Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lost: 143 Members of the Australian Parliament!

[For those who aren't keeping up to date with Australian politics: We've just had a general election, and neither of the two major parties has enough seats to govern in their own right. So we have a "hung parliament", with both major parties trying to woo the minor parties and independent members to create a majority in the Lower House of Parliament. There are two other parts of the Australian Parliament - the Senate and The Queen - but they don't figure prominently in this debate.]

The Australian government is formed from the 150 elected representatives of the Lower House of Parliament. In the last week, we've had endless news reports, discussions and media releases from exactly 7 of these 150 elected members: The Member for Lalor (Julia Gillard), the Member for Warringah (Tony Abbott), four independent members, and one Greens member.

My question is: Where are the other 143 voices???

Aren't these the candidates who promised to make a difference? Didn't they promise leadership? Shouldn't we hold them accountable?

These are not employees of a corporation, who might reasonably expect management to speak on the corporation's behalf. We elected them to represent us, the people of Australia.

It's the most important issue facing the Australian government in 70 years - the formation of the government itself - and 95% of the representatives are missing from the conversation.