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SENATE AND SENSIBILITY

Senate and Sensibility

This article examines the functions and powers of the
Senate of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
and canvasses possible change where appropriate.
Article prepared by Nick Hobson


Index
  1. References
  2. Introduction
  3. Background
  4. Current Nexus of Both Houses
  5. Abolition of the Senate
  6. An Australian Republic
  7. Reversion to 10 Senators per State
  8. Changing the Nexus
  9. The States' House
  10. Senate Electorates
  11. Senate Powers
  12. Voting in the Senate
  13. Conclusion
  14. Recommendations

References
  1. Chapter 1, Part 2 (The Senate) of the Australian Constitution.
  2. Chapter 6 (New States) of the Australian Constitution.
  3. Chapter 1, Part 3 (House of Representatives) of the Australian Constitution.
  4. Chapter 1, Part 5 (Powers of the Parliament) of the Australian Constitution.

[Index]


Introduction

It has become fashionable for commentators from a variety of backgrounds to call for the abolition of the Senate because it "no longer meets the needs of the Australian people". This view largely stems from the perceived or actual instability in the Senate, due to the control of that House not being in the hands of the political party that controls the House of Representatives. The situation appears to have become more prevalent with the increase in the Senate of a variety of independents and/or smaller parties. The increase in the size of Senator numbers may have had an impact on this problem. The aim of this paper is to examine the workings of the Senate as it now is and what options are available for consideration other than the abolition of the Senate outright.

[Index]


Background

1. Section 7 of Reference A states:

A. The Senate shall be composed of Senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate,

B. Until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of the State of Queensland, if that State be an original State, may make laws dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of Senators to be chosen for each division, and in the absence of such provision the State shall be one electorate,

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918-Section 39: Senators for the State of Queensland shall be directly chosen by the people of the State voting as one electorate. The Parliament of the State of Queensland may not make laws pursuant to section 7 of the Constitution dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of Senators to be chosen for each division.

C. Until the Parliament otherwise provides there shall be six Senators for each Original State. The Parliament may make laws increasing or diminishing the number of Senators for each State, but so that equal representation of the several Original States shall be maintained and that no Original State shall have less than six Senators, and

Representation Act 1948: Senate increased from 6 per state to 10 per state (in effect at general election 1949).

Representation Act 1983: Senate increased from 10 per state to 12 per state (in effect at general election 1984).

D. The Senators shall be chosen for a term of six years, and the names of the Senators chosen for each State shall be certified by the Governor to the Governor-General.

2. Section 13 of Reference A provides for the division of the Senate into two classes as nearly equal in number as practicable following a dissolution. The places of the Senators of the first class shall become vacant at the expiration of three years, and the places of those of the second class at the expiration of six years, from the beginning of their term of service; and afterwards the places of Senators shall become vacant at the expiration of six years from the beginning of their term of service. The term of service for a Senator shall be taken to begin on the first day of July following the day of the Senator's election except in the case of an election next after any dissolution of the Senate, when it shall be taken to begin on the first day of July preceding the day of the Senator's election.

3. Sections 121 and 122 of Reference B provides for the Parliament to make provision for the extent of representation of a New State in either House of Parliament and for the representation of a territory in either House of Parliament respectively.

Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1974: Two Senators for each territory (ACT & NT) added (in effect at general election 1975).

4. Section 24 of Reference C requires that the number of members of the House of Representatives shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the Senators thereby providing a nexus between the numbers of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

5. Section 53 of Reference D provides for the powers of both Houses concerning of legislation while Section 57 of Reference D provides for the mechanics involving any disagreement between the Houses of Parliament. Except as provided for in Section 53, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws. The exception to the powers referred to in Section 53 relate, in the main, to laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation.

[Index]


Current Nexus Between Both Houses

6. Reference C requires that the number of members of the House of Representatives be twice that of the number of Senators. In other words, the Senate is the controlling factor in the overall size of the Parliament. It then follows that as the population grows, and the requirement to maintain electoral division sizes as close to the current level as is practicable, the need to increase the size of the House of Representatives becomes apparent. With the required constitutional nexus between House numbers, this means an automatic increase in the size of the Senate if an increase in the House of Representatives is required or undertaken.

