DEMOCRACY

(Adopted August 2014)

PRINCIPLES

The Queensland Greens believe that:

1. Our democratic and electoral institutions should aim to empower individuals.

2. A democratic parliamentary system should include: 
     a) A constitution enshrined in law by a referendum,
     b) A Charter of Rights, 
     c) Separation of powers, 
     d) An independent public service, 
     e) A system of checks and balances, 
     f) Genuine representation of the community in elected bodies, 
    g) Public debate based on adequate information to underpin the making of laws and policy, and
    h) Transparency and accountability in all levels of government decision-making.

3. A system that incorporates proportional representation at state and local level provides the best and fairest manner of ensuring all sections of the community have a voice in elected bodies such as local councils and the Legislative Assembly.

4. Recognition of local government in the Queensland Constitution should be enhanced. 

5. Formal participative processes are a necessary and legitimate means of engaging communities and community bodies in the processes of government.

6. Marginalised groups should be given real opportunities to participate in policy debates.

7. Electoral and constitutional reform so that Queensland has truly democratic systems of government.

8. Fixed terms of office with fixed election dates should be introduced with a recall mechanism available via a citizen initiated referendum. 

9. The undue influence of money must be eliminated in election campaigns.

10. Reforms to the system of public funding of election campaigns are necessary for a level playing field for candidates.

11. Community organisations and individuals, including public servants, should be able to participate in public debate without fear of retribution.

AIMS

The Queensland Greens will:

1. Propose the adoption of a proportional representation system, such as Mixed member proportional (similar to New Zealand and Germany) or Hare-Clarke (similar to Tasmania and ACT) for Queensland General Elections and election of local councils.

2. Introduce a Charter of Rights for Queensland.

3. Introduce fixed terms for the Legislative Assembly.

4. Ensure the Electoral Commission has sufficient resources to educate the electorate on the importance, legal requirements, and systems of voting and has the facilities for the enrolment of voters.

5. Fund education and support programmes to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to participate fully in government processes and community consultation processes.

6. Provide non-government members of parliament with adequate resources to enable them to effectively carry out their responsibilities.

7. Enact appropriate caps for political donations and campaign expenditure.

8. Change electoral law so that donations must be declared before funds become available for use.

9. Reform the process of appointing public servants to be based on merit and remove patronage.

10. Support a referendum on the introduction of a proportional upper house.

11. Strengthen the Whistleblowers' Protection Act.

12. Review regulations regarding How to Vote cards, electoral signage and other material to standardise the information available to voters.

13. Strengthen the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2009 so that it includes: 
    i) An Information Commissioner with powers of investigation to examine if government denials and appeals against RTI exposure conform to the Act, 
   ii) RTI coverage of government owned corporations and departments,
   iii) Electronic provision of materials to avoid photocopy and labour search charges on materials requested under RTI.

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Policy Category: 
State:
QLD