Thank you for your letter concerning Independents and their role in government. It was nice to meet you both at my recent trip to Bunbury.
I agree it is very important that your preferred party wins enough votes with a good majority to form government. That way the party can form its policies in the House of Representatives (lower house) in readiness for review by the Senate (the upper house).
I am seeking your vote to “break the drought” in Western Australia and elect me, Julie Matheson as Western Australia’s first Independent in the Senate since 1974, more than 40 years ago.
The Senate was created as a house of review to represent each state of Australia. Since 1955 each government has negotiated to gain the support of one or more independent or minor party senator to pass bills through the Senate.
If the Senate is controlled by the opposition party, negotiations for each state would be diminished and the Senate would be in danger of becoming adversarial and obstructionist which characterises the lower house.
Since 1955, it has been proven that independents and minor parties often reflect a broader public interest with much of the lobbying to influence the government undertaken in private with ministers, ref. Campbell Sharman, The Representation of Small Parties and Independents.
Independent senators have an “advantage” to negotiate lots of positive outcomes:
- Abolished death taxes – Independent for Western Australia
- Secured $1billion in funding for the Murray River – Independent for South Australia
- Secured $350million for Tasmania in exchange for support for sale of Telstra – Independent for Tasmania
And improved many more pieces of legislation over the years.
So I do hope you will change your mind and support the independent “advantage” in the Senate.
Vote 1 Julie Matheson Independent below the line on the far right of the ballot paper and 2 to 12 for other candidates.
I look forward to your support and representing you in the Senate.
Independent for Western Australia