7. Since Federation, there have been three changes to the size of the Senate. Two of those relate to the original States while the third relates to the provision of Senators for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory (NT). Since the main thrust of the problem relates to the States (Original), the major part of the discussion will centre on this aspect.

8. Changes to Senate numbers since federation are detailed at Table 1.


TABLE 1

Case

Election Type

Number
to be
elected

% of
vote
required

Number of
formal
ballots*

Quota

1.

1984-98 (Half Election)

6

14%

3,755,725

536,533

2.

1984-98 (Dissolution)

12

8%

3,755,725

288,903

3.

1951-83 (Half Election)

5

17%

3,755,725

625,955

4.

1951-83 (Dissolution)

10

9%

3,755,725

341,431

5.

1901-49 (Half Election)

3

25%

3,755,725

938,932

6.

1901-49 (Dissolution)

6

14%

3,755,725

536,533

* Based on the November 1998 Senate election results for New South Wales. The number of 1998 formal ballots has been used in each case to make a comparative analysis and is not intended to reflect the actual number of formal votes that were cast for elections in the years detailed. New South Wales has been used as an example only. The percentages shown are the same for each of the six States, regardless of the number of formal ballots cast for each state in the 1998 election.

Table 1 also shows the number of Senators to be elected for both a half-Senate election and for a dissolution of the Senate. The percentage of votes required for a Senator to be elected is also shown for both scenarios, as is the quota required.

[Index]

9. Clearly, it can be seen that if there had been no changes to the size of the Parliament since Federation, then the degree of difficulty for a Senator to be elected would be far greater than it is now. Accordingly, we have seen an increase in the number of independents and members of minor political parties being elected as the size of the Senate has increased. The ease for such groups to be elected to the Senate is twice as great for a dissolution as it is for a half-Senate election. Some observers may not see this as a bad thing. It means a dissolution of the Senate is less likely to take place thereby increasing the stability of the Parliamentary process. On the other hand, other observers would say that instability could still occur if the Government in the House of Representatives is not able to get its legislation through the Parliament. A projection of a further increase in the size of the Senate is shown at Table 2 and confirms this trend. However, it is interesting to note the first report of the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform of September 1983 which in part states:

"8.15 On the practical issue of an increase of the number of Senators, that is the normal 6 year terms of Senators and the gaining by one major political group of a majority of Senators at half Senate elections, the Committee took the view that 6 Senate vacancies were more likely to provide a majority in a half Senate election than 5 vacancies, and 12 vacancies more likely to provide a majority than 10 in a double dissolution situation. This point can be can be illustrated from the 1974 elections and the 1975 elections when in New South Wales 5 Senators were returned by the ALP and the Liberal Party respectively. In 1974 the two party preferred vote was 54% and 46% liberal; in 1975 the vote was the same in reverse. Had the requirement been to elect 12 Senators the result would have been a 7-5 split on each occasion favouring the party with the highest vote. In half Senate elections the effect of electing five rather six is supposed to ensure numerical advantage to the winner. However, where an independent or third party candidate gains the fifth seat as happens frequently then winners and losers share the remaining seats equally."

If no further action is taken in the way in which the numbers of Senators and members of the House of Representatives is controlled, then it is highly likely that the Senate will become even more of a problem for the governing party in the House of Representatives than it already is.


TABLE 2

Case

Election Type

Number
to be
elected

% of
vote
required

Number of
formal
ballots*

Quota

1.

1984-98
(Half Election)

6

14%

3,755,725

536,533

2.

1984-98
(Dissolution)

12

8%

3,755,725

288,903

3.

Projection 1
(Half Election)

7

13%

3,755,725

469,467

4.

Projection 1
(Dissolution)

14

7%

3,755,725

250,383

5.

Projection 2
(Half Election)

8

11%

3,755,725

417,304

6.

Projection 2
(Dissolution)

16

6%

3,755,725

220,926

* See Table 1 for explanation.

[Index]  


Abolition of the Senate

10. The Senate is essentially a States' House. Technically and constitutionally, that still remains true. In reality, it has somewhat deviated from that role. As indicated in the introduction to this paper, some commentators have called for the outright abolition of the Senate, saying that it has passed its time and that it hinders the process of the Government in the lower House. Indeed, former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, even referred to the Senate as "unrepresentative swill".

