Australia: Let voters dump bad government, experts decide | Sydney Morning Herald

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 panel’s report

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.

Editorials: Total recall no instant cure for cranky voters | Sydney Morning Herald

During the final year of the Labor government in NSW there was an outpouring of frustration from an electorate that had clearly made its mind up to throw it out, but was powerless to do so. The reason was NSW’s system of four-year fixed parliamentary terms.

What emerged was a proposal to introduce US-style ”recall” elections, whereby a government can be dragged to the polls early if enough of the electorate desires it. The same mechanism helped Arnold Schwarzenegger to the governor’s mansion in California in 2003.

In the heat of a looming election – and after much coverage of the idea by the Herald – both Kristina Keneally and Barry O’Farrell declared the idea worthy of consideration. O’Farrell has made good on his word and has convened an expert panel to consider how it might work in NSW.

Australia: New South Wales panel to look at recall elections | Sydney Morning Herald

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has appointed an expert panel to examine the introduction of recall elections so voters can dump “corrupt, incompetent governments”. The move makes good on an election promise Mr O’Farrell made ahead of the March poll to voters angry at the then Labor government.

“People across this state were desperate for an early election so they could throw out an incompetent, disastrous and corrupt government that NSW had,” Mr O’Farrell told question time on Monday.