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Sadly, Yenn.. you're probably right in that the government doesn't take notice of it. It's not like there is a constitution police that check that what the government is doing is constitutional, however, that would be a very difficult job using the examples above. However, people can, and do challenge the constitutionality of government's actions when they feel it has breached to constitution and the High Court often do not "side" with the government.

 

So, yes, one can and should quote the constitution (and the seminal cases that interpret the constitution where a provision of it is ambiguous).

 

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Dax, thanks for sharing your views. I share a lot of your cynicism of politics and religion. Although your ideology doesn't totally align with mine, the debate is causing us to analyse things more dee

It is interesting to consider that members of the backbench where Porter now finds himself are also required to deciare their pecuniary interests.  In other words the situation that made him unfit for

A senior politician, acting as a private citizen and off his own bat, sues the ABC and a reporter because they truthfully reported the facts.   Now his legal fees have been "partly covered"

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3 hours ago, Dax said:

Our constitution states categorically, representatives must be elected by direct vote. There is nothing in the constitution that allows for parties or preferential voting.

 

"Political parties are not mentioned in the Australian Constitution.

In fact, the Constitution does not cover all aspects of how Australia is governed. Many parts of our system of government, such as the Prime Minister and Cabinet, operate by tradition, similar to Britain. 

Political parties are also not defined by laws passed by the Australian Parliament."

 

https://questions.peo.gov.au/questions/are-political-parties-mentioned-or-written-in-the-australian-constitution/22

 

There is also no mention of tradition on reference to governance in the constitution, so our entire political system is unconstitutional.

Sorry - I need to address a couple of other inaccuracies

 

It is true that the constitution does not provide for political parties. Nor does it reference the office of Prime Minister. But it does not bar them, either. The constitution provides that the person who enjoys the support of the house gets to govern and appoint ministers. Prime Minister is a conventional term given to the person who governs. Sadly, political parties organised to promote their interest in the leigislature. They are nothing but the equivalent of a club or union and are governed by their rule books, which means, when there is a majority of one party's members in the HoR, they will provide the support to the leader of their parliamentary/HoR party, and that person will in kind appoint ministers only from the party they are a member of. There is nothing unconstitutional about it.

 

You are correct that a lot of the operation of he constitution is based on convention rather than what is in the constitution, and that this is based on British systems. The whole of the Australian legal system is based on the British (or more accurately,  English and Welsh) system of law because that is where its origins lie. I am not sure what point you are making in regards to the Aussie constitution though; And yes - there are laws passed by Aussie parliament - the Commonwealth Electoral Act contains some provisions, etc. But these are more about regulating political parties than whether or not they can participate in the political system of Australia.

 

Going back to the constitution having conventions - this is a common characteristic of almost all democratic constitutions. But they help to define standards, etc that are not in the constitution. It is very hard for a constitution to define every possible nuance that applies to running a country or state, and convention, which is not the rule of law, but has soft consequences if breached, are there to help.

3 hours ago, Dax said:

those involved not of the legal profession lose out monetarily and in justice. Most don't have a clue what's happening or what's being said, so there's no chance of justice in any way and with the unlimited ability to appeal on technical grounds, the legal profession keeps making money, without justice, except for the rich who can afford the exorbitant unwarranted costs.

Would whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment.

 

4 hours ago, Dax said:

Look at the facts, most politicians are lawyers, lawyers write the laws and legislation. Lawyers act as defence one day and prosecution the next. Lawyers are the judges and the appeal judges, so the people can never understand the reams of legalese for contracts, laws, legislation or justice. What we need is plain Australian laws, which mean what they say and no room for technical rubbish, where rich crims get off because of a legalese technicality, or their bank account.

Would agree with this, especially in the day when (in Victoria) only two universities were permitted to teach law, with the Law Society artificially creating barriers and holding incomes high for lawyers. But now, just about every general university can teach law, so I suspect the old boys club will be slowly breaking down. In addition, parliament is more diverse, but it will take a long time.

 

For what it's worth, compared to European (civil law0 jurisdictions, the laws of Australia are a doddle and straight forward (or were).

