What is the ideal parliament to get climate action?
Of course the ideal parliament after this election would be one which in a bipartisan manner immediately enacts a solid suite of measures to fight climate change (see climate commitment survey or Steggall’s climate bill). Then they can get on to other important business to improve our democracy eg a federal ICAC. That will in turn allow them to do their job on all the other issues that matter in an efficient manner.
If you can think of a party that would not be happy with the above situation they must not get your first vote (“primary vote”).
Unfortunately currently we have the opposite situation. The Coalition, by coalescing, were able to form a majority government and so could prevent any pro-climate legislation getting through. The oppositon (Labor) had next to no chance of fighting climate change.
Diagram from Votepower page (apologies for different colours!)
OK so that helps with fighting climate change but what about the other issues?
Climate action in the form of the sustainable transformation is good for health, jobs, minorities, food and water security, national security, education, in fact just about everything! So basing your vote on a candidate’s climate record makes complete sense. Additionally, most voters now feel corruption is a significant problem in federal government so a federal ICAC would be number 2 on the agenda. All other issues should be much more straightforward to deal with once climate and democracy are back on track.
Can we do it?
We’ve previously done it (see here) !
For almost 70 years governments have held absolute majorities (more than half of the seats) in the House of Representatives. With the general election of 21 August 2010 this pattern was disrupted: a hung Parliament eventuated, with neither the Australian Labor Party (ALP) nor the Coalition of the Liberal Party and the Nationals obtaining an absolute majority—indeed, each side emerged with an equal number of seats. The composition of the House of Representatives after the 2010 election is set out in Table 1 below.
Table 1: composition of the House of Representatives
following the 2010 general election
|Party / affiliation||No. of members|
|Australian Labor Party||72|
|—Liberal Party of Australia||60|
|—Country Liberal Party||1|
(T Windsor, R Oakeshott,
|—The Nationals WA
There were critics of how the hung parliament worked (mostly on the losing team) but the parliament did agree to a good deal of important legislation.
Excerpt from The Conversation 2013:
This included the carbon price package; the Gonski school funding arrangements (which has a provision for states not signed up to opt in); the disability insurance scheme (together with an increase in the Medicare levy to pay for it); a means test on the health insurance rebate; paid parental leave; a plan for the Murray Darling Basin; plain packaging for cigarettes; and the establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Office, which is available to cost policies on request.
One of these excellent measures, the carbon price package, lead to a reduction in Australia’s emissions before it was later dismantled by the Abbot Coalition government.
“We MUST respect this earth - it is all we have
Claudio Dametto - South Australia
“I will always Vote to Preserve Our World.
Liam McGregor - Western Australia
“A simple message that even a politician can understand
Felicity Crombach - Victoria
“Please show you care about our future generations!!
Phil Harmer - New South Wales
“Save our world , Life & health before profits.
Kerry Lillian - New South Wales
“Close down all coal mines and Do not mine gas . Make these Companies
Daniel Johnson - New South Wales
“We want carbon free energy!
Edan Clarke - New South Wales
“Feels good to be taking a voter action step
Beaver Hudson - New South Wales
“Great Initiative. Let’s Hold elected officials Accountable to their bosses, us!
John Paul Posada - New South Wales
“We need actions not words we need honest democratic govt We need a pm
Bob Pearce - South Australia
“Thank you for this great resource. I was feeling helpless. Even this small step
Silvia Anderson - Victoria
“If political parties continue receiving political donations, we will rarely have politicians working for
Dan Chicos - New South Wales
“I only vote for people who will take urgent action to restore a safe
Susie Burke - Victoria
“Current government is not representing the opinion of the majority of Australian to meet
Neil Price - Tasmania
“We are fighting to rescue our kids' future from those who seek to steal
Vanessa Norimi - Queensland
“No time to waste Now or Never My vote is for NOW
Rosalie White - Victoria
“I am only 9 but I already care
Ava Bell - New South Wales
“From New Lambton Uniting Church - Caring for our world is a moral imperative.
Niall McKay - New South Wales
“Our federal govt is an International climate Embarrassment - its about time they stepped
Oriana Tolo - Victoria
“Vote earth this time!
Sue Cooke - Queensland
“We are in one on the wealthiest countries in the world. we have the
rowan huxtable - New South Wales
“The climate Emergency is the public health opportunity and urgent priority of the 21st
Mike Forrester - Victoria
“If they want my vote they better act now
Barbara McNiff - New South Wales
“We need to act locally now for the earth. Our only home. Vote Earth
Anne Miller - New South Wales
“I often look at the places I've known all my life and see how
Jim Baird - New South Wales
“Strike one For people power!!! Democracy might prevail outside the current cronyism that faces
Lorraine Bridger - New South Wales
“Our federal politicians Are Afraid to make action on climate change a major election
Jennifer Martin - New South Wales
“climate election, let's go!
Fahimah Badrulhisham - New South Wales
“Great to see this website that is a focus on action for climate change
Lynette Sinclair - New South Wales
“Let’s show politicians and the Murdoch media that climate change is by far the
Jane Aitken - Australian Capital Territory
“If you want to stay in power You need to take action to stop
Jane Bulter - New South Wales
“We are all that stands between terminal climate change and the vulnerable. We are
Carol Khan - Queensland
“We need a Government that Believes this is real and not taking money from
Ken Gray - New South Wales
“I'm voting for my childrens future
Anneliese Alexander - New South Wales