Premier Geoff Gallop has recalled parliament for 29 March, just a month after winning government. He has announced that he proposes to re-present electoral reform legislation creating “one vote one value”. Western Australian State country seats are heavily weighted with their votes twice the value of metropolitan votes.
Labor’s last attempt founded in the High Court, which concluded that the legislation was invalid because it had not been passed in the Legislative Council with an absolute majority.
The rush to re-introduce the legislation has come about because Legislative Council members have fixed terms and the newly elected members take their seats on 21 May. The government will not have an absolute majority after that date. Courtesy of the clique presently running the Liberal Party, it appears highly likely that Labor, with the support of the Greens and an independent, will now for the purposes of electoral reform have the necessary majority until that date.
How could all this happen, you might ask? Losing the recent state election is but part of the price the Liberal Party will pay for its present administration. In an act of breathtaking stupidity and factional greed, the Liberal Party dumped one of its first term up-and-coming Legislative Council members to provide a seat for a very ordinary party official who was barely able to answer a question at his pre-selection.
The recipient of the seat, Peter Collier, is part of the new breed presently controlling the party. Collier’s contribution was to stack out and deliver the Curtin federal Division. His claim to fame in the WA Liberal Party is that in stacking out branches he was caught signing other peoples’ names on membership application forms without their knowledge or authority.
Collier was sprung when one of the alleged applicants received a letter welcoming him to the Liberal Party. The person in question responded in writing that he had not applied for membership and did not wish to be a member.
Read more about Collier and the WA electoral reforms on the website here.
CRIKEY: Last week we published Noel Crichton-Browne’s account of what caused the Liberal’s Western Australian election train-wreck. Unfortunately we also accidentally cut it in half. We’ve now restored his full-length analysis which political junkies can read on the Crikey website here.