Voters should be given the power to force early elections in NSW with a view to dumping unpopular governments, a majority of experts has advised the Premier, Barry O’Farrell. But an early election could only be called with the support of 35 per cent of eligible voters, including at least 5 per cent from half the state’s electorates, under the model for ”recall” elections preferred by a panel commissioned by the government in June.
The possibility of introducing a recall system emerged during the lead-up to this year’s election amid demands for an early poll due to the soaring unpopularity of the Labor government. Under the present system of fixed four-year terms, an early election could only have happened if the government effectively sacked itself with a vote in the Parliament.
The Reclaim Your Vote campaign was launched by the Herald in December 2009. More than 20,000 people signed an online petition supporting a referendum on the issue.m Honouring an election promise, Mr O’Farrell convened a panel of constitutional experts comprising David Jackson, QC, Dr Elaine Thompson and Professor George Williams.
In its report, the chairman, Mr Jackson, supports the idea, which he said ”does not seem dramatically radical”. Mr Jackson argues there are many opportunities for the electorate to grow dissatisfied with a government over four years.
”The adoption of the present proposal gives an opportunity, in a limited manner, and subject to necessary safeguards, to bring that dissatisfaction to a head and resolve the issue at a ballot.”
Full Article: Let voters dump bad government, experts decide.