These two potential candidates want to try become the first job-sharing parliamentarians. I can see the benefits of opening up possibilities for people with kids/dependents. I think a broader range of perspectives in parliament would be great. And these people would be there to do the job, rather than career politic-ing. The linked article mentions how they’d both have to be sworn in as MP’s, essentially giving their electorate 2 votes, but I don’t think that’d necessarily be the case. However, you would have the power of two people’s voices when lobbying.

But I’m also wary of how much easier it would be shirk responsibility to “the other person”. Assuming it would work as a shared office rather than a representative person, would a line be drawn between 2 people and a group of people?

Delving into the speculative fantasy, suddenly the 2 mums with kids at home who couldn’t commit to full-time parliamenting were pioneers for rotational council representatives, getting rid of politicians altogether.

  • Paradoxvoid
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    101 month ago

    Yeah I’m not a constitutional expert but I’m 90% sure this won’t work. Like professor Twomey said, we elect individuals, not parties (which is what this basically is) - and what happens if they have a falling out, or disagree on a policy position?

  • a1studmuffin 🇦🇺
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    91 month ago

    I’m all for it to allow more diverse representation, but I also think Twomey is on the money that this will need to go through a referendum to allow the constitution to be modified.

  • @sqgl@beehaw.org
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    1 month ago

    They wouldn’t have two votes in parliament if they win a seat as you seem to have misunderstood. They said that whoever of the two was rostered that week would vote on a bill.

    reddit.com/Australia is very hostile to the idea but I am partial to it, especially because it makes campaigning feasible when it otherwise might not be. Not just for candidates with kids but for anyone who is not time/money rich (which is most of us since time and money are usually mutually exclusive).

    The main problem I see (which nobody has mentioned) is that politicians develop relationships with each other, even sometimes with opposition members. These relationships are important but the job-sharing thing weakens the chance of rapport.

  • Instigate
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    1 month ago

    Potential positives:

    • More representative parliament
    • Capacity to sit in parliament and be in the community simultaneously
    • Reduce career politicians; increase apolitical experience brought to Canberra
    • More women in parliament to bring us closer to 50/50 representation

    Potential issues:

    • Legality/Constitutionality
    • How to settle disagreements between jobshare candidates, particularly on voting
    • Division of salary and benefits
    • Ballot display issues
    • Old codgers who just don’t want anything to change ever

    I don’t see any genuine issues that would prevent this from becoming a reality, and I wholeheartedly think it’s a great idea.

    I think another way to achieve something similar would be to make multi-electorate seats from single-representative seats (either by dividing or amalgamating) and making each district voted by proportional representative voting, much as we do for the senate whose electorates are entire states/territories. We could then let those candidates jobshare across their districts if they wanted to in order to help facilitate better work-life balance.

    I love when any ideas that shake up the political status quo are brought up in this country because I think we’re overdue for re-evaluating if our democracy is functioning as well as we’d like.

    • Zagorath
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      31 month ago

      Additional issue:

      Argument ad absurdum: if two people can share the role, what’s stopping three, or four, or an entire suburb?

      Also possibly related to “how to settle disagreements”, there’s questions around clarity for voters about what exactly they’ll get.

      And related to constitutionality, what happens if one of them is found to be ineligible? Or if one gets Named or otherwise censured?

    • @ComplexMothOP
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      11 month ago

      Agree with all the positives. I think disagreements could be solved the same way any group solves disagreements (i.e. not always very well) - so yep the framework would have to very well defined. And yeah fairly sure a constitutional change would be needed, but that’s semantics as are the rest of those issues. I think the real crux of the issue is the change from elected person to elected group.

      I don’t think there’s much of a difference between multi-electorate seats and what we have now, surely thats just a case of bigger electorates? Multi-representative seats are not a foreign concept either, i believe that’s how it works down in Tassie with their hare-clarke system.

  • @Ilandar@aussie.zone
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    21 month ago

    I don’t see any immediate issues and I’m not opposed to the idea. I assume they would share the single wage which might require some fiddling around for tax purposes. I wonder if/how this would impact their expenditure for taxpayer funded travel.