11. Section 1 of the Constitution states:

"The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate and a House of Representatives..."

For all its shortcomings, our Constitution has provided Australia with an extraordinary stable form of government since its inception. Australia is one of the six oldest continuing democracies in the world and the attraction to our country by many migrants from around the world is surely testament to this claim. The underlying reason for this success is that the overall powers are shared by a variety of sources; some by the States and others by the Federal Parliament. Within each of those entities further power sharing takes place, e.g. the Federal Parliament consists of the Queen of Australia, the Senate and the House of Representatives. If we remove the Senate from this scenario, we must then also acknowledge that we will be lessening the power sharing arrangements within this entity. Accordingly, ridding the Parliament of the Senate may not necessarily be the best option to overcome the real or perceived problems of the Senate, if we wish to retain the overall and well-proven stability of our parliamentary process.

12. While abolishing the Senate is technically possible it is probably unlikely to succeed at a referendum. Despite the statements made by commentators, who are mostly based in Australia's two major cities and who are geographically remote from the needs and circumstances of the people of the other smaller states, it is more than likely that the four smaller States will vote against such a proposal. Additionally, there are some Australians who choose to vote for one party in the lower House and, as a hedge against what they may see as a protection against political abuse, vote for some other party in the Senate. These people are likely to vote in such a manner to preserve their right to continue with this option in a referendum.

[Index]


An Australian Republic

13. If the Australian people choose to change our form of Parliament to that of a republic sometime in the future, additional circumstances will prevail on the concept of abolishing the Senate. Under our current arrangements, and if the Senate were to be abolished, the Parliament of the Commonwealth would only consist of the Queen of Australia and the House of Representatives.

14. Should Australia become a republic, the Parliament would, with abolishment of the Senate, consist of a President and the House of Representatives. However, the President, because of his/her being elected will in fact be another politician within the political process. It should be noted here that selection by election, whether it be by the Parliament or by the people, will always deliver a political result. Apart from the reserve powers, the president will always be required to constitutionally act on the advice of the Federal Executive Council (for Federal Executive Council read Prime Minister and Cabinet) in respect of the non-reserve powers.

15. Currently, executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen of Australia and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's representative (Section 61 of the Constitution). As such the Governor-General is advised by the Federal Executive Council and, by unwritten convention, acts on the advice of the Federal Executive Council. There are a small number of exceptions where the Governor-General in Council is required to act with (but not without) the advice of the Federal Executive Council e.g. appointing the Queen's Ministers for State for the Commonwealth.

16. Accordingly, establishment of a republic would mean that there would be a shift of the day-to-day powers from that currently held by the Governor-General directly to the Federal Executive Council thereby allocating more powers to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. With no provision for a minimum number of Ministers of State, it is conceivable that the Federal Executive Council could consist solely of one person i.e. the Prime Minister thereby allowing for the creation of a dictatorship. A precedent has already been set for small ministries, in that former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam introduced, albeit temporarily, a two-man ministry in the early stages of his Prime Ministership.

[Index]


Reversion to 10 Senators per State

17. Another option to help return the Senate to a more stable environment may be to revert to the makeup of Parliament that existed prior to the introduction of the Representation Act 1983, which increased the Senate from 10 per State to 12 per State. This Act came into effect at the Federal election of 1984. Reversion would make it incrementally more difficult for independents and the smaller parties to be elected to the Senate. However, and because of the nexus between the numbers of both House of Parliament, this would require a commensurate reduction in the numbers of members of the House of Representatives. Given the policy that the number of constituents that a member of the House of Representatives should serve needs to be, as nearly as practicable, 80,000 it is unlikely that any such change would be supported in the lower House.

[Index]


Changing the Nexus

18. Currently, the determining factor in increasing or decreasing the overall number of members of the House of Representatives is controlled by the number of Senators. Additionally, and as displayed in Tables 1 and 2, the trend for instability in the Senate is more likely to increase because as the number of Senators is increased, the percentage of votes required to be elected as a Senator decreases.

