ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE SPECTATOR AUSTRALIA
Australian democracy faces a crisis of representation. People feel alienated from our politics and our institutions. Donkey votes are up, minor parties’ votes are up, and the major parties are riven by internal dissent. In a way, even the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament can be seen as an attempted end-run around the dysfunction of our electoral process. In short, no-one seems to think that our Federal Parliament can do its job of representing the Australian people’s diverse interests.
One intriguing, and perhaps counterintuitive, response to this problem was floated recently in the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters report into the 2019 election. The report recommends further consideration of an expansion of the number of seats in the House of Representatives, and the repeal of the nexus clause of the Constitution, which links the membership of the House to that of the Senate.
That is, the solution for dissatisfaction with the political class is to hire more politicians.Continue reading