Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a press conference at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney, Australia, Sunday July 3, 2016. With the likelihood of a hung parliament, based on Australian Electoral Commission data, both Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten are now in a race to shore up crossbench support to form minority government in the Australian Parliament. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a press conference at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney, Australia, Sunday July 3, 2016. With the likelihood of a hung parliament, based on Australian Electoral Commission data, both Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten are now in a race to shore up crossbench support to form minority government in the Australian Parliament. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING LUKAS COCH

OUR SAY: A hung House no big deal

ANOTHER hung Parliament looms, and suddenly the balance of power in the Lower House may rest in the hands of people that the majority of the country didn't vote for.

And while it is drummed into us constantly that we don't vote for a prime minister, we vote for a local member, more and more it seems that party politics have led us to a point where our local reps don't truly get a voice.

When was the last time you saw your local member cross the floor of Parliament? Barnaby Joyce has crossed the floor of the Senate 19 times, but it would take a much longer memory to find similar behaviour in the House of Reps - especially when it makes a tangible difference.

Sure, there are conscience votes - but shouldn't all votes be conscience votes? We vote our members in to represent us, not the Labor Caucus, or the Coalition party room.

If your local member wishes to vote one way on a particularly strong issue in his electorate, they should be allowed to without sanction. The odds are that they agree with the majority of their parties' viewpoints, so you still know what you're getting and they can represent you effectively from a local level.

Suddenly, a hung Parliament wouldn't be such a big deal, because every vote is up for grabs, and while the naysayers may say it slows down the wheels of government, surely we get something that is a lot more representative than what we have now.

It's a simplistic view, but it can't be any worse than the mess we find ourselves in.


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