 

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Some redress or what we might call Justice is only available to the very rich. Lawyers who work for the biggest criminals make the most money here. McGowan is correcting the West Australian Senate voting system where preferences can enable someone with only 67 votes to get in. Guess which people are most upset.. Nev

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A political party is an organisation that represents a particular group of people or set of ideas. It aims to have members elected to Parliament so their ideas can affect the way Australia is governed. A political party becomes a parliamentary party when it has party members elected to a parliament at the federal, state or territory level. Parliamentary parties are powerful because their members work as a team and generally vote the same way on issues before the parliament. Minor parties only have a small number of members elected to Parliament. Sometimes minor parties can hold the balance of power. This means that their vote may decide the outcome of an issue if the government and opposition disagree.

 

Like it or not, the Party system in Australia has provided us with very stable governments. Basically we have the Conservative (Libs and Nationals) and the non-Conservative (Labor) who together are able at various times to have the numbers to form government, and remain the governing party until the next scheduled election. Some countries don't have this. Look at Italy. Very many of its governments have been short lived and ousted in turmoil.  The Whitlam government has been the only one we have had that has been removed other than by losing an election. 

 

The problem the electorate faces now is that the Coalition and Labor seem to follow the same paths in many things, with Labor only seeming to give lip service to the workers' ideals that lead to its formation.

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12 minutes ago, old man emu said:

A political party is an organisation that represents a particular group of people or set of ideas.

That's fine when they actually do represent a particular group of people or set of ideas.

 

How about when they try to go too broad though?  Apparently the LNP represents:

 

  • Small government, small spending (even though they spent multiple billions so far on Covid support and just wrote a blank cheque for 8 submarines)
  • Big business (except where that business shows a social conscience)
  • Religious nutters (where they follow the right religion - don't want any of those other religious nutters)
  • Farmers (except when they try to stop mining companies)
  • Mining companies (totally and unreservedly)
  • Small business (except for subcontractors like Uber Eats riders - they can die in a hole, or more likely, on the road)
  • Companies who are fighting climate change (but only where their methods are allowed by the LNP's fossil fuel owners. EG gas is good, "clean coal" is good, carbon capture and storage is good, but anything that actually has credibility and a positive effect on the environment - like wind and solar - is BAD.  VERY VERY BAD.)

And Labor, although better, still has "left faction" and "right faction", is caught between their traditional base eg coal miners, and the votes of progressives.

 

So where's the true representation when they're trying to be all things to all people?

Edited by Marty_d
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34 minutes ago, old man emu said:

A political party is an organisation that represents a particular group of people or set of ideas.

This was meant simply to be a definition of the term "political party" . Probably it would be better put as "an organisation composed of people holding similar political views and goals". Such an organisation might not be so attractive to many people that they would actually join it. They may however give it electoral support because they prefer that organisation's views and goals over any other political party.

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3 minutes ago, old man emu said:

This was meant simply to be a definition of the term "political party" . Probably it would be better put as "an organisation composed of people holding similar political views and goals". Such an organisation might not be so attractive to many people that they would actually join it. They may however give it electoral support because they prefer that organisation's views and goals over any other political party.

I know what you're saying and agree with your definition - but in reality the two major parties are trying to be all things to all people, including the fringe dwellers.  Therefore they can't have any firm goals or even views, because to articulate a firm position on an issue will alienate some of the voters who they also try to attract.

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12 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth,

The definition of directly, is straight to, without interference. Preferential voting is not direct, but indirect as it takes a vote from its designated direction, to another direction of the original vote. Changing definitions to suit an outcome is what lawyers do, legalese helps them in that deception and making out a direct vote can somehow become indirect and still fit the definition of being direct, against all the accepted definitions, is what you'd expect from deceptive humans. One law and definition for them and other definitions and laws for the people, which disenfranchise the people on all occasions and preferential voting does that and only benefits political parties, which could easily be seen as unconstitutional. 

 

Peoples representatives are elected to represent the wishes of the people, not a political party. Anyway you look at it, we have an unconstitutional and illegal political system. Which is probably why they wont teach the constitution in schools and it's the same in the states, although haven't read all the state constitutions, just Tas, Vic and NSW.

