Senators Acting Like, Well, Senators

The Australian Democrats, when faced with an argument in a Senate debate, which they think has merit, they decide to support it [pdf].

Senator Bartlett (Queensland) (6.46 p.m.) – I thought I should make a few short comments to indicate support for the Labor amendment. Senator Ludwig has raised some valid points and has convinced me with the weight of the argument that he has put –

Opposition senators interjecting

Senator Bartlett – with some surrounding noise. Nonetheless, I heard what he was saying and he made some valid points. The Democrats will support his amendment.

That should not be news, but it is. The Australian Democrats, as a group, are by far the best Senate performers and the most Senatorial. Their activity belies their numbers. They are involved in everything, especially Andrew Bartlett and Andrew Murray.

I say that as an avid Senate Hansard reader. I also suspect that reading the Hansard directly will influence people’s voting. Political reporting in the mainstream media often has little bearing, relevance or even connection to what has occurred in Parliament or what is recorded in the Hansard.

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Ken Lovell
14 years ago

People like Andrew Bartlett undercut the whole fabric of our parliamentary system, which allows us to know whether someone is talking nonsense or enlightened wisdom simply by noting which side of the house they are sitting on.

Bartlett’s methods would require MPs to actually listen to what others were saying in debates. This would be a monumental waste of MPs’ time and energy because half the speeches, by definition, are rubbish. The consequences would be the neglect of the proper business of an MP, namely poring over polls and planning how to get on radio and television.

For a fuller explanation read the masterly work of C Northcote Parkinson; published, alas, long before the intertubes were even thought of so no link.

ChrisPer
ChrisPer
14 years ago

As far as I was concerned , the Democrats were the worst of our parties and their decline couldn’t happen to a more deserving crowd.

I gave them my first vote (remember ‘keep the bastards honest’?) but they turned into a party whose expressed values were the worst of political correctness: life as moral posing, unrelated to reality or intellectual consistency.

If Sen Bartlett has achieved something, I am pleasantly surprised to learn it; the last article on him in the media was something about wine – maybe 5 years ago?

Its probably easier to ‘act senatorial’ when nobody cares anymore.

cam
cam
14 years ago

Nice troll ChrisPer, I shall not bite. If you are being fair dinkum, then it only reinforces the final paragraph in the post.