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Political Parties Corrupt Democracy

Arthur A. Chresby, was the Federal Member for Griffith (QLD) from 1958 to 1961 in the House of Representatives. He was also a Research Analyst in Constitutional Law. From his work he came to the conclusion that when a political party causes an elected member of parliament to vote in a particular way, that is against the will of the voters who elected them, then that party is behaving unconstitutionally and illegally.

The following extracts from Chapter 6 - What is a Political Party?’ of his publication ‘Your Will Be Done’ clearly states his case for this position.

If you will but pause to think deeply and seriously you will find that a political party, despite its propaganda, constitutions, fine words and phrases, eventually becomes an organisation in the form of a pyramid with final power in the apex of that pyramid. The mass at the base being subject to manipulation by those in the apex, or by those who control the apex from outside of party organisation.

 It is not an unreasonable contention that those who finally win through to the apex of the pyramid, both organisational and parliamentary, have to become manipulators of their fellows if they wish to hold their place of power at the top.

 A political party, by the very nature of its pyramidal structure, is not, and cannot be, a democratic organisation, and the many years of party politics in Australia since Federation, proves that it is not democratic, despite beautifully worded constitutions, platforms, policies, and philosophies.

 It is legally unchallengeable that the party system exists and operates ONLY because the Australian people have been deliberately misled into believing that, other than by a dictatorship, there is no other way that Parliament could function effectively and efficiently; that despite its many faults the party system is the only effective and efficient democratic way of governing the country. This is Constitutionally and legally false.

The sole role of a political party, like any other lawful organisation, is simply to recommend to the electors that "so and so" should be a good parliamentary representative and would faithfully carry out the judicially defined legal function and duty of a parliamentarian. Should the electors accept the party's recommendation and elect that person then the party has no further legal vested interest in that elected person.

Once the Australian people are given the opportunity to learn and grasp that their Commonwealth and State Constitutions, and judicial Interpretations thereof, provide the people with a practical legal alternative to the party system to democratically operate the seven Australian Parliaments then, save those with a vested interest in the party system and its manipulation, the electors will cease to use the party system.”

What needs to happen now is that this needs to be tested in the High Court of Australia to determine if his analysis is correct and if so the precedent will be legally established and political parties will be denied the corrupting role they now enjoy.

And then I propose that we amend the Australian Constitution to require elected Representatives to vote as directed by the Sovereign Will of the electorate on each and every Policy.

Separation of Powers – Policy & Representation

"The Constitution of Australia establishes the Federal Government by providing for the Parliament, the Executive Government and the Judiciary. The principle of the separation of powers is that, in order to prevent oppressive government, the three powers should be held by the separate bodies of Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, which act as a check and balance on each other.

When this separation breaks down and, for example, the judges and the police start deciding what the rules are and who is guilty based on what they think and what is in their interests then it is clear to all that the system is corrupt.

Unfortunately, the Australian Constitution is silent about an equally important separation of powers between the determination of the Will of the electorate on Policy and who should represent that majority Will on the floor of parliament. Policy is where the real political fights happen. Whereas Representation should be an apolitical profession where the sovereign Will of the people is represented faithfully without fear or favour.

Similarly, when the separation between Policy & Representation breaks down and political parties control their representatives and dictate that they vote in parliament against the Sovereign Will of the electorate, then the system is just as corrupt as when the judges and police decide judicial & enforcement outcomes.

Until we ensure that there is a separation between Policy and Representation in our democracy then we will continue to suffer corrupted public policy outcomes and individual corruption by those who take advantage of their privileged parliamentary position to seek benefit for themselves, their friends and donors at the expense of majority."