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The Forum > Article Comments > Is reconstructing question time a question of time? > Comments

Is reconstructing question time a question of time? : Comments

By Dino Cesta, published 4/9/2014

Question Time needs an overhaul if it is to genuinely meet the non-negotiable standards of accountability, integrity, and transparency sorely missing from Australia's current system of government.

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Yes, and the first thing that must go, are the Dorothy Dix's.
And then questions should be taken on notice, with complete as possible replies provided in a timely fashion; and given the nature of a question, perhaps as personal, for your eyes only, confidential mail!
But only if asked in a polite civil manner, with no uncomplimentary language included.
And where that breach occurs, the questioner should be sent to cool the heels for an hour or so!
And then if there's a spare half hour, we the people should allowed to put a civil and well thought through questions; perhaps via the speaker?
And by as quick as, www.gov.org.au emails or twitter!?
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 4 September 2014 12:12:15 PM
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Regarding your Proposal 1, requiring the speaker to relinquish party membership and participation does not solve the problem that he or she will still have been elected to Parliament as a partisan politician. It is naive to expect that person not to be influenced by his or her prior political loyalties.

The alternative of the public voting for the speaker requires the voters to judge something they are not capable of judging - how impartial an individual will be when presiding over contentious rowdy debates. Only people who have participated in such forums realise what is required. A public vote would become a mere popularity contest between the nominees of rival parties.

The correct solution is set out in the Advancing Democracy model to change the Constitution. Abolish the speakerís position and require the head of state to take the speakerís place. The public wants the holders of both positions to be politically impartial, so merge them. Then give the head of state extra powers in managing Parliament so his or her decisions cannot be overridden by a simple majority and we will have what the current Constitution cannot deliver, an independent and impartial chairperson.

See http://www.advancingdemocracy.info/cmspage.php?pgid=50&pid=45 for further details.

Having an independent chair would be a game-changer, creating the climate where some of the other proposals may well be adopted.
Posted by Philip Howell, Thursday, 4 September 2014 1:59:09 PM
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Why does the speaker have to come from MPs of either party. Maybe time for the speaker to be appointed from outside parliament.

Maybe nominations called, with say 60 or 70 % vote of all MPs.

This person to be given responsibility for the running of the house.
Posted by Flo, Thursday, 4 September 2014 5:34:06 PM
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Perhaps even at times within an imperfect system, there can be, more.

I thought to comment on the Victorian Parliament and the on going *Geoff Shaw* affair.

Please bear in mind that I no nothing of it other than a few snippets that are largely drawn from ABC24.

It begins with a friend from primary school, one year younger than I.

Anyway, on occasion, the *GrandPop* of my friend would roll in out front of the school full of smiles and indeed, as a young fella, I was always rather taken.

So, and if I do not miss recall, on one occasion, this same *GrandDad* was heading into the WA Parliament to go about his business as an MP and woe and behold, there were some heavies barring his way. (*Belly?*)

Anyway, there was quite the hullabaloo in the aftermath as it turns out, the WA LAW says, (something to the effect of ) though shalt not impede the path of a Parliamentarian on their way to Parliament.

... Anyway, I remember being somewhat surprised at not seeing anything being reported around that time which in any way mirrored the indignation surrounding the interference with *Pop* as it was for *Geoff Shaw* when he was "intercepted" on his LAWFUL path unto *Parliament*

..

I think that the real decision makers need to understand that as long as the "rEPRESENTATIVEs* continue to thrash about making in principle the same errors as their forbears, that the likelihood that they will be ahead of the game as required is significantly diminished.

I have little complimentary to say about the current mob and consider that at best they can hope to survive for a limited time in division except perhaps for this.

Whilst some may not necessarily subscribe to this International Convention or that, that does not mean to say, say in the case of Asylum, that certain countries do not accept all those seeking, but rather that they have their own personal mechanisms which can be accessed and or called upon.
Posted by DreamOn, Friday, 5 September 2014 3:06:48 AM
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