Saturday 23 April 2011

Saturday SoapBlog: Syd Walker - Council election needs a date change

Local activist and writer Syd Walker says that Queensland's local government elections need a new date.

Walker suggests that our tropical wet season make campaigning challenging and argues for a mid-year campaign cycle.

Few things are truly certain in politics, but that doesn't mean there are no reliable patterns at all.

One thing close to inevitable is that northern Queensland candidates, campaigning in next year's Queensland's local council elections, will experience torrential rain that will make campaigning interesting at best. In the worst case, it may literally sink their ability to campaign effectively.

I've heard two plausible theories why.starting from 2008, Queensland is scheduled to hold recurring Local Government elections every four years at the same time of year: mid-March.

The first is that the people who made this decision hate the population of Far North Queensland and wish to see our local democracy swept away in cyclones and submerged in floods.

The other possibility is that the people who made this decision carelessly overlooked the fact that February and March are consistently among the North's wettest months.

Let's be charitable and assume the latter. In that case, Is there any chance of changing election dates for Queensland's fixed term Local Government authorities, so campaigns henceforth take place in winter?

It would be nice if the new cycle could start from June or July 2012. Presumably the current crop of elected Councillors wouldn't object to an extra few months in office at ratepayer expense?


Unknown said...

Hey Syd ...
Six months of extra time was added to the 4 years by our wonderful state gov-mint.
This was to allow the newly amalgamated councils to "bed in" proper like, before subjecting themselves to the people's vote.
Elections can/will now be held in Sep/Oct 2012.
No fear of getting your feet wet then Syd.

KitchenSlut said...

The Local Guvmint elections have been delayed by 6 months, Fact? Well that's news and I can't find any Google confirmation the ECQ website still thinks it's March?

However, if true I welcome it for not all the same reasons as Syd. The problem with the current timing is that any new Council comes in during the middle of a budget process with no ability to get on top of things, not having contributed during the planning phase and contribute, so relegated to a rubber stamp. You wouldn't run a junior soccer club this way although I would have to ask Margaret Cochrane on that?!

My suspicion on this was confirmed during a discussion following the previous Council election.

Also, the current Council cycle is set to collide with a State Guvmint election in March next year unless Anna either goes early or takes the electorally risky constitutional option to run past 3 years which would likely piss people off big time I reckon?!

Ironically, the reason these cycles now coincide is that Anna had to rush to an early election in March 2009 to avoid fallout from imminent budget problems .... and subsequent privatisations .... aint life funny ....

Unknown said...

Hey Slutty...

I thought this got passed ...

Maybe it did, maybe i didn't.

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Council, State or Federal elections are a farcical joke.
There are at least 1700 people in Cairns who now know of the corruption and fraudulent actions inside the legal section of the AEC, as the last Federal election has proven.
If these 1700 people get their way, there will be NO chance of the Electoral Commission running anything more than a chook raffle.
The website of the AEC also declares they are a neutral organisation, which has now been proven to be an outright LIE.
There can NEVER be fair, open and honest elections in Australia as long as the AEC (another bloody acronym) have their bums facing the ground.

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Hey there Mike and crew, whilst we're on the subject, why is it that Rob Hulls (Attorney General) writes to people, and also places written material on the net which proves beyond doubt, that councils in Australia have NO powers to make laws, induce fines or levies, and above all, have NO constitutional powers whatsoever?
If this be true, then we should realise that council elections are also ILLEGAL, and if you truly want to fix things, know this....Councils are also painting lines and parking spaces on bitumen.....which is TOTALLY ILLEGAL and unconstitutional, both State and Federal.
There are NO laws or Judicial covenants which permit councils to perform these dastardly deeds, only your consent.
In fact, there has NEVER been a Law written which gives councils in this country the power to do anything but clean gutters, lop trees, and fix things which are civil in action.