Voting upheaval result of hung parliament in Queensland and the power of the crossbench

Imagine if Queensland's Parliament were permanently hung — there could be no end to the upheaval of our laws and systems.

The astonishing events of last night, which added four more electorates and brought back compulsory preferential voting (CPV), would not have happened if either of the major parties had a majority.

One of the reforms may have got up, but not both.

The extraordinary outcome is a stark demonstration of the power of the two Katter's Australian Party (KAP) MPs, Rob Katter and Shane Knuth, especially since they were joined on the crossbench by former Government member Rob Pyne.

This trio enabled Parliament's double decision to add electorates and reintroduce CPV, a combination that the major parties did not really want.

The LNP wanted more seats, but not CPV; the ALP wanted voters to number every box, but not more electorates.

In the end we got both because that is what Messrs Katter, Knuth and Pyne wanted.

The focus today is understandably on the shock and awe of the political missiles that the Government and the Opposition launched at each other this week, catching voters in the crossfire with no say in the result.

Compulsory preferential voting has been reintroduced without reference to a parliamentary committee or public opinion, while the addition of four more seats has been rushed through in two days.

That is a shambolic way of overhauling our political system which needs to be addressed.

But it also shows what the major parties are willing to concede to the balance of power MPs when they do not have the numbers to control the agenda.

What next?

Add this to the unique nature of the Queensland Parliament, in the landscape of other state jurisdictions and compared that with even Canberra, with the lack of the upper house as a legislative house of review.

Queensland last has a Upper house also known as the Legislative Council way back in 1922, however successively in recent years there has been a call for its reinstatement particularly, when ever there are elections or pending elections.

Now with the prospect of following the next election, when ever that is called and following that all Queensland Parliaments will from then on have a life of 4 years.

Perhaps now more then ever the need to consider the requirement to bring back the legislative council. so as to ensure governments have the necessary checks and balances in place so that all the power is in the hands of that party that wins or as we now have as a reality the real power not held by the party with the most seats, rather resting with just 3 men.


With content from ABC News

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