Step 3 – Electoral Reform

The current political party system is not working. Politicians do not represent the people. Instead, they carry out party policy without referring to the voters who elected them. This has resulted in a dictatorial-style system of government that denies We the People a voice in our own government.

Our political institutions derive their power from the people. We the People are the government, but we have forgotten this because the political parties have fed us lies for so long.

Therefore, We the People need a better, more inclusive system of government to serve the needs of the nation, governed by the people for the people.

To achieve this, we propose reforming our electoral system, while still maintaining the structure mandated by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901, so that we elect independent representatives of the people, as stated in S7. The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.
and only we, the People of the Commonwealth will choose our representatives to sit in the House of Representatives: S24. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the Senators.

Our Constitution clearly states that only we, the People of the Commonwealth can choose our representatives. We should be able to do this by selecting and voting for them directly. By allowing the political parties to take this power we have lost any control over our government.

Qualifications of our Representatives

Our Constitution is very clear about who may be elected to the Parliament. It states in S.34 & S.16 that anyone who is a member of the Commonwealth may sit in the Australian Parliament. This includes anyone born anywhere in the Commonwealth.

SECTION: 34. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows –

  1. He (She) must be of the full age of twenty-one years and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Commonwealth as existing at the time when he is chosen
  2. He (She) must be a subject of the Queen, either natural-born or for at least five years naturalized under a law of the United Kingdom, or of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, or of the Commonwealth, or of a State

How this system will work

In 1901 Australia became a Federation of States. The six States were originally independent British Colonies, each with its own Constitution and Governor and system of government.

Our founding fathers found it easier to combine the six states into a unified Federation than to try and reform the entire system to create a new and different style of government.

Since then, it has become clear that this Federal/States system is not working in the interests of the People. It has been taken over by political parties that do not represent the needs of the people. These political parties each have their own Constitution, and all political party members must vote according to the dictates of their party.

Therefore, we need to reform the electoral system so that we can create a better, more representative type of government; a government that truly represents we, the People of the Commonwealth of Australia.

In the system we propose, each voter will have one vote. There will be no preferential counting.

We propose creating a Federal government, consisting of

  • a Lower House with one Regional Representative directly selected and voted for by the people of each Region to propose and pass laws for the good of the nation
  • a Senate consisting of one Regional Representative directly selected and voted for by the people of each Region to review proposed laws
  • About 95 Regional governments consisting of 50 electorates per Region, with Representatives directly selected and voted for by the people of each electorate – each Regional government will create a Regional Council responsible for supplying and maintaining regional services, as listed below

The system we propose will create a government structure with a clear separation of powers between the Parliament, the Executive, the Church, and the Judicature, like this:

These proposed changes to the Electoral System require a Referendum vote [Citizens Initiated Referendum (CIR)].

How to achieve the Electoral reformation:

The first step to reform the government must be to reduce the size of electorates to no more than 5,000 voters by passing an Act of Parliament, after a Referendum of the People.

Electoral Offices will work together to reform the Electoral boundaries. They will be given a set of guidelines that will include the requirement to set up Regions consisting of 50 Electorates.

Once they have completed their task the Electoral Offices will be responsible for organising elections using digital voting and manual voting for those who do not wish to use a digital device to vote..

Electing Representatives

Independent candidates for election will be chosen from citizens in each electorate. With only 5,000 voters in each electorate candidates will be able to interact directly with voters.

By selecting independent representatives We the People will be able to elect true representatives of the people.

Each unicameral Regional Government will consist of one representative each from the 50 electorates to serve a Region of approximately 250,000 voters. This will immediately reduce the number of people in government.

We also propose that these representatives sit at a round table to avoid any bipartisan grouping.

Each representative will have one vote. The representative will vote in Parliament and in Regional Governments according to the will of the people in their electorate, and they will be directly accountable to the voters.

If a representative does not perform to the expectations of the voters they can be recalled and a new election called in that electorate.

Federal and Regional Representatives will sit three weeks out of every month, and then return to their electorates to hold consultations with voters. The results of these consultations will guide representatives when they vote on issues.

Executive Government

Each Regional Government shall appoint an Executive consisting of a popularly elected Regional Chief Executive Officer (Mayor) and the Executive Officers of Regional Government Departments. The Executive shall be directly accountable to the Regional Government, and will submit financial and works plans to the Regional Government every three months.

The Regional Government will be tasked with ensuring that public funds are allocated for regional and community projects, and to oversee spending to deter corruption and waste.

The Executive staff will be chosen from best and most efficient employees of the current local councils, allowing the “dead wood” to be discarded.

Regional Government Duties

At the Regional level the structure shall include:

  1. A unicameral Assembly, that is, a single body of representatives, one per Electorate, directly accountable to the voters in their electorate.
  2. An Executive directly accountable to the Assembly, consisting of a Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Officers of Regional Public Service Departments. Local Councils will be rolled into one Regional Council to provide services to the region.

The delivery of public services by Regional governments shall be seamless across the nation. Any member of the Commonwealth of one Region shall have access to the same public services in any other Region without detriment.

REGIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Regional Executives will be responsible for the delivery of all public services except those specifically allocated to the Federal National Executive by the Constitution.

Delivery of public services shall be in accord with National policy and procedures except as specifically approved by the National Parliament in special circumstances.

