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The Forum > General Discussion > Thoughts on a Hung Parliament

Thoughts on a Hung Parliament

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Political parties are private organizations specifically intended to capture the public law-making power.

Parliament originated in about 1450, but organized political parties didnít start to dominate parliamentary proceedings until about 1750, almost three hundred years later. So obviously itís possible to have stable government without the parliament being dominated by political parties.

The first political parties were rather loose alliances of ideological fellow-travellers. However the development in the nineteenth century of formal party structures, discipline and factions changed the nature of parliamentary government. Now it meant that the most significant political decisions happen in private, by political parties doing backroom deals, rather than in the parliament. Thatís why the public didnít get to vote on whether Paul Keating gained or Kevin Rudd lost the prime ministership.

Modern Westminster-style democracy has degenerated into an elective dictatorship, in which the dominant party controls both the Executive (Cabinet and the Departments) and Legislature (Parliament). A memberís first loyalty is to the party, whose interest is taken to be a cipher for the peopleís interest. The notion of the Parliament as a place where the critical issues are debated and decided for the public good is quite redundant.

The idea that a hung parliament is bad because stable government is good, depends on two assumptions that do not withstand critical scrutiny. The first is that government presumptively stands for the greater good. The second is that government should be more efficient rather than less.

The ordinary legal rules against fraud, theft and killing do not apply to legislators in their legislative capacity. The many can err as badly as the few. There is nothing about a legal monopoly of force or majority opinion licensed to loot or kill, that makes it presumptively socially beneficial.

And efficiency is only good if youíre producing goods. If someone is producing bads we donít want them to be efficient; itís better for them to be inefficient.

So it is with our Parliament: - what a parcel of rogues! I wish that more of them were hung.
Posted by Peter Hume, Sunday, 22 August 2010 7:22:29 PM
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If I was Julia Gillard I would offer Mr Oakeshott a position involving rural issues, to form a government, then leak it to the press.
I would say his electorate (whom he represents) would expect him to accept this. If he declines he would possibly be looking at a negative swing in the next election. Mr Abott might have to offer him a similar enticement. You could then sit back and watch the fun between the independents and Nationals.
Posted by stickaspannerintheworks, Monday, 23 August 2010 12:15:28 AM
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If I was Julia Gillard I would cry, stamp my feet and lock myself in my bedroom. If I was Tony Abbott I would knock on Julia's bedroom door and see if she wants to come out to play. If she wont then Prime Minister Katter and his government of 3 can run the country, Green(s) will form the opposition.
Posted by Paul1405, Monday, 23 August 2010 5:43:59 AM
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That was a strange post Rob will do what he sees as right.
He always has and held his state seat with about 60%, in Nationals country.
He will do what his electorate put him in to do, get outcomes for them, bank on it he is not from my party but as honest as they come.
Consider this, look just for a minute and the Murdock media this morning, demanding voters turn to Abbott.
Is that the roll of the media?
Labor was clear two party preferred leader.
If we used such a system, if the choice was only Labor or conservative, betcha greens votes would go to Labor.
Not recommending that system.
Not unhappy with results.
This morning Labor in NSW should call an election , for next weekend.
Let the revenge voters looked for in federal election in this state run free.
Labor would in all probability be the third force in this state ,but far better than being betrayed every day by fools.
Posted by Belly, Monday, 23 August 2010 6:06:31 AM
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The first order of business for the new Katter Independent Government will be Australia's export of cow dung to Uzbekistan. Bob has already discovered that the Gillard Labor Government lied about our cow dung situation when they said during the campaign that exports to Uzbekistan were only down 427% in the 2009/2010 fiscal year, Bob has seen the real treasury figures, he's reported to have said "The real figure is cow dung exports down 893%", unfortunately Bob's promise of free lamingtons for all cannot now be honoured with the gravity of the cow dung situation. Tony Abbott said if they had voted for him he would have privatised the Cow Dung Industry and reduced Labors waste of dung from 972 tonnes to 971 tonnes during his second term of government, besides it wasn't a core promise anyway so who will care. The Greens spokesman for everything Bob Brown said "The Greens are totally opposed to the export of cow dung to Uzbekistan as the dung is not produced by bio diverse cows and is not organic, besides the Ubbekistneans are secretly developing a cow dung bomb to drop on Australia and are not using it for kiddies play lunches as they claim we got that from George Bush and the CIA.
See, nothing has changed business as usual.
Posted by Paul1405, Monday, 23 August 2010 6:19:54 AM
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Sticka,
The game playing you are suggesting is exactly what we should all be on the lookout for. The two main parties are so good at it that we don't even notice most of the time that they are up to it.
I don't hold out much hope that this will end happily, but i am prepared to hope. You never know the big two might have to be honest about their intentions for a change.
Posted by nairbe, Monday, 23 August 2010 7:39:39 AM
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