OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2007 NEWS AND VIEWS OF DAVID RISSTROM
David Risstrom keeps a watching brief on news, ideas, issues and policies. If there are issues you think need to be discussed, please contact David at email@example.com. David last updated this site on 1 October 2007.
1 OCTOBER 2007
A GOOD ARGUMENT FOR FIXED TERMS FOR GOVERNMENT
The ongoing speculation about when the Australian Government will call an election is going to pick up speed now that Victoria is confirmed as the sporting capital of Australia. With the increased speculation will come increased frustration from many Australians who simply wished that governments chose to govern rather than play with their future in order to increase their chances of their political party being elected.
The current arrangements are that the date of the election are at the discretion of the Prime Minister, who many assume chooses the date based on it improving the prospects of his or her side winning the election. There are restrictions imposed by the Australian Constitution, but Australia's modern political history has been of governments calling elections well before maximum term limits kick in. As far as I know, since federation, the average term of a Federal Parliament has been as little as two and a half years.
Victoria took the decision to fix the date of their State elections, as have many other jurisdictions in Australia and internationally. particularly given the changes invoked that close the rolls to potential new voters on the day the election is called the Federal Parliament should join them in bringing certainty to our electoral cycle. With the change subjecting us punters to less of the 'when will it be' news stories day after day, they might even get a few more votes as a result!