WA moving to 1 vote, 1 value in the Upper House

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Kwality

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Weighted voting has its place. McGowan criticised country votes being worth more than city votes, but I doubt he has the same complaints over WA votes being worth more than NSW votes in the Federal Senate. Ensuring equitable treatment for smaller regions has its place. That said, proportional representation is a quality voting system and will ensure a fairer representation of parties, which means the Nats and Greens are a chance to nab more seats and represent regions like the North or South West, while eliminating single issue parties.
Gough Whitlam put the issue in context when he said Sydney & Melbourne would run the country.
 

kranky al

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Regional votes don't matter if you have city support.

It's a lot easier to govern when you can not get a single vote out of the metro area and have total dominance over the political scene. What are the regions going to do about it? Ha. Nothing.
Yup - dangerous.


You only have to see the problems wa had with the gst allocation to see that being governed from a long way away can be dangerous.


Maybe northern wa will have to threaten secession from southern wa??

Or maybe mcgowan - in a brilliant masterstroke, restarts r4r and enshrines it into the stated constitution, changes his name to marko jong un and rules by popular acclaim for life.

I propose the name “benevolent leader” ….. or if he doesnt do it, rotten c#%^
 

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Admiral Byng

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The current system is not about giving regional voters a voice or anything noble like that. It is about stacking the Upper House with Liberal and National party members thereby retaining control of the Upper House even if they lose an election in the Lower House. It is about blocking any reforms where an ALP Government "goes to far" according to their own narrow definition. There was a court challenge a while back but the court refused to overturn it, saying the only way to overturn it was for parliament to do so for itself. This is a once in a generation chance for the ALP to remove the current system, so you betcha they are going to take it.
 

kranky al

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The current system is not about giving regional voters a voice or anything noble like that. It is about stacking the Upper House with Liberal and National party members thereby retaining control of the Upper House even if they lose an election in the Lower House. It is about blocking any reforms where an ALP Government "goes to far" according to their own narrow definition. There was a court challenge a while back but the court refused to overturn it, saying the only way to overturn it was for parliament to do so for itself. This is a once in a generation chance for the ALP to remove the current system, so you betcha they are going to take it.
Seeing as the only time the regions got a fair go was as a direct result of this system i dont like our chances of ever getting a fair go again.
 

Forward Press

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Seeing as the only time the regions got a fair go was as a direct result of this system i dont like our chances of ever getting a fair go again.
There is no way you can argue the 'fair go' is achieved when a region manages to elect an MLC with 98 first preference votes, or where the quota is 6 times that of a voter in Perth.

You can point to the Senate - but that is a system where the Federal Parliament and Australian Constitution acknowledges Australia is a federation of States and thus the Senate is designed intrinsically to protect small States, whereas in Western Australia we are a single colony that became a State and is in no way a federation of regions. The Legislative Council risked becoming increasingly irrelevant as more and more people live closer to and in Perth.

I'd argue it's more undemocratic to give such a disparate weighting to a voter from Tom Price compared to a voter in Beeliar.
 

kranky al

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There is no way you can argue the 'fair go' is achieved when a region manages to elect an MLC with 98 first preference votes, or where the quota is 6 times that of a voter in Perth.

You can point to the Senate - but that is a system where the Federal Parliament and Australian Constitution acknowledges Australia is a federation of States and thus the Senate is designed intrinsically to protect small States, whereas in Western Australia we are a single colony that became a State and is in no way a federation of regions. The Legislative Council risked becoming increasingly irrelevant as more and more people live closer to and in Perth.

I'd argue it's more undemocratic to give such a disparate weighting to a voter from Tom Price compared to a voter in Beeliar.
Seeing as the folk in beeliar have all their facilities regularly replaced where as the folk in tom price had a once in a lifetime upgrade a coupla years ago im going to suggest its the tom price folk who arent represented.


Reform that gets single issue parties out doesnt mean the whole thing needs to be scrapped.
 
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Forward Press

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Seeing as the folk in beeliar have all their facilities regularly replaced where as the folk in tom price had a once in a lifetime upgrade a coupla years ago im going to suggest its the tom price folk who arent represented.
It's the democratic process.

Don't like it? Vote for someone else.

Wait, your town has 1/10th the population of Butler? Deal with it. Sorry, but the voice of a voter in Beeliar should not be 6 times less than a voter in Tom Price.
 

kranky al

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It's the democratic process.

Don't like it? Vote for someone else.

Wait, your town has 1/10th the population of Butler? Deal with it. Sorry, but the voice of a voter in Beeliar should not be 6 times less than a voter in Tom Price.
Riight so do you just feel that way about wa politics or should we be doing the same federally ?


After all the same thing exists federally - why should a wa voter get more of a voice than the covid cuddlers?
 

Forward Press

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Riight so do you just feel that way about wa politics or should we be doing the same federally ?