19. Accordingly, another option could be to reverse the procedure, i.e. make the number of Senators dependent on the number of members of the House of Representatives. In doing so, the option to reduce the number of Senators without reducing the number of members of the House of Representatives could happen. However, such a change should not be contemplated unless the constitution included a provision for the maintenance of electoral Division sizes to be, as nearly as practicable, 80,000 enrolled voters.

20. The reason why the Parliament changed the size of Parliament in 1983 is better understood by noting the arguments advanced to the committee (of the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform - 1983) by those wishing to maintain a ratio between electors and representatives. These arguments were:

• that there has been no real increase in the size of Federal Parliament since 1949 while average House of Representatives enrolments have risen from 39,948 in 1949 to 74,989 in 1983;

• that a larger Parliament would strengthen the operation of the parliamentary system - a larger backbench would strengthen Parliament's independence in relation to the Executive. The present Ministry (1983) is 70% larger than the Chifley Ministry and the ratio between the backbench and the Executive is unsatisfactory. (Professor Gordon Reid informed the Committee that in the United Kingdom House of Commons, many of the reforming developments had come about overtly and covertly through the collective activity of backbenchers). There would be a larger pool of talent from which to choose the Executive;

• this more diverse range of responsibilities has not only resulted in a larger Executive but has put greater responsibility and work loads on the backbench members of Parliament;

• that access of electors to political representatives would be more immediate;

• the growing involvement by the Federal Parliament in many additional issues since 1949 as follows:

Aboriginal Affairs
more extensive social welfare and health policies
uniform legislation such as company law
education
environment and conservation
family law
status of women
law reform and legal aid
ethnic affairs
consumer affairs
child care
minerals and energy policy
tourism and small business
sport and recreation
cultural affairs and the national heritage
federal affairs and local government
science and technology
electronic communication (TV and satellite)
expanded industrial relations role
more complex economic issues
greater involvement in overseas aid;

• that the developing committee systems of both Houses, extremely important in our democratic system, require an increasing number of Members. An increase in the size of the Parliament would enable the system to work more smoothly, and members would be more able to concentrate on becoming subject specialists, and

• the cause of 'one vote one value' would be advanced with smaller electoral divisions and more members since the State average enrolment in Tasmania would be brought closer to those in the mainland States. An enlarged Parliament brings a more even result in the average size of enrolments for electorates in between the States; an enlarged Parliament with 10% variation for distribution purposes will help prevent existing large area electorates from becoming increasingly larger.

[Index]

21. Table 3 shows a range of possibilities for consideration for selecting a nexus for where the House of Representatives is the controlling factor. The first three lines of Table 3 are not in contention, and are only displayed to show the flow in change for the number of Senators allocated for each State for the current size of the House of Representatives which is now 150 members. The fourth line reflects the status quo, while lines five and six show possible alternatives. Other alternatives exist and would be determined by selecting an alternate percentage. The selected percentage should, like the size of electorates for the House of Representatives, be entrenched in the Constitution so that any change would have to be made by referendum.

[Index]


TABLE 3

A

B

C

D

E

F

Number of Representatives

New State - Territory Allocation

Number of origional States

Allocation Controller
(% of A)

Number of Senators for each State

Total number of Senators

150

4

6

100.00%

24

148

150

4

6

75.00%

18

112

150

4

6

66.67%

16

100

150

4

6

50.00%

12

76

150

4

6

33.33%

8

52

150

4

6

25.00%

6

40

  1. Number of members of House of Representatives;
  2. Number of Senate seats allocated to New States and Territories;
  3. Number of Original States;
  4. Controller to determine the nexus between Houses;
  5. Resulting number of Senators for each of the Original States;
  6. Total number of Senators.

[Index]


22. A formula would need to be developed that would satisfy this proposal. More than likely, the devil in establishing the formula would be in the detail. One possibility as shown at Table 4 could be:

"Subtract the number of Senators allocated for New States and Territories from the product of the Number of members of the House of Representatives and the Allocation Controller and then divide the result by the Number of Original States. The allocation Controller is simply the desired percentage of the numbers of members of the House of Representatives that the Senate numbers are required to be."


