Quick Quiz

I spoke at Parliament House recently, alongside Ian Harris, the clerk of the House of Representatives. He asked the following question: "Who was the last member of the House of Representatives to cross the floor and vote against their own party?" Answer over the fold.

Answer: On 25 August 1988, Phillip Ruddock voted against the Coalition position on the issue of race and immigration policy. No-one since then has crossed the floor, though there have been occasional free votes.

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2 Responses to Quick Quiz

  1. DrShrink says:

    Considering such iron discipline, why not extend your idea for an independent cabinet further. Do away with representatives, and let the partys select their MP’s.

    Because a decade and half of every MP voting for their party over their constitutents interests (for they surely must have clashed) makes a mockery of the title “represenative”.
    This would also let outside talent be assured a spot.

    This also means the supreme victory for Edmund Burkes view of the role of the representative.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    I’m not a Burkean, but you have a point. Part of what we were thinking of with our proposal to prevent Senators from serving in Cabinet was to get a little more free-thinking from at least 1 of the 2 houses of parliament.

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