After all the same thing exists federally - why should a wa voter get more of a voice than the covid cuddlers?
You can point to the Senate - but that is a system where the Federal Parliament and Australian Constitution acknowledges Australia is a federation of States and thus the Senate is designed intrinsically to protect small States, whereas in Western Australia we are a single colony that became a State and is in no way a federation of regions. The Legislative Council risked becoming increasingly irrelevant as more and more people live closer to and in Perth.
For the record I do think we should have some protection for regions, I mentioned it on the first page of this thread, but in the scheme of things this kind of thing actually still helps regions - you only need a single issue regional party to get 2.7% of the vote to have a voice in the Legislative Council. Do you think the WA National Party post-Grylls was actually doing good for the bush?
 

Johnny Bananas

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For a hundred years the country had f/a spent on it. Then we had r4r - for a brief period we had a share of the wealth the regions themselves generate.
The regions haven't generated this wealth due to the merit and ingenuity of their people. It's due to winning the geographic lottery (that too being on a stolen land that hadn't been exploited for all of human history, but that's another issue). Plus, people living in Perth are instrumental to the exploitation of that resource, so the wealth should be shared amongst all. If we're playing the game of resources exploited in a section of the state being used only for that section of the state, why divide it by urban vs regions in general? Why not keep it all in the Pilbara? It's not like the South West or Mid West have generated huge amounts of wealth by comparison.

That being said, I do think the government should aim for a percentage of funds being spent on each corner of the state, scaled by population percentage, relative income levels and distance from major facilities. This would be a good thing in and of itself. But it doesn't require gross malapportionment to happen. Perth does not deserve to be severely under-represented as a punishment for being the most attractive place to live.
 

kranky al

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The regions haven't generated this wealth due to the merit and ingenuity of their people. It's due to winning the geographic lottery (that too being on a stolen land that hadn't been exploited for all of human history, but that's another issue). Plus, people living in Perth are instrumental to the exploitation of that resource, so the wealth should be shared amongst all. If we're playing the game of resources exploited in a section of the state being used only for that section of the state, why divide it by urban vs regions in general? Why not keep it all in the Pilbara? It's not like the South West or Mid West have generated huge amounts of wealth by comparison.

That being said, I do think the government should aim for a percentage of funds being spent on each corner of the state, scaled by population percentage, relative income levels and distance from major facilities. This would be a good thing in and of itself. But it doesn't require gross malapportionment to happen. Perth does not deserve to be severely under-represented as a punishment for being the most attractive place to live.
Its just like the arguments the east uses.

Theres more people here of course we spend more money here

Well of course theres more to see - you spend all the money there

Of course its nicer to live there - you have beautiful facilities that we cant afford - and next year you will spend more on nicer facilities making the gap wider.
 
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dewcefault

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It's interesting.
I was all for a change to the old system as I don't think it was working as intended both the minor party setup and the advantage it provided the coalition.
At this stage I don't like this change as the regions definitely need some sort of additional protection. I'm not a fan of the f*** em approach and think that's a slippery slope.

I also wasn't a fan of r4r given the way it was implemented. Would much prefer we have a sustainable long term solution for regions where they don't fall far behind the city. Particularly when it comes to the renewal/addition of critical public infrastructure. It would also be great if this was set up as some sort of counter cyclical investment fund so that try and flatten the boom bust nature. This should all be apolitical and controlled by the relevant government departments and not be made in to political football.

State parliamentary representatives should imo then only be focused on trying to attract major new investment and laws that impact their constituents.
 

Contra Mundum

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Great post

Electoral reform has to be on the agenda on a consistent basis, so the idea of change is not a negative. however, I think you've highlighted a dangerous precedent McGowan is setting for the smaller states like WA, SA and Tassie, if his principles were applied at the federal level.

One vote, one value has its place in the lower house. The upper house is and always has been a different system to ensures the government has to consider ruling for the interest of the entire jurisdiction. Historically the upper house was for the interest of lords, the church and the wealthy and although this is not acceptable today, it did provide a balance. These days it is about ensuring we govern for an entire jurisdiction rather than just major CBD areas.

Using McGowan's logic, WA, SA and Tassie should not have equal representation in the senate to Vic and NSW. Essentially a federal government would run the nation solely for the interests of Melbourne.

The risk here is we pork barrel cities, stifle development, cease nation building concepts and as a result kill of the engine room for our economy.
This is based on the myth votes are determined other than on party lines. Also the bullshit that this gerrymandering in the LC has been nothing other than a method of control of the upper house by Conservative parties. Labor has controlled the Upper house about twice in its history. Labor's legislative agenda has always f’ed over by the upper house. Don't tell me you actually believe in the "House of Review" :D
 

kranky al

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It's interesting.
I was all for a change to the old system as I don't think it was working as intended both the minor party setup and the advantage it provided the coalition.
At this stage I don't like this change as the regions definitely need some sort of additional protection. I'm not a fan of the f*** em approach and think that's a slippery slope.

