THE recent appalling behaviour in our Federal Parliament over Peter Slipper must be an all-time low in Australian politics, says Rod Mackenzie.
THE recent appalling behaviour in our Federal Parliament over Peter Slipper must be an all-time low in Australian politics and as a result the biggest losers were the Australian Parliament and the Australian people.
The ongoing saga of the Peter Slipper affair from his cynical appointment to his long-overdue resignation was the most unedifying political spectacle the Australian public has ever had to witness
Unfortunately this low standard of parliamentary behaviour is set to continue unless by some miracle some politicians of integrity and fortitude are elected and can display the leadership that is necessary to restore the
The first priority of any reform has to be the restoration of the proper role of the Speaker ...
Parliament to its proper and respectable place in our society.
The first priority of any reform has to be the restoration of the proper role of the Speaker and the election process that will ensure the position is filled by persons of intelligence and integrity, totally impartial and devoid of party affiliation.
For far too long Australian Speakers have been elected purely on party lines. They do not relinquish their party affiliations and are often nominated by their party because of their party loyalty.
The position, which is in fact second only to the Prime Minister, is often seen as a Mickey Mouse position that is controlled by the government of the day.
The Speaker is in reality elected by the parliament not the government and his/ her allegiance is firstly to the parliament.
The Speaker has the power to control when parliament sits and rises, he/she represents the parliament at all official functions, is its protector and responsible for its administration.
The Speaker presides over and controls parliamentary debate and behaviour.
This is a position that needs to be filled by a person of integrity and impartiality and held in respect by all members.
In several overseas parliaments speakers are non-partisan; some are even elected by the people and hold a higher position than the prime minister of the country — in each case, it is found that the parliaments and the members are held in much higher esteem than their Australian counterparts.
Hopefully, and I am not at all optimistic, some politicians will be elected with the strength and wisdom to fight for reform and for the restoration of a parliament and members that we can all respect and we can see a cessation of low standards of parliamentary behaviour being exhibited at present.
Ousted Speaker Peter Slipper.