As a result, delivery of government services shall be seamless across the Nation, and as a result regions will cooperate on matters of mutual interest. People will be able to travel from on region to another and expect exactly the same services.

Constrained only by National policy and procedures, Regional implementation responsibilities shall include the following:

  1. Health
  2. Hospitals
  3. Aged care
  4. Child protection
  5. Mental health
  6. Education
  7. The environment
  8. Water, drainage and sewerage
  9. Rubbish and recycling
  10. Law and order (Each Region shall have elements of the National judicature and the National Police Force)
  11. Penal institutions
  12. Recreation, parks and gardens
  13. Wildlife protection
  14. Domestic animal welfare and control
  15. Regional roads, railways and waterways
  16. Regional airports and heliports
  17. Vehicle Registration and safety checks
  18. Road Safety education and driver training (no fines may be imposed)
  19. Town planning
  20. Building regulations
  21. Welfare
  22. Employment
  23. Work place health and safety
  24. Primary production
  25. Regional Fisheries
  26. Manufacturing
  27. Mining
  28. Heritage
  29. Registration of births, deaths and marriages
  30. Energy
  31. Emergency services
  32. Community Services
  33. Collecting Property Title Levies
  34. Training and appointing Commonwealth Public Officials (CPO) as Mediators of the Peace

YOUR ESSENTIAL PUBLIC SERVICES

Public utilities belong to the people. They were created and intended to provide a service for the betterment of society. The very purpose of a public utility is that it is not there to make a profit for a few; it is there to provide an essential service to the multitude. It was conceived for the people by the people, as all other means either did not exist or could not be entrusted to provide a fair and equitable service to all. It never can.

Privatization of essential Public Assets must not only be stopped, but reversed.

THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE

The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 mandates two tiers of government: Federal and State. But as we have seen, this model is not working.

Therefore we propose the following:

Voters in each region will select and vote for House of Representatives and Senate candidates chosen from among registered voting citizens within the region to represent them in Federal Parliament.

Should a Federal representative’s work not satisfy the regional voters they will be able to call a Regional meeting of electors to vote on whether to sack the representative or to recall the representative for consultations. If the vote is to sack the representative the Regional government will organize an election to choose a new representative.

The Federal Executive shall consist of the Prime Minister and the Chief Executive Officers of Government Departments. The Executive shall be accountable to the Parliament.

The Prime Minister shall create such National Government Departments as are necessary for good governance. Some departments shall be large enough to implement those aspects of governance for which the National Executive has implementation responsibility. The remaining departments shall be small organizations designed to generate, execute, and monitor National policy.

To each of these Departments the Prime Minister shall appoint the Commonwealth Employment Officer to advertise for, obtain information about, vet the capabilities and qualifications of, and finally appoint a suitably qualified person as Chief Executive Officer for the Department concerned. Only persons with suitable experience and qualifications would be eligible. Any lobbying or suggestion of merit from others shall not be allowed, and any prospective Officer shall be immediately disqualified if they are found to have seeking to subvert the selection process in respect of eligibility for their intended Office

The role of the Executive is to implement, administer and monitor the will of the Australian People as expressed by their elected representatives in the Parliament.

At the National level the structure of government shall include:

  1. A Parliament consisting of the House of Representatives and a Senate, as mandated by the Constitution
  2. A President (or whatever We the People decide to call him/her) and Vice President
  3. An Executive headed by the President and consisting of the Chief Executive Officers of Public Service Departments (including Chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force), and
  4. the Judicature

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Law and Order
  2. Defense
  3. National Security
  4. Foreign Affairs
  5. Customs
  6. Immigration
  7. Quarantine
  8. Overseas Trade (Imports & Exports), negotiating trade deals that benefit the nation
  9. The National Economy
  10. Citizenship
  11. Energy
  12. Taxation
  13. Fiscal Policy
  14. Monetary Policy
  15. Land
  16. Mining
  17. Fisheries (including inland fisheries)
  18. Postal services
  19. Telecommunications (including the Internet)
  20. Banking & Commerce
  21. Intellectual Property
  22. Patents
  23. National Statistics
  24. Transportation
  25. Maritime Operations and Sea-lanes
  26. National Infrastructure, including:
    • Roads (the primary links between Regions)
    • Railways (other than intra-Regional) – (all rail gauges to be standardised)
    • Air Traffic Control & Air Safety
    • Airports
  27. Water
  28. Ports

Staggered Elections:

Elections of representatives at both the national and the regional levels shall be staggered to provide continuity and to ensure a continuous flow of new representatives.

This arrangement of “staggered” elections has many advantages;

  1. It avoids the “big bang” election day.
  2. It allows elections to be conducted quietly and calmly in one or two electorates at a time; without the voters being subjected to a national advertising campaign funded by organisations with deep pockets.
  3. It allows the voters to concentrate their attention on selecting a candidate in their electorate without being bombarded with extraneous material about candidates or issues in other electorates. Instead, electors will be able to choose representatives who will serve and be directly accountable to their community.
  4. It eliminates the interruption to the normal business of government that occurs with “big-bang” elections.
  5. It avoids the tendency with “big bang” elections to make extravagant promises, and
  6. It ensures changes to policy are gradual, predictable and marginal.

Remember that these proposals are subject to approval by the people voting in referendums. If you have suggestions to improve these ideas we welcome all input.

Click on the pointing finger for the next part of the Plan…

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