COMM11108: Communication and the Political Process, Blog 1

There is a major political issue about the role of the speaker in the national House of Representatives or the parliament. According to (Miragliotta, Errington & Barry 2013) the speaker is the person who presides over all the proceedings; this office is often referred to as the president and is elected by the members of the House of Representatives.

The previous three speakers have been accused of various scandalous actions which have caused an uproar and the call for a resignation. The latest speaker in the line of scandals is Bronwyn Bishop who ran from late 2013 to middle 2015 (Ireland 2015). Considering the combination of namings with 94as, Bishop kicked out 393 Labor MPs and 7 Liberal MPs making a total of 400 MPs (Ireland, J 2015). Gartrell (2015) remarks that there was also scandals of Bishop using the tax payers’ money to fund her travel engagements which is said to be going back 10 years. Bishop resigned on the 2nd of August 2015 after her infamous time with MP member naming and the expenses scandal as a speaker.

Figure 1: Bronwyn Bishop's greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament Source: Ireland (2015)
Figure 1: Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament
Source: Ireland (2015)

The parliament is still currently without a speaker and Prime Minister Tony Abbott currently avoids making the choice as he is states that it is a matter for the Liberal party room to decide (Skynews 2015). Resolving the issue might have to come to using an independent body of investigators to regulate the parliamentary members and to check that they are not using the tax payers money to pay for things that should not be being funded by the tax payers money.

It may be considered that the person in the role of speaker needs to be watched as past examples of this career have shown that people have been abusing it. However, that being said it is hard to tell whether this is just a scandal and no more than that as there are other past speakers such as Peter Slipper, who were accused of the same travel entitlements abuse scandal (ABC 2013).

Figure Reference

Ireland, J 2015, Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament, digital image, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bronwyn-bishops-greatest-hits-or-misses-as-speaker-of-the-parliament-20150803-giq25m.html

References

ABC 2013, Peter Slipper says repayment of MPs’ entitlement claims prove double standard, ABC News, 13 October, viewed 5 August 2015 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-12/peter-slipper-claims-double-standard-in-entitlements-scandal/5018732

Farr, M 2015, Tony Abbott has a delicate choice to make over a job with dodgy prospects, News Australia, 3 August, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/tony-abbott-has-a-delicate-choice-to-make-over-a-job-with-dodgy-prospects/story-fnkgbb3b-1227467757421

Gartrell, A 2015, Bishop grounded: Speaker cancels overseas trip as expenses scandal rages on, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 August, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bishop-grounded-speaker-cancels-overseas-trip-as-expenses-scandal-rages-on-20150801-gipbxy.html

Ireland, J 2015, Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August, viewed 5 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bronwyn-bishops-greatest-hits-or-misses-as-speaker-of-the-parliament-20150803-giq25m.html

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