Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Parliamentarianism in Australia and Alberta

Fruits and Votes is a addictive little blog about fruit trees and electoral systems -- most the latter recently, but the crop varies. Recently F&V has news on possible evolution in Australian leadership politics.
Leaders would be elected jointly by caucus and individual party members on a 50/50 basis, leaders could only be removed by a 75% vote of caucus, caucus would regain the right to elect the cabinet and the ministry. These are reasonably radical proposals for the ALP, although it looks like they will pass.
The comments, mostly dubious about the 50/50, are interesting.

And, though F&V supports proportional representation, it casts doubt on a PR romantic in Calgary who promises PV would strengthen backbenchers (!), against all the experience showing that allowing parties to appoint their MPs inevitably weakens backbencher independence:
I am all for PR, in general, and agree with most of that, until the last point. But this kind of over-claiming really is not helpful. Is there any evidence that backbenchers in PR systems (with parliamentary executives) are more “empowered”–which I assume means more able to dissent from the government when their party is a member thereof? I do not think so.
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