tony-gillardWe should adopt a policy advocating reform of Question Time.

It does not serve its purpose. It does not set an example for public debate. It should be completely re-thought.

I spent a number of days in the Federal Parliament this year and it’s not pretty. What you miss on TV but understand watching the whole chamber is the animalistic nature of it.

Two packs of animals. Someone runs up to the other pack, bares their teeth, then scurries back to their pack. It is a contest of intimidation. When a weakness is detected in a pack, the voices of the opposing pack rise up in catcall and ridicule. They sniff blood; the volume of animal noises increases. It is what I imagine a stoning is like.

Almost every question from the opposition attempts to embarrass the government, not solicit information. The repetition is sickening. Questions are repeated with minor variations so as to find a weak spot and dictate the news cycle.

Questions are almost all about the past. The questioners want to find an inconsistency, a failure, a lie. They want to attack. They want the media to righteously demolish their enemy.

Almost every answer blunts the attack by speaking for as long and indirectly as possible. When the government asks a question of itself it is designed to use up time and talk positively about accomplishments. Or about the failings of the opposition in previous years. Answers are press releases. How many thousands of bureaucratic hours are wasted in this?

I watched David Cameron in the House of Commons the day he answered 138 questions from the Opposition about phone hacking. Short, direct answers. The British Parliament is not perfect; it is adversarial and backwards-looking like ours, but there is respect and debate that is a level above what happens in Australia. Find me a politician that says different.

All of Australia talks about the brattish, churlish, unproductive, attention-seeking nature of Question Time. We should petition the Parliament for change.

Photo sourced from MystifyMe Concert Photography (Troy).

Sex Party To Vigorously Appeal Federal Party Deregistration

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The Australian Sex Party will vigorously appeal a de registration notice from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) handed down today.

Registered Officer and co founder of the party, Robbie Swan, said the party was shocked and amazed that from an established membership list of 6,000 people, with an elected member in the Victorian Parliament and with a legitimate claim to be the major minor party, the AEC could find that the party did not have 500 bona fide registered members. Read More

Crime Commission Report: ‘Blueprint for Regulating Illicit Drugs’, MP.

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Yesterday’s release of the Australian Crime Commission report on organised crime, is all the proof that Tony Abbott needs to end prohibition as a regulatory model for controlling illicit drug use in Australia.

Victorian Upper House member, Fiona Patten, said that recent record drug seizures by the AFP were nothing for the community to feel good about and that new record seizures every year simply confirmed that illicit drug use was escalating out of control.  “They simply show, for all to see, that prohibition is now a complete and utter failure as a means to regulate illicit drugs and all it does, is make crime gangs rich”, she said.

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