As Liberal Democrats, we believe that:
⦁ Equal opportunity to participate in the political process is paramount to a functioning, civil society
⦁ Government does not have the right to force anyone to vote, and doing so devalues the votes of those who have taken time to educate themselves politically
⦁ Governments should govern at the pleasure of, and be directly accountable to, the people
⦁ Legislation needs to be reviewed intermittently, and out-of-date laws should be easy to remove
To that end, we will:
⦁ Introduce voluntary voting and citizen-initiated referenda, ensuring that the people are able to freely participate in the running of the country should they wish
⦁ Amend the constitution to introduce term limits to all directly elected offices, constraining the power of government
⦁ Introduce sunset clauses on legislation that receives less than 75% support, meaning that legislation will expire after a certain amount of time, unless it is reviewed and reinstated by Parliament
A representative democracy
Representative democracy is incredibly important in our state. It ensures that all regions and voters in Western Australia have an opportunity to have their voice heard. Both houses of parliament – the Senate and the House of Representatives – are tasked with representing different interests. The House of Representatives represents the people, an elected member for each electorate participating in the House with their constituents’ interests in mind. The Senate represents the state’s interests, with each state represented by 12 senators. The Liberal Democrats recognise the importance of the Senate’s rotating terms, meaning that only half of senators are elected in any one election, while the other half serves the remaining three years of their terms. This safeguards against the whims of populism and brash, rushed solutions to emerging issues. It is also good that Australia’s senate is a non-continuing house, protecting the country from the whims of populism. Candidates effectively need to convince the population twice to be able to win a true majority in the lower house.
Australia claims to be a democracy – a government of the people – yet the people seemingly have increasingly little direct say in the affairs of their state and nation. Introducing citizen-initiated referenda and allowing for recall elections will ensure that the people have the ability to directly influence laws that will affect them and ensure that government is held accountable and acts at the will of the people.