GOVERNMENT SEATS IN PARLIAMENT
The Federal Parliament consists of 150 seats in the House of representatives and 76 seats in the Senate. The current distribution of seats as at the 2016 elections;
House of Representatives has;
These combined, make up the government with a total of 76 seats, giving a majority of just 1 seat, while Labor is in opposition with 69 seats.
The remaining seats comprised of Independents and unaligned minor parties, are known as the Crossbench seats and consist of ; Greens 1, Xenophon 1, Katter 2, and 2 Independents, Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan.
The Senate has 12 representatives from each of the 6 states, and 2 from each territory comprising;
and the ALP has 26 seats.
The Cross Bench consists of GREENS 9, One Nation 4, Xenophon 3, Lambie 1, Hinch 1, Lib Democrats 1, Conservatives 1, and Independents 1.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The House of Representatives is called the Lower House and introduces policy into Parliament through a “Bill”. In essence it is the Lower house that governs Australia, with assistance from the Upper House.
The Senate is called the Upper House, which is also the House of Review as its function is to “review” the bills passed by the Lower House, and either pass, amend or defer the Bills. This is where a Bill can be accepted or rejected (blocked).
Australia has a population of 24,000,000 (in round figures) with a voting population of 16,000,000.
The ruling party, with the current break down of the House of Representatives, comprises 76 sitting members with 29 in the Senate. In essence these 105 members control our country. Australia has a population of 24,000,000 of which 16,000,000 are voters. In essence, those 105 members rule Parliament and make decisions for our whole country of 24,000,000 people.
Can their views really be Representative of our whole population?
What happens when the voters disagree with the decisions these 105 members make?
Example; there are over 20 different action groups opposing the Adani Carmichael coal mine, which the 105 members of the ruling party in government, support. The action groups have a combined membership in excess of 4,000,000 people. There are also other Australian citizens, voters not aligned to these action groups, including scientists, environmentalists, academics, and banks, who oppose the mine. It is also emerging that other politicians are also voicing their opposition to this mine. It has been a very lengthy, long running, time consuming, costly, draining, saga, and yet the government still holds its support in the face of all this opposition. Is this strength or stupidity?
There are only a handful of people who support this mine – and 105 of them are in Parliament. And so the mine continues to exist and to operate.
This is not democracy.
Direct Democracy allows us, We, the People, to have a greater say in our own governance.