Today Queensland Member for Cook, just expelled from the ALP, has notified everyone that he is staying on as an independent.
It is his right! Although elected as a member of a political party (the ALP)...he is actually elected as himself, Billy Gordon! He is not without controversy.
The Labor Premier called on him first to leave the party, he did ( or was expelled)! And then to do the "right thing" and resign and allow a by-election....even though it might cost her the leadership of the State.
This is brave of Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk. I am impressed by her integrity and courage. Two virtues which appeal to the Christian heart...integrity and courage.
And, which I would admit, we have not always been good at.
I have met recently with a person who knows her well, his representations to me assure me she is (as 1066 and All That might say....a good thing). I will leave that to you
One of the issues this sets before the electorate, both in Queensland and, throughout the nation at both State and Federal level is whether a person is elected as an individual or as a member of a party ticket.
Inevitably when trouble occurs people frame their answer to meet their own circumstances.
So, Mr Gordon has quite rightly exercised his legal prerogative that he is elected as an individual!
Now he is an "Independent" ie. he has been cut free from the party which no-doubt funded much of his electoral campaign....he can do as his will and conscience require.
Ms Lambie, and Mr Lazarus did this, various others have left their parties after they have been elected.
And it is their right.......Apparently
But is it RIGHT!
Although Queensland does not have an Upper House, the Federal Parliament does and other States do.
We have been, at Federal level, given the option to vote, say, 1 to 16 "Above the line" or 1 to 133 "Below the line".
One gets the impression that most people vote Above the line. Which is decidedly less complex and laborious. That is, they vote for the party and the Party's particular preferential choices.
So when an elected person who may have been elected No. 1 on the Labor or Liberal ticket .....or Palmer United Party....a case referred to above.....decides to jump ship what should happen?
The candidate inevitably says ....I was elected because I was me, and how fabulous am I because of my profile.....and the Party inevitably says .....They should resign because they were elected on the Party Ticket.
Ms Palaszczuk was rather suggesting this about Mr Gordon...and Mr Palmer certainly wants Senators Lazarus and Lambie to capitulate to his strident influence, I draw short of calling it bullying!
In the end I think ABOVE THE LINE VOTING is iniquitous. It is a ploy of the Party System to manipulate numbers. So it serves them right when it backfires...as, increasingly, it seems to do