Australian Government

Vote against four year Federal Parliamentary terms

There are plans afoot when we vote for a new Federal Government later this year to also hold a referendum to enable the constitution to be changed in order to extend the Federal Parliamentary term from three to four years. This must be rejected emphatically. Given the outrageous rorting of democratic processes in recent decades, in particular by the Howard Government, any move to reduce the accountability of Federal politicians to the Australian electorate will only make an already bad situation worse. A ludicrous by-product of this 'reform' is that the term of Senators will be extended from 6 years to 8 years, which is practically for life. It will be possible for a Senators such as the infamous late Mal Colston or Barnaby Joyce (in the case of Telstra privatisation) to break solemnly made promises to the electorate and not be held to account for almost another eight years. Not only has this outrageous proposal enjoy the bipartisan support of both major parties, but even the Democrats, of whom we should be able to expect better, have given their support. The Greens are on record as being in opposition, but their voice appears to have been muted so far. It is still not too late to stop this but we need to raise our voices now.