Help me develop Fixed-Term Elections legislation!

Happy National Heroes Day everyone!

As part of my trying to ‘do politics differently’ and to facilitate progressive political reforms, I’ve drafted some legislation for Fixed-Term Elections.

Fixed-term elections was something that both the OBA and I ran on in the 2012 General Election.

Unfortunately, despite the ‘urgency of now’ and popular support (from my perspective) for a variety of political reforms proposed by the OBA during the election, this and other political reforms have largely been put on the backburner by the Government.

There was talk last summer of a committee being headed by Minister Fahy to develop these reforms, but nothing clear was set out, such as timelines or further updates.

Recalling that the overseas students felt disenfranchised in the last election due to the lack of absentee ballots, and the then PLP Government’s response that it was too late to deal with that then, rather than wait with hope for the current government to proceed with these reforms, I thought I’d give them a helping hand.

So I reviewed some overseas legislation regarding Fixed-Term Elections (my draft is largely based on the UK legislation) and adapted them as I felt necessary.

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Now, I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not a member of any political parties, or the government.  I don’t have people who can commit time to developing legislation.

I know that.

I also want to help democratise our political system – and so I’m hoping that the public will review my proposals, offer their criticism and help me improve the legislation.

Bernews has been kind enough to help me with this, and you can find my draft Act there, along with the key questions I think need to be asked about the legislation to improve it.

Also, despite running in the last election, I didn’t win.

Quite frankly it’s hard for an independent candidate to overcome the cultural inertia of party politics, let alone the power of the party machines.

I knew that when I ran, and realised it would be quite a miracle to pull off a victory even in the best of situations, let alone an OBA stronghold.

However, I didn’t want to vote for PLP or OBA and felt that by running I could shine a light on areas the two parties were ignoring – for whatever reason – as well as help add some diversity to our rather bland, centrist and divisive politics.

Anyway, as I didn’t win or subsequently been appointed as an Independent Senator (hey, you never know!), I personally have no way of tabling this legislation.

My hope though is that this can trigger some discussion about the proposed reform and expedite the legislation being tabled in parliament on my behalf – or at least encourage alternative legislation on the same topic to be introduced.

Worth a shot anyway, right? 😉

So, please take a look at what I’m proposing, and give me your feedback so I can look to improve the proposed legislation and encourage parliament to move forward on this (and other) political reforms!

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You can comment here, or on the Bernews article, or email me.

I’ll do my best to incorporate the feedback and release an improved draft later.

Outline of Proposal

  • Elections to be held every four years, starting in 2016.
  • Elections to be held on the third Monday of June in the scheduled calendar year.
  • Extraordinary elections possible only via a Motion of No Confidence.
  • Parliament cannot be otherwise dissolved.
  • The election may be postponed by up to four weeks via a parliamentary vote requiring 66% of the vote.

Key Questions

  1. Do you think elections should be every four or five years, and why?
  2. Do you think holding it on a holiday is a good idea?
  3. Do you think holding it in June is a good idea?
  4. Does the draft adequately allow for extraordinary elections and related scenarios?
  5. Should the mechanism for postponing elections be changed?
  6. Anything else?

 

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