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1 hour ago, Dax said:

Preferential voting is not direct, but indirect as it takes a vote from its designated direction, to another direction of the original vote.

Can you please define what you mean my preferential voting, because, I try and take accepted definitions used in general parlance. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (which is not a legal dictionary) defines it here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preferential voting.

 

I know of no other definition of preferential voting. Crucially, and my bold:

"a system of voting whereby the voter indicates his order of preference for each of the candidates listed on the ballot for a specified office so that if no candidate receives a majority of first preferences the first and second preferences and if necessary third and other preferences may be counted together until one candidate obtains a majority"

 

Of course the bold should include "his, her, or other", but importantly, it is the voter.. The voter is directly electing their representatives - they are doing a better job than first past the post, because it takes into account  the voters'   preferences of the people they have available to determine who is actually more desired by everyone. This is a direct election. It is not legalese, it is not rigging the system. The people/constituents are determining their favoured, and rather than just saying "Tell me the one you would like most".. it is saying "tell me the ones you prefer in order of preference and the one with the highest order of preference wins..

 

This is as direct as you can get and as fair as you can get.. The voters directly vote amongst the candidates. The results give the one most wanted by all voters..  I believe it also meets your definition: "The definition of directly, is straight to, without interference." In purely preferential voting, it is the voter who decides.. no interference.  And I think it also, crucially meets this: "Peoples representatives are elected to represent the wishes of the people, not a political party".. It is the person who puts his favoured to least favoured (or least hated to most hated) candidates, and the one who is most favoured by the voters (no political party involved) or least hated, wins.

 

Contrast this with first past the post. In an unusual year where Boris correctly went for Brexit and the Conservatives gained many votes they normally would not have, in my electorate, the first past the post yielded a candidate with an outright majority of votes:  https://members.parliament.uk/constituency/3363/election/377. Note, if a preferential system, if a candidate achieves the outright majority of "1"s against their name under a preferential system, it is game over.. so it works as well in the 2-candidate situation as it does in the more than 2 candidate system.

 

But, for Watford, on the first past the post system (which is a misnomer, as it is really, the one with the highest number of ticks - but not necessarily a majority): https://electionresults.parliament.uk/election/2019-12-12/Results/Location/Constituency/Watford/

 

The winner had less than the majority of votes. How is that democratic?

 

Both methods provide for the candidate to be directly elected by the voters as it is the voters' votes (and preferences). So, for the HoR, it is entirely constitutional on the normal conversational definition of the term "directly elected" (as I mentioned, there is no post in first part the post - because the post is the person with the highest number of ticks.. not a majority),.

 

If you are talking about where candidates can offload their votes to another candidate - that only appears to happen in the senate, and according to Section 9 of the constitution, if it is a state electoral law, well, it is allowed.

 

So, please define what you mean by preferential voting, to ensure we are comparing apples to apples..

 

Post-Note: Ironically, I found my old Black's Law Dictionary (Centennial edition back in 2003 or something) from when I was studying law.  Hate to put a damper on your legalese argument, but preferential voting isn't even a legal term:

 

 

 

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Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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45 minutes ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

I know of no other definition of preferential voting

Jerry's post highlights an important advantage of preferential voting systems: " It is the person (voter) who puts his favoured to least favoured (or least hated to most hated) candidates, and the one who is most favoured by the voters (no political party involved) or least hated, wins. If you are a Lib/Nat voter, don't you put Labor as you last pick, and vice versa? You might modify the order if there is a special interest candidate whose interests you don't share. I live in an electorate where the Member is not of the Party I support, but every election I get to put "1" against the candidate whose Party I do support. I also barrack for Carlton FC.

 

What you have to consider is that Labor and the Conservatives are the Parties with the most accumulated experience in functioning government. They both work together to deal with the mundane, non-ideological law-making. We only hear about the fights over ideology, which in the overall time frame, only crop up occasionally. The minor parties and Independents can't fall back on that accumulated experience to be really effective in Parliament. Their effect is to sway the balance of power on contentious issues.

