On Saturday, Queensland will vote on a proposal to move from triennial election cycles to constitutionally fixed, four-year parliaments. Verging on 50, I find myself in the unfamiliar position of opposing a proposal for constitutional reform. Queensland’s political system needs a shake-up. But unfortunately, this proposal -- fewer elections without any compensating checks or balances -- is regressive. Here are the key reasons why.
First, it dilutes the birthright of the ballot. The Chartists, who helped win universal suffrage over a century ago, wanted annual elections and parliaments. The world is more complex than in the Victorian era. But contemporary governments with a clear agenda have managed to move mountains in a three-year term: Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating, John Howard mark IV and Campbell Newman all made their reform marks.