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Thread: Switching federal parliament to proportional representation

  1. #1
    Supreme Overlord ARH v.4.0's Avatar
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    Switching federal parliament to proportional representation

    Soliciting thoughts on what effect it would have on the country to switch our voting system from preferential voting to proportional representation.

    The latest shit show between Turnbull and Abbott, as well as the visa fuck around got me thinking how awesome it would be if there was another party to vote for or some other way to fuck the two major parties off altogether.

    I don't see proportional representation ever happening, but I can see a situation where both Liberals and Labor break into two different parties, the Labor right and Liberals left merge to form a single party, Labor left and maybe Greens get something going, the racist wing of the Liberals, nationals, and other more 'conservative' members of parliament splintering and shifting among themselves...

    I think the country would be better off with proportional representation, given some initial growing pains, but the two major parties would lose out big, which is why it would never happen.
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  2. #2

    Are you alluding to something like the systems used in Tasmania and the ACT.
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  3. #3

    It's a recipe for minority government. In New Zealand, they had the most charismatic Conservative leader that they've had in a generation and he had a governing majority of one or two seats (and even those guys were part of a coalition). The natural state of New Zealand democracy now, after MMP, is minority government.

    The Kiwis themselves were starting to wonder whether they had made a terrible mistake about MMP right up until Key won his first election. In a few years, I reckon they'll be right back to wondering about that again.

  4. #4

    Well... they essentially have that in the Senate... where they still maintain the vast majority of seats. I'd be happy to see the dissolution of the two major parties in the senate. somehow. don't know how though.

  5. #5
    Supreme Overlord ARH v.4.0's Avatar
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    It would be a recipe for minority government, which would force parties to cooperate rather than take the current antagonistic approach just for the sake of being difficult in opposition. Smaller parties are better able to serve their particular niche, rather than force everyone to go along to get along because that's the party line. Behaviour would also have to change if parties don't want to burn the bridges they may need in the future to form a government, including the lunatic fringe elements of parliament no longer being part of the lunatic fringe, as they may now have a realistic shot at being in a government.
    Repent!

    The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
    shall meet it's end and we shall be submerged into a
    new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
    and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!

  6. #6

    Unfortunately that's not the way things work with minority governments. The infighting that goes on leads to hung parliaments that do nothing except fill the pockets of the members and essentially do not govern. Look at Belgium, Italy, even France and Germany. All have multi-party governments that do not work efficiently because of the need to bow to the smaller (usually one issue) parties.

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by ARH v.4.0 View Post
    It would be a recipe for minority government, which would force parties to cooperate rather than take the current antagonistic approach just for the sake of being difficult in opposition. Smaller parties are better able to serve their particular niche, rather than force everyone to go along to get along because that's the party line. Behaviour would also have to change if parties don't want to burn the bridges they may need in the future to form a government, including the lunatic fringe elements of parliament no longer being part of the lunatic fringe, as they may now have a realistic shot at being in a government.
    No. For every piece of legislation that needs to pass, one of those lunatic fringe parties needs to be bought off to gain a majority. Plenty of lunatic policies that would never have seen the light of day normally, suddenly get a run. The crazies aren't necessarily in the government coalition (that's why it's called minority government), and hence don't need to moderate their behaviour. In fact it's the opposite. The only way they maintain enough rage and attention to keep getting elected is to stick to their niche, but dialling it up to 11.

    Again, just watch New Zealand politics for a little while. You've got a couple of Maori segments (one general and one a permanent sub- faction of labour), the Greens (who have plenty of red lines that can never be crossed), the grey parties (old folks who can never lose a benefit) and least one Christian Church/Cult with enough people to keep electing a couple of nutters. They all want a cut or you can forget about it.These are not policies of the mainstream. This is the fringe that usually looms large on the front page of Kiwi newspapers because their demands are usually being considered. Only Key and his majority of two people has kept this craziness (and surpluses) at bay for the last few years. Soon they will be back.

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