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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

parliamentary tactics « Previous | |Next »
November 11, 2005

I've had my head whilst I've been busy putting a report together that responds to Productivity Commission's position paper on Health Workforce issues. So kinda lost touch with federal Parliament and the news these last couple of days--apart from all the stuff about The Dismissal. I supported Whitlam but I'm all for a strong Senate with big powers.

I do remember a headline saying that the IR Bill was passed by the House of Representatives. And the Senate? Whilst trying to find out this cartoon caught my eyeas it referred to the cutting short of the debate:

Geoff Pryor

Not many people understand what the guillotine means in federal parliament. It gags debate. The government can do this --and push legislation through--- because it has the numbers.

That is one of the consequences of executive dominance. What the cartoon omits is the incompetent Speaker. Mike Seccombe in the Sydney Morning Herald says it well: 'David Hawker is the most inept and partisan speaker since Labor's egregious Leo McLeay gave up the chair 13 years ago.'

So inept and partisan that David Hawker brings Parliament into disrepute.

Oh I remember now. A Senate committee is looking at the IR legislation. The IR bill will be introduced into the Senate next month.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:17 PM | | Comments (7)


check your anchor tags.

The guillotine/gag should be removed from parliament.

So should the motion that a member no longer be heard if their comments are of substance.


Thanks. I was in a rush to catch a cab to get to Canberra airport so as to catch a plane back to Adelaide.

I kinda like the US filibuster myself. It has a heroric quality--going down fighting.

I still think there should be a time limit to prevent the filibuster


Then what do you suggest to empower the House of Representatives against an arrogant and deceitful executive willing to right roughshod over Parliamentary convention?

Pretty much what I said at the outset. No gag/guillotine motions and just a timelimit. Will it stop things being forced through? No. Will it make sure the other side of the debate is heard instead of the childish shouting down of the opposition? Yes.
Also elect the speaker by the House not some dodgy backroom deal. I believe its written somewhere that its meant to be done by the House

I guess it is up to the ALP to make a commitment to an independent speaker whilst on the opposition benches and then to actually carry it through when they eventually become the Govt.

Howard promised and failed to deliver. Will the Beazley-led ALP do the same?

It is a fair test, don't you think?

Sorry for the late reply but yes, it is a fair test

One I expect them to fail at, harsh but its the nature of politics to take whatever advantage you can get.