 

Another thing that you must remind yourself is that governance involves dealing with change and the unexpected. Although Parliament makes laws that can exist for hundreds of years, it is the unexpected that can make or break a Parties hold on Government. Just look at how drought, fire and a virus have impacted the Morrison Government, to the extent that rumour has it that bums will be kicked off seats come next election. Will  Conservative votes be cast into the Labor basket because Labor has a better plan, or will those votes be Post-It notes to the Conservatives that they aren't doing a good job?

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2 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

I know of no other definition of preferential voting. Crucially, and my bold:

"a system of voting whereby the voter indicates his order of preference for each of the candidates listed on the ballot for a specified office so that if no candidate receives a majority of first preferences the first and second preferences and if necessary third and other preferences may be counted together until one candidate obtains a majority"

 

So what, that's a typical semantic cop out, who cares about the definition of preferential voting. What counts is our constitution states categorically, representatives are to be elected by direct vote. A preferential vote is no direct, but comes indirectly via preference. There's no way you can define an indirect vote, as direct, It's just another example of the manipulation of the population, by over educated brain elitists. Who seem to think it is only their interpretation of language, laws, legislation and even our constitution, that counts. But it's the people interpretation that should count and that's why world societies are stuffed, the over educated brain dead elitist think because they have been heavily programmed into ignorant stupidity that's what counts and what the people see as a norm;la in life, doesn't.

 

2 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

The winner had less than the majority of votes. How is that democratic?

Democracy is another word for controlled elitism, it's just another deceptive ideology which supposedly means rule by the people, which never happens. It's rule by political parties and their vested interests. If it was rule by the people, then the people would decide all legislation, not ideological hacks and rule by the people can only be attained when all the people have a direct say in government decisions and who is elected.

 

I find most people very hypocritical, they moan and grown about the state of society, yet they are fervent on their support for a system of governance that is destroying the future. They are ore interested in holding up the clearly unconstitutional norm, that supporting our supposed highest legal document. Iv'e talked to many real people about preferential voting and the constitution and all real people, agree politicians are being elected unconstitutionally. It's the [people standard every day definition that should count, not some over educated drop kick desperate to keep control and maintain their elitist ideology.

 

The only ones who claim otherwise, are the over educated, whose claim to life experience and working knowledge of life, all comes from school rooms and offices, where they desperately try to manipulate reality to suit their elitist agenda. What we end up with is what we are seeing evolve, totally incompetent ideologues with very little if an real knowledge of life or anything outside an office door.

 

That's why the legal profession use legalese, to disenfranchise the people with a language and wording that's designed to baffle the people and make them unable to determine what laws and legislation actually means. A supposed democratic system, would use plain language, so every one understands laws and legislation. Problem with that is, there would be no more lawyers, as they are only useful for deception and greed.

 

You can never call and vote than may go through many hands to finally end up with some one the voter didn't vote for directly, unless you adhere to one rule for the people, another for the elites.

1 hour ago, old man emu said:

What you have to consider is that Labor and the Conservatives are the Parties with the most accumulated experience in functioning government. They both work together to deal with the mundane, non-ideological law-making.

How can you call our governments functioning when you look at the real viewable every day facts and why would the over educated with no real experience in life or the portfolios they are given, be capably of running government more than the average person with real life experience and a wealth of on hands knowledge  in those portfolios.

 

I'm total uneducated, other than through life and yet have been running a successful company business for well over 5 decades. Yet the elitist fools throw away our money to their vested interests like it didn't matter, whilst desperately trying to hide what they've done from the people, they supposedly represent. They make the most stupid decisions which do nothing for the future and to get anything done takes years of reviews committees and revisions. The results are they stuff it up every time, whilst the average person runs homes, small business, their lives and have real life experience a university can never give you.

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16 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

…when (in Victoria) only two universities were permitted to teach law, with the Law Society artificially creating barriers and holding incomes high for lawyers. But now, just about every general university can teach law, so I suspect the old boys club will be slowly breaking down.

 

Technology has the legal fraternity worried, with many of their traditional income streams challenged by computer-based systems. We like to knock them, but we must respect the enormous investment hat goes into a legal qualification.

