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Pauline Hanson

7 February 1998
The Australian parliament spent one billion dollars (0.3% of GNP) on a building to house itself.  I would have liked to vote on whether we spent that billion that way. Given the chance I would vote to sell it to someone.  Failing that, make it a public museum or library for ordinary people & send the politicians back to old parliament house.

I would have liked to have had a chance to not ratify that treaty.  I REALLY hated a treaty being made on my behalf but in secret from me.  I thought that in democracies we elected representatives, not rulers. I REALLY resent a treaty on my behalf with that pretend democracy.  Isn't it time we took the treaties power away from the prime minister and let a president make treaties then have parliament ratify it?

The Northern Territory governor has recently threatened to legislate away the right to silence. If this were done then anybody who did not give an "on the spot" explanation to the arresting officer (e.g. "Officer, my alibi is that I was 'en flagrante' with your daughter/wife") would find that their defense had been compromised when they later attempted to raise that defense in court.

After eight years service Australian parliamentarians get a lifelong CPI indexed pension payable from the date of retirement from parliament.  In late December 1997 at a few minutes past midnight on the last sitting day before Christmas of 1997 the NSW State Government Parliament passed an innocuous looking amendment that grouped their electoral spending allowance with their parliamentary salary for administrative purposes.  Our selfless parliamentarians had thus surreptitiously increased past & present parliamentary pensions by about 30%.  When the plot was exposed, (probably by some unnamed but thrice blessed secretary in government) member's explanations seemed to follow the line: "Gee whizz, we didn't realize that we were doing that for ourselves!".   An unapologetic explanation given in a TV interview by an ex-parliamentarian was that:

  • Members were underpaid, and could have made more money in private industry.  Eighteen of the previous government (Greiner) cabinet have left in the past two years.  The reason supposed & implied was that the pay was insufficient.
  • He was sure that the "independent commission" to be appointed by the government would find that the Superannuation changes proposed were justified.
  • One could retort that government is not a business, and people motivated by money are not necessarily those whom we would want controlling the treasury bench.  If government ministers find money to be such an important motive one is led to wonder what rewards they are finding in politics.  Perhaps there are financial rewards not generally known for those occupying the treasury benches?

    I am inclined to agree that:

    I think the Americans would call that a "sure bet".

    After the federal travel allowance rorts exposed in June 1997, (parliamentarians claiming for expenses not incurred) perhaps Australian taxpayers should seek to remove temptation from parliamentarians.  Perhaps a pay package fixed at twice or three times the average (or modal or median) weekly wage?  Return travel allowance by second class transport from parliament to home once fortnightly? Accommodation fixed at $80 per night, receipts required?   Perhaps we should compel parliamentarians to partake of the same superannuation scheme that their laws compel ordinary wage earners to use?

    In the USA the XXVIIth constitutional Amendment reads:

    Some retired Australian prime ministers seem to have very cozy financial relationships with some of the incumbent regional dictators.   Often the said incumbents manage repressive and corrupt regimes (like Indonesia & China) which the Australian government should have condemned for civil rights breaches during said prime ministerial tenure.  Am I unreasonable in thinking that these relationships are improper?

    For other shifty legislation see the HEALTH page & the GUNS page.

    Isn't it about time that we revamped our government?  In the USA the fastest growing party is the "Libertarian Party".  The libertarian party is not about licentiousness or about the Liberal Party.  It is about small government.  It is about government not making laws other than to protect the individual from the harmful acts of his neighbour.  It is about maximising individual liberty.