I also wasn't a fan of r4r given the way it was implemented. Would much prefer we have a sustainable long term solution for regions where they don't fall far behind the city. Particularly when it comes to the renewal/addition of critical public infrastructure. It would also be great if this was set up as some sort of counter cyclical investment fund so that try and flatten the boom bust nature. This should all be apolitical and controlled by the relevant government departments and not be made in to political football.

State parliamentary representatives should imo then only be focused on trying to attract major new investment and laws that impact their constituents.
The propaganda that goes around against r4r is phenomenal.

the vast majority of the facilities built are used well and managed fantastically by the local councils.

there were a couple that became white elephants - that doesnt detract for the fact that the cast majority have become valuable additions to their regions.
 

dewcefault

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The propaganda that goes around against r4r is phenomenal.

the vast majority of the facilities built are used well and managed fantastically by the local councils.

there were a couple that became white elephants - that doesnt detract for the fact that the cast majority have become valuable additions to their regions.
agreed but most of my concerns with r4r are that it was a sugar hit as opposed to something that was more sustainable.
most/all of it came at a time of low unemployment across the states skilled construction workforce and therefore much higher cost.

would have been nice to use r4r as a foundational platform to ensure that there are sustainable local workforces in the regions that can continue to maintain and upgrade essential facilities on an ongoing basis over the coming decades. helping build the communities with both people, opportunity and infrastructure
 

kranky al

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agreed but most of my concerns with r4r are that it was a sugar hit as opposed to something that was more sustainable.
most/all of it came at a time of low unemployment across the states skilled construction workforce and therefore much higher cost.

would have been nice to use r4r as a foundational platform to ensure that there are sustainable local workforces in the regions that can continue to maintain and upgrade essential facilities on an ongoing basis over the coming decades. helping build the communities with both people, opportunity and infrastructure
That i can agree with.

Thing is, and i say this as a labor voter - its pretty hard to let the left if politics to think about much outside of the cities .
 

Johnny Bananas

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Its just like the arguments the east uses.

Theres more people here of course we spend more money here

Well of course theres more to see - you spend all the money there

Of course its nicer to live there - you have beautiful facilities that we cant afford - and next year you will spend more on nicer facilities making the gap wider.
So put a few cafes and restaurants in Port Hedland and it'd suddenly become a nice place to live? I don't think so. There's a reason people flock to particular places, and climate is a big part of it. As is pollution.

I'm not opposed to big investments in areas that meet all the criteria of climate, fresh water supply, ease of access etc. Geraldton would be my choice since it's the furthest north that still has a relatively pleasant climate, and it could be a powerhouse for solar, wind, hydrogen and iron ore with the right infrastructure in place. But that would require having an actual vision, something hasn't been seen in politicians in this country since Whitlam. McGowan is in the rare position of having the political and economic capital to make it happen, but I doubt he has the imagination or the ambition.
 

kranky al

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So put a few cafes and restaurants in Port Hedland and it'd suddenly become a nice place to live? I don't think so. There's a reason people flock to particular places, and climate is a big part of it. As is pollution.

I'm not opposed to big investments in areas that meet all the criteria of climate, fresh water supply, ease of access etc. Geraldton would be my choice since it's the furthest north that still has a relatively pleasant climate, and it could be a powerhouse for solar, wind, hydrogen and iron ore with the right infrastructure in place. But that would require having an actual vision, something hasn't been seen in politicians in this country since Whitlam. McGowan is in the rare position of having the political and economic capital to make it happen, but I doubt he has the imagination or the ambition.
Just because you dont like a particular climate doesnt mean everyone doesnt.

I much prefer the north to perth - cant stand it- too cold - rather be hot than cold.

Karratha is beautiful btw port headland is well - port headland


Shedloads of people live in north queensland - townsville has 180000 people, cairns 140000 and have a similar climate.
 

Johnny Bananas

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Just because you dont like a particular climate doesnt mean everyone doesnt.
Do you enjoy the desert?

Shedloads of people live in north queensland - townsville has 180000 people, cairns 140000 and have a similar climate.
North Queensland is the wettest part of Australia. The Kimberley has varied environments, but I'm yet to hear of a tropical rainforest there.
 

masai

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There is / was room for compromise on this issue.

Voting for the Upper House is a total mess, votes with a weighting of 6 to 1 is not good. At the same time the Regional areas need fair representation, but how do we do it ?.

People are throwing barbs at McGowan, but can someone please present a viable alternative plan. I believe in the motto, “if you don’t like it, tell us how you would do it”.

To the conservative parties, give us alternatives or go back into your “group”.

By the by, I reckon funding to the regions has improved vastly over the last 10 years. Royalties for Regions, kick started it, but there is a fair amount now being spent in these areas. Off the top of my head, places like Collie, Manjimup, Margaret River etc, have been injected with lot’s of funds for infrastructure + tourism.

Yep some of the regional facilities were crap, but I reckon they aren’t as ignored as they once were.
 

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