from single-member electorates.

Now that the Victorian Labor Government has implemented the Liberalsí broken 1973 election promise to bring PR to the Legislative Council, that same government is under real scrutiny and no government is ever likely to control the Upper House again. This is excellent for democracy because it restrains the executive arm of government by real parliamentary scrutiny and review.
Posted by Chris C, Monday, 24 December 2007 5:47:11 PM
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Queenslanders do get the Government they deserve....

I refer to the Forde Enquiry - it took many years for this Enquiry to be acted upon.

We now read of the Heiner Affair - a most scandalous report whereby Ministers in Qld have been ducking for cover for many years.

Mr Kevin Rudd should order this Enquiry to be dealt with at the highest level of Government. Mr Rudd was a Minister within the Beattie Government at the time.

If Mr Rudd is serious about tackling the tough issues the above Heiner Affair is directed to the very core of actions of Qld Government and Ministers.

The word democracy is "deadly silent" in the heart of Queensland as is the people's request for truth and justice in sentencing over the Heiner Affair.
Posted by SAINTS, Wednesday, 26 December 2007 8:52:13 AM
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