When is democracy not actually democratic?

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Ranting
Tags: , , , , ,

No doubt to the relief of a few, it is time for a non-cricket related post.

The democratic process of elections is, at first principles, a pretty straight forward thing. At election time a particular electorate goes to the ballot box where each registered voter is provided with a pre-printed ballot paper which includes the names of the persons standing for election either as the representative of a particular party eg the Noisy Buttholes of Australia, or as an independent. If you want the Noisy Buttholes to be the party representing you in parliament, you vote for them. If the representative of the Buttholes wins, then that seat is represented by the Noisy Buttholes. Done and dusted, all quite straight forward. Then the electorate, having elected their representative, perhaps of the Buttholes, has the right to expect their seat to be represented by the party they elected at the ballot box. Seems pretty straight forward, doesn’t it.

I don’t know about other countries but in Australia we have this silly loophole that once you have been elected, it doesn’t actually matter if you continue to act as a member of the Noisy Buttholes party that was elected in your specific electorate or if you decide to do a runner to another party entirely, say the Anal-retentive Arseholes Alliance, or even becoming president of another party. If an electorate legitimately elected a representative of the Buttholes, then personal politics should not see that electorate suddenly being represented by the Arseholes in direct contradiction of the democratic process. The electorate voted for a specific party, not a butt plug enhanced with Artificial Intelligence so that it can slip into whatever rectal orifice it wants to at any given time.

This lunacy has recently really come under the spotlight in the Australian state of Queensland.

bob-katter-390x233Bob Katter is a long-time member of the Australian Federal parliament. For years he represented the National Party in his electorate. However once big-hat-wearing, gun-toting Katter decided the minority Nationals were no longer conservative enough for him, he quit and finished out his last term as an independent.

Now, in theory, I am utterly opposed to the idea that a democratically elected parliamentary representative can decide to leave the party they were representing when elected, only to be allowed to finish the rest of their term in whatever capacity they feel like. In general, I believe that a by-election should be called and allow the electorate concerned to determine who they want representing them and in what capacity. However Bob Katter has such a stranglehold on his electorate that a by-election in his case would have been a waste of public money as he was going to win, regardless of who he was claiming to represent. So in this particular case, I can forgive his being allowing to continue in his position.

Katter, in what seems to be pretty traditional these days, as an independent has started up his own party – Katter’s Australia Party. Not ‘Australia Party’ but ‘Katters Australia Party.’ Clearly the basic objective aim of this new political entity is creation of an Australia as one individual, Bob Katter, thinks it should be. And based on his past actions, I suspect this would some sort of bastardised cross between Bob Menzies agricultural protectionism and a Billy Hughes White Australia Policy. But Katter was still elected to the Federal parliament as an independent. But in his state of Queensland, the Katter’s Australia Party contested seats in the state election. And won one.

Katter’s Australia Party has been formally recognised as a minority political party. However that single seat in the Queensland parliament was suddenly tripled to three seats following two members of the ruling Liberal-National Party, quitting the LNP, joining up with KAP and now representing the interests of that party in parliament in flagrant defiance of what their respective electorates actually wanted. This ridiculous situation that is completely and utterly opposed to the concept of democracy, is allowed to go uncontested in the Australian political system.

Matters have become increasingly difficult and murky in this Queensland situation. With the tripled amount of representation in the Queensland parliament, at the expense of LNP representation, KAP now has a much stronger position. This stronger position in other circumstances would entitle that party to considerably increased taxpayer monies. However the LNP government, led by Campbell Newman, has rushed through special legislation which has had the direct effect of blocking that access to additional resources.

Newman’s mob is insisting that this legislation was essential to ensure that democracy was retained. And, at least in theory, it is hard to argue RayHopperotherwise. Those two additional seats for KPA were the result of democratically elected representatives of LNP deciding to jump ship because they were unhappy with the direction of LNP. One of those ship-jumpers, Ray Hopper, is now the State President of KAP.

If democracy were truly being served, then those two ship jumpers would not be allowed to continue seeing out their parliamentary term, which includes racking up things like lucrative superannuation entitlements, but forced to go back to the electorate and see who the voters want representing them in future. However in lieu of that, it is not unreasonable to deny KAP from benefitting lucratively from dissention in the ranks of the ruling LNP and moving in direct defiance of the democratically expressed wishes of their specific electorates.

newmanThis places me in the bloody strange position of being onside with Campbell Newman, a clown who is increasingly behaving more like Mussolini than a democratically elected parliamentary leader of an Australian political party. Of course I have no doubt in my mind that this sudden concern for ensuring ‘democracy’ is only lip service and in reality a means of ensuring KAP does not increase in power at a time of growing unrest and dissention within the LNP ranks. However the end result is actually consistent with the principle that those elected to parliament are elected on the basis of who and what they are claiming to represent, not to then be rewarded for jumping ship.

Of course if the next Queensland state election sees that trio all legitimately elected as representatives of KAP then democracy would have been served and there would be no justification for denial of resources that they are entitled to.

I am still far from happy that personal politics can be rewarded in that way in Australian politics and the actual wishes of the electorate coming a very distant and disregarded second. It is this sort of internal power plays that highlight just what an overall ethically corrupt thing our political system has become.Vote the rant

Comments
  1. lol i am ross hamilton too lol

    YOU DON’T NEED THE OTHER S

    from anon

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