Is the Senate broken?
The Parliament of Australia’s website describes the role of the Senate as
“The Senate is a house of review and a powerful check on the government of the day. The proportional representation system of voting used to elect senators makes it easier for independents and the candidates of the smaller parties to be elected. In recent decades this has meant that the government party usually does not have a majority of votes in the Senate and the non–government senators are able to use their combined voting power to reject or amend government legislation. The Senate’s large and active committee system also enables senators to inquire into policy issues in depth and to scrutinise the way laws and policies are administered by ministers and public servants.”
What interests me here is “the non–government senators are able to use their combined voting power to reject or amend government legislation” which is what the senate is designed for, however it would appear that at times these “non-government senators” can utilise their balance of power in the senate to drive their own agenda/s.
I believe this has frustrated recent governments and has made passing critical policy legislation incredibly difficult if not impossible. The resultant internal party turmoil and frustration and an inability to get key legislation to a party’s agenda through the Senate, has resulted in the heads of many a Prime Minister. This change in leadership often bought on by a perceived lack of leadership by the Australian public resulting in backbenchers becoming concerned for their political futures and a ground swell in lack of support for the party in power.
So non-government senators (in particular those with the balance of power) are transforming the Senate from a ” house of review and a powerful check on the government of the day” to a means for furthering their own agenda from a relatively low total support base. So in a nutshell to a certain degree “Yes the Senate is broken”.
My agenda is clear in that it is to “Keep the bastards honest whilst protecting pensions and superannuation”. The government will have a senator in me to give their agenda based on their mandate, passage through the senate (with checks and balances). This also ensures that they are upfront prior to the election in making a full disclosure to the Australian public so that the Australian public can make a truly informed decision about the parties and their proposed policies and agenda.
Vote 1 Karl Morris
“Keeping the bastards honest whilst protecting pensions and superannuation”