TABLE 4
((

Number of members
of the
House of Representatives

X

Allocation Controller
(as a %)

)

-

(

Number of Senators
for
New States & Territories

))

( Number of Original States )

 [Index]  


23. Out of the two options proposed for the allocation controller i.e. 25% and 33.33%, the 33.33% option, while preferred by some, would provide lesser stability than the 25% model. The 25% option would be similar to the situation that exists in the United States of America where the size of the Senate is roughly 25% of that of the House of Representatives. Table 5 shows the relation between the current Parliamentary makeup compared with both the 25% and 33.33% options. No Territory or New State should be allocated more Senators than an Original State and should any Territory or New State be allocated the same number of Senators as the Original States, then that Territory or New State is to be treated as an Original State for the purpose of this calculation. As concluded earlier, the degree of difficulty in being elected as a Senator would be greater in either of the proposed options than is the case now. One may hope that this change would provide for a better result for Senate stability.


  TABLE 5

Case

Election Type

No. to be elected

% of vote required

No of formal ballots*

Quota

1.

Current
(Half Election)

6

14%

3,755,725

536,533

2.

Current
(Dissolution)

12

8%

3,755,725

288,903

3.

33.33%
(Half Election)

4

20%

3,755,725

751,146

4.

33.33%
(Dissolution)

8

11%

3,755,725

417,304

5.

25.00%
(Half Election)

3

25%

3,755,725

938,932

6.

25.00%
(Dissolution)

6

14%

3,755,725

536,533

*See Table 1 for explanation.

[Index]


The States' House  

24. The reason for giving the original States the same number of Senate seats was to provide an "equality" in the Federation and to ensure that the interests of the smaller States could not be overridden by the interests of larger States. Given this rationale, the number of Senators for each of the original States is, largely irrelevant, providing that each of the original States has the same number of Senators. Accordingly, a reduction in the number of Senate seats for the Original Sates should not be discounted. If we accept the argument propounded in the submission to the 1983 Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform that more Parliamentarians were needed to cope with additional duties, and that any reduction in Senate numbers would further exacerbate that problem, then maybe one way to approach this would be to do away with the individual committees of each House of Parliament and to only appoint Joint Committees for any in-depth investigation that may be needed on any particular subject.

[Index]


Senate Electorates 

25. The Constitution provides that until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of the State of Queensland, may make laws dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of Senators to be chosen for each division, and in the absence of such provision the State shall be one electorate. The Parliament of the Commonwealth has subsequently provided that Senators for the State of Queensland shall be directly chosen by the people of the State voting as one electorate (Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918-Section 39).

26. Ironically, there has been recent discussion that the Parliament may now try to change the current system to provide for Senate electorates for each of the States. It would seem, from the Tasmanian experience where the Legislative Council is similarly structured, that the election of independents and members from the minor parties may become even more prevalent than it is now. The ability of independent and smaller parties to be elected to the Tasmanian Legislative Council was only impeded when the numbers of the Council was severely cut. On casual inspection, any change to the way in which the Senate may be elected may be less beneficial than the situation which already exists. Additionally, the need to get such legislation passed through the current Senate (where the Government does not have a majority) is highly unlikely. It will become even more unlikely after 1 July 1999 when the makeup of the Senate changes further, to the detriment of the Government.

[Index]


Senate Powers

27. Section 53 of the Constitution provides for the powers of both Houses in respect of legislation while Section 57 of Reference D provides for the mechanics involving any disagreement between the Houses of Parliament. Except as provided for in Section 53, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws. The exception to the powers referred to in Section 53 relate, in the main, to laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation. 

28. Another, but emotive, power issue is the dismissal of the Labor government on 11 November 1975. This issue still festers for some and was even brought up at the Constitutional Convention in the context of what a President's powers should be. This matter became too difficult for the Convention to handle and was subsequently left to the Government to decide when drafting legislation for the Constitution Alteration (Republic) Act 1999. Without examining a step-by-step explanation of the events leading up to the dismissal it should be said that the Parliament had the necessary wherewithal to deal with the problem in-house. There was never any need for the issue to be placed before the Governor-General; indeed the matter should never had left the front door of Old Parliament House. The problem was essentially ideologically and personality driven. From an outsider's point of view, the players from both sides of the political spectrum were unable to stick to the rules. This gave cause for the umpire to blow the whistle. While the umpire may not have explained his determination carefully to both sides, he did, nonetheless, refer the issue to the people of Australia for further resolution. That said, the reserve powers that the Governor-General holds on behalf of the Australian people were correctly used in this case. Accordingly, the quest for re-defining the powers of the Senate is driven more by political ideology than it is by some inescapable fault in the system. Therefore, there is no constitutional need for changing the powers of the Senate; rather it demonstrates the need for all politicians to undertake their duties more seriously and apply total honesty and integrity in all that they do.

