Ok so to answer this question I had to rummage around to try and find a list of all the bills that were tabled in parliament sessions between 1901 and today. On the Australian Parliament website I was able to find a list of bill extracts in an excel spreadsheet from between 1901 to 1983 so I just had to work off that because I don’t have enough time to manually create a spreadsheet for all the others which are in PDF files across govt websites and Comlaw.
Alrighty, now a word of warning I had to go through nearly 2000 of these friggin things and categorise them all – so some of the categorisations might be a little broad or may not capture some underlying content in the bill since I only had the bill title, but here’s what I was able to analyse:
So…the majority of the time in parliament is spent talking about…tax! hahaha oh what an exceedingly fun subject matter! You know I did wonder why refugees and immigration was such an important thing on the agenda even though I rarely hear people talking or complaining about it and now I can see it here in broad daylight…they spend a lot of time talking and thinking about and so they think the Australian public care a little more than we actually do!
I can’t believe how much air time Fruit, Veg and grains get! haha. And I was a little concerned about the lack of chatter in the primary and secondary area – but its probably because its under the each state’s remit to look after that. Same with health. Science and Technology and management of Government debt was pretty abysmal. All things considered – Natural Resource and Environment Protection got a FIFTH of the floor time of Mining, Minerals and Oil – although it did fair better than international trade agreements and diplomacy.
You can see why I think Kevin Rudd struggled in parliament…with an Arts and Asian Studies degree the guy was probably bored out of his brains! In contrast, whatever your personal opinions of him may be, Tony Abbott studied a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Law and is probably much more naturally suited to and talented at the elements of policy creation or review. BUT, lets be honest…the guy sucks on camera. Which suggests to me that the IDEAL parliament set up of the future should be one where there are two lead roles:
1. A Prime Minister
2. A Prime Speaker
The Prime Mister would be the leader of the house within Parliament and during internal discussions and the manager of staff. The Prime Speaker would be the international states person and media spokesperson for the party – the person who travels internationally, spoke to the media…etc…etc. I mean, the job is too big for one person anyway – its ridiculous. The role should be split and given to two different types of people – because they are two completely different roles suited to completely different personalities.
My question for my NEXT post is going to be…does what a Prime Minister studied at university (and therefore we’d assume is relatively naturally interested in), make a difference to how long they remain in parliament because of their ability to manage the stuff at a federal level that actually takes up the majority of the floor time?
|Bill Category||Number of Meetings (sessions)|
|Immigration & Customs||183|
|National Security and Military||65|
|Fruit, Veg and Grains||63|
|Mining, Minerials & Oil||56|
|Loans, Grants & Subsidies||55|
|Media and Communications||43|
|Roads and Transport||36|
|Administration of Govt||27|
|Intellectual Property Protection||22|
|Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco||18|
|Public Service Employment||17|
|Social Security & Welfare||14|
|Natural Resources and Environment Protection||13|
|Commissions & Advisory Councils||11|
|Democracy and Representation||11|
|Deaths and Marriages||9|
|International Trade Agreements & Diplomacy||8|
|Primary & Secondary Education||6|
|Science and Technology||1|
- Why Australian’s should care about POLICIES not POLITICS (nouniversity.wordpress.com)
- Craig Emerson blasts ‘destructive’ Kevin Rudd for Labor instability, says he must quit parliament (abc.net.au)
- Rudd’s GST ‘scare’ actually the truth (theage.com.au)
- Beating The Australia Tax: How The Parliament Wants To Stop IT Rip-Offs (gizmodo.com.au)
- Australia: Abbott government begins process to repeal carbon tax (au.news.yahoo.com)