My kid did the hard yards, starting in a group of 59; only 11 graduated. She described a heart-wrenching scene where, after years of work and $100,000-plus spent, young women burst from the exam room sobbing.

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   There are pros and cons of different voting methods but one of the benefits of the preferential system is that I can express my desire for lets say a green candidate although their chances of winning me be low I can have a second choice.   The preferential  system allows me to say "I want this candidate but if they don't win then here is my second choice."    Without this system voting for a minor candidate could well be a wasted vote. 

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3 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

How does the individual voter, select Their second vote ?.

spacesailor

 

In the house of reps if there are 3 candidates lets say labor, liberal and green.  Lets say I vote green 1, labor 2 liberal 3.  The green candidate get the lowest number of votes.   The green candidate that I put  1 next to can not win and so is taken out of the race however this does not mean my ballot paper is useless.  The labor candidate that I put as number 2 receives my preference.       Think of it this way, I want candidate A but if candidate A does not receive a majority then my second choice is candidate B.      This is why you should number each candidate.

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Direct election is a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the persons or political party that they desire to see elected. The method by which the winner or winners of a direct election are chosen depends upon the electoral system used. By contrast, in an indirect election, the voters elect a body which in turn elects the officeholder in question. That works well for the Yankee Presidential election, doesn't it?

 

It's the methodology that is in question here - first past the post, or preferential.

"Think of it this way, I want candidate A but if candidate A does not receive a majority then my second choice is candidate B. It's a bit like a quinella. Two chances in the same race to get a return. So much better that putting it all on the nose.

 

Another possible benefit (if one is optimistic) is that if a Minor Party candidate polls well, dragging down the usual vote of the incumbent Party, then it would be sensible for the winning party to consider what the strong Minor Party is preaching. But I know that's a political oxymoron.

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51 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

How does the individual voter, select Their second vote ?.

spacesailor

By writing numbers next to the candidates. I’ve learned to count backward, giving the most odious ones the big numbers first, then working up to my most-favoured candidate.

 

In other countries I’ve been asked to explain our preferential system; one of its benfits is we don’t need run-off elections.

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1 hour ago, Dax said:

A preferential vote is no direct, but comes indirectly via preference

Why?   If you consider my first preference to be direct then why is second preference not direct?

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There may be no legislation against political parties in our Constitution - but the major political parties have manipulated our political system so that voters interests and wants, are diverted into the partys needs and wants.

This is where our political and voting system needs an overhaul. There is not enough direct representation of the voters desires in the current system.

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 Invalid votes are a waste of your hard won right to influence who RULES you. Turnbull made that freudian slip publicly not that long ago. Serve you might have been a better choice. Sco Mo's mob seem to strive to fool you which I find somewhat insulting, But it's worked so far with a lot of help from his "friends".  in the media so who am I to Judge?  If he believes in a god of some kind he must be a nice bloke deep down . He alluded to that in his Maiden speech to the Parliarment. and misleading parliarment is an offence  isn't it? Nev

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2 hours ago, octave said:

The preferential  system allows me to say "I want this candidate but if they don't win then here is my second choice."    Without this system voting for a minor candidate could well be a wasted vote. 

But your primary vote is also wasted, as it's given to someone you didn't want to vote for and just about all preferences end up with the major parties. preferential voting was introduced federally in 1918, in response to the formation of the country party, the two major parties realised they had competition and their election chance would be diminished, so they introduced a system where they would end up with the votes anyway.

 

It's irrelevant as to how many excuses are made for preferential voting, the facts are it's unconstitutional and why have the major parties not tried to have the constitution changed so preferential voting would be legal. They know once the population realises they've been conned for over 100 years, they wouldn't vote for preferential voting and demand the removal of it and the illegally elected morons. You only had to talk to real people to understand how they would react to a referendum to make preferential voting constitutional, they get really pissed off and the way things are going with our supposedly competent governments, real rebellion may not be far away in this country. We are already seeing lots of demonstrations and rebellion against the ridiculous and unnecessary lock downs, just to keep politically vested interests happy.

 

Porter is am extremely strong example of the depths our governance system has stooped to and you can bet the money he got, probably came from a trust majority owned and operated by lawyers. 

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