[Index]


Voting in the Senate

29. Reference A, Section 23 states:

Questions arising in the Senate shall be determined by a majority of votes, and each Senator shall have one vote. The President (of the Senate) shall in all cases be entitled to a vote; and when the votes are equal the question shall pass in the negative.

Until recently, Senators were able to cast their votes with the knowledge that their votes would always be counted. However, the Coalition parties recently refused to accept the vote of Senator Mal Colston (Independent) due to alleged travel rorts. In not accepting Senator Colston's vote, the Coalition denied Senator Colston the foremost principle of Australian justice of "one is innocent until proven guilty"; the Coalition incorrectly applied the converse of this long time Australian traditional right. Subsequently, and post the 1998 Federal election, the Coalition parties had a change of heart and accepted Senator Colston's vote because it is was politically expedient for them to do so. This has been a contentious issue within the Senate and it must be prevented from happening again. The effect of formally not accepting the vote of a Senator denies some Australians of their respective representational vote in that House.

30. To overcome this quirk, serious consideration should be given to making voting in the Senate compulsory and secret. There should be a constitutional requirement for all Senators to vote on each issue to ensure that all Senator's constituents voices are heard within that House; this would be even more appropriate should Senate numbers be reduced as outlined earlier. To strengthen this procedure, the practice of "pairing" should be abolished in the Senate. Secret voting should also be introduced for the Senate to prevent any harassment of Senators by their peers or pressure groups from within that chamber. This would also help the Senate retain its prime purpose of being a State's House. If these measures are introduced, Senators would then be free to vote in the best interests of their State rather than in the interest of any political ideology and without retribution.

[Index]


Conclusion

31. The makeup of the Senate of the Parliament of the Commonwealth from 1 July 1999 gives some cause for consideration to review the Senate and the way in which Senators are elected. While outright abolition is an intended aim of some, such a change to the Constitution is unlikely to be accepted by the people of Australia. On the other hand, if the Senate is retained in its current format, the possibility of real instability between both Houses, and therefore the Parliament, may be forthcoming.

32. Changing the way in which Senators are elected by providing for Senate electorates in each State could also prove to be non-productive if not destabalising if the Tasmanian Upper House example is taken into account. Alternatively, the size of the Parliament could be returned to the pre-Representation Act 1983 level but this is unlikely to be supported by the House of Representatives given their stated workloads. Essentially, this leaves only one other option and that is to change the nexus between the Houses. In other words, the controlling factor would become the numbers of the House of Representatives instead of the number of Senators. This option offers a unique opportunity of reducing the number of Senators without reducing the number of members of the House of Representatives. Additionally, the introduction of secret and compulsory voting within the Senate along with the abolishment of the practice of "pairing" would help return the Senate to its prime purpose of being a State's House.

33. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, any change is unlikely to take place unless there is genuine will from all members of Parliament to make change. Much will depend on whether or not all elected representatives are able to place the Australian national interest well ahead of any selfish or political ideology. But if nothing is done, all we can expect is more of the same or an increasing chance of the Senate becoming even more contentious than it is now.

[Index]


Recommendations

34. Recommendations for changes to the Senate and its procedures are:

  1. Constitutionally entrench for the introduction of secret and compulsory voting for all Senators on all questions raised in the Senate, 

  2. Constitutionally entrench for the abolishment of the practice of "pairing" in the Senate,

  3. Constitutionally entrench to change the nexus between the numbers of each House of Parliament so that the numbers of the House of Representatives is the controlling agent,

  4. Constitutionally entrench for the size of a Federal electoral Division to be, as nearly as practicable, 80,000 constituents,

  5. Constitutionally entrench the setting of numbers of Senators to be, as nearly as practicable, one quarter of the number of members of the House of Representatives, and

  6. Constitutionally entrench that new states not be allocated more than 6 Senators.

[Index]