Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

Blogging the Bookshelf header image 2

The History of the Australian Senate – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Democracy, History, Politics

Prior to the Chifley Government introducing proportional representation, the system that existed from 1919 gave the winner of the most votes in any State all the Senate seats for that State. Hence, occasionally one side of politics held all the Senate seats. Proportional representation has given smaller parties and independents a chance of winning Senate seats; hence governments generally lack a majority in the Upper House. Without a majority in the Senate, governments have to deal with all the other senators to get their legislation through. I was, for many years, a supporter of the Labor platform—long since properly abandoned—of abolition of the Senate. It was, in any case, unachievable, as the smaller States would never pass a referendum to abolish the Senate. The founding fathers saw the Senate as essential to counter the dominance of NSW and Victorian MPs in the Lower House.

Tags: ······

No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.