A sketch of a new Queensland constitution. The main change is the revival of the Legislative Council (Upper House) as a jury selected by lot from the population at large. The constitution is divided into two elements, a static constitution changeable only by popular referendum, and a dynamic constitution changeable by a supermajority of both houses of parliament.
The Government of Queensland exists at the behest, and to defend the liberty and well-being of, the people of Queensland.
Only the Parliament may pass laws; an identical text must be approved by the Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, and the Governor.
The government shall pass no law infringing the rights of the electors, as laid out in this constitution.
The government shall conceal no document from the public for more than 30 years.
1.1 An elector is any Australian resident, who is also a resident of Queensland, and is 18 or more years old. Voting in elections is compulsory for all electors.
1.2 A person is considered partisan if
a. They are a member of the Legislative Assembly
b. They are appointed to a partisan position in the Legislative Council
c. They are a member of a state or federal registered political party
d. They have filled any of the above criteria in the last 10 years
2.1 A 50% + 1 majority in any vote is termed a
2.2 A two-thirds majority of both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council is termed a
2.3 All general elections and referenda must be fair secret ballots with no distinguishing mark inherent in the ballot paper or device
2.4 All uses of sortition must be fair lotteries where each candidate of n candidates has a 1/n chance of being drawn
3.1 Lower house of parliament
3.2 Parliamentarians elected from either
a. single member geographical districts of similar size.
b. multi-member geographical districts of similar size. Each electorate must
return at least 20 members, where seats are allocated in proportion to the number
of votes cast
c. For either type of electorate,
c.1 the largest and smallest electorates by population may not differ in size
by more than 2000 electors.
c.2 Mainland electorates must be contiguous
c.3 Electorates may follow well established geographic features, but must
favour area over circumference, ie, tend towards circles
3.3 The Premier commands the confidence of the Legislative Assembly
3.4 Passes bills with a simple majority
3.5 May contain at most 400 members
3.6 Members may serve in parliament for at most 25 years total
3.7 The Assembly must be dissolved and a general election held at most every 5 years
3.8 Members are dismissed if they are convicted of a criminal offence
3.9 Members must be electors
4.1 Small house of review
4.2 At least 20 members must be appointed by sortition from a pool of citizen nominees
4.3 At most 3 partisan and 3 non-partisan members may be appointed by the government of the day
4.4 Passes bills with a simple majority
4.5 The Legislative Council must be smaller than the Legislative Assembly
4.6 May not vote on money bills
4.7 May summon witnesses as before a court of law, and may delegate this power to committees
4.8 May instruct the Commission of Audit to investigate
4.9 Members serve for one year, but may choose to extend that service to 3 years
4.10 Any member may serve in the Legislative Council at most 10 years
4.11 Members are dismissed if they are
a. Convicted of a criminal offence
b. Dismissed by a two-thirds supermajority of the Legislative Council, which
is then confirmed by a simple majority of the Legislative Assembly
4.12 Members must be electors
Governor (or Referee)
5.1 Signs bills into law and is Head of State, but is limited to the powers listed immediately below
5.2 May ask the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of a bill before signing it into law. The Supreme Court must begin consideration of such bills within a year of them being so referred.
5.3 Summons and dismisses parliament
5.4 Serves a single term of at most 7 years
5.5 Is appointed as follows
a. A joint supermajority approves a list of non-partisan candidates. There must be
a minimum of three candidates.
b. The Governor-elect is chosen from this list by sortition.
c. The Governor-elect becomes Governor at the expiration of the predecessor's term,
or immediately, if the predecessor has been dismissed or incapacitated
5.6 May be dismissed by the same mechanism
5.7 Appoints and dismisses Cabinet ministers following the advice of the Premier or parliament
5.8 Appoints and dismisses a Premier following the advice of the Legislative Assembly
6.1 Is a member of the Legislative Assembly
6.2 Commands the confidence of the Legislative Assembly
6.3 Is Head of Government
6.4 Nominates cabinet
6.5 May not serve beyond 10 years, including previous terms as Premier
a. A Premier retiring because of this term limit must also retire from the
b. A retired Premier may not be appointed to a partisan position on the
6.6 Must be a member of a registered political party
7.1 Appointed from partisan members of either house of parliament
7.2 Members of cabinet are ministers, and head departments
7.3 Ministers are responsible to parliament for the actions of their department
7.4 May be dismissed by joint supermajority
8.1 Hears serious criminal cases
8.2 Interprets the state constitution
8.3 Is non-partisan
8.4 Is nominated by the Legislative Assembly and confirmed by the Legislative Council; a simple majority of each
8.5 Members may stay until their death or resignation
Commission of Audit
9.1 May summon witnesses as before a court of law, and may delegate this power to committees
9.2 Is nominated by the Legislative Assembly and confirmed by the Legislative Council
9.3 May be prompted by parliament to start an investigation
9.4 May initiate investigations
9.5 Must report to parliament and to the people
10.1 The government shall maintain a civil service for the staffing of ministerial departments
10.2 The Civil service exists to provide impartial and expert advice to ministers and parliament
Bill of Rights
11.1 [left as an exercise for the alert reader]
Amending This Document
12.1 The static constitution may be amended by
a. A Referendum of all electors:
a.1.1 A resolution to hold a referendum must be passed by both houses, or
a.1.2 2% of the electors must sign a petition calling for a referendum
a.2 For the purpose of the referendum, the state shall be divided into two electorates.
a.2.1 Mainland electorates must be separated by a single line
a.2.2 The largest and smallest electorates by population may not differ
in size by more than 2000 electors.
a.2.3 The state's largest city must be entirely contained within one of
a.2.4 A majority in each electorate must affirm the referendum for the
constitution to change.
12.2 The sections above are termed the Static Constitution.
12.3 The sections below are termed the Dynamic Constitution.
12.4 The dynamic constitution may be amended by
a. The mechanism described for changing the static constitution, or
b. A joint supermajority
[In practise I imagine this being filled out in more detail of the precise algorithms etc used]
Terms of parliament
13.1 Elections for every member of the Legislative Assembly shall be held at most every
13.2 Elections shall be called by the Governor on the advice of the Premier, or if no member
commands the confidence of the Legislative Assembly
14.1 The Legislative Assembly shall have one multi-member seat, returning 20 members.
Methods of election
15.1 Elections for single member seats shall be conducted by compulsory preferential voting
15.2 Elections for multi-member seats shall be conducted by compulsory preferential
Methods of appointment to the Legislative Council
16.1 Rounds of appointment by sortition to the Legislative Council shall occur at most
every six months.
16.2 Members selected to sit in the Legislative Council must pass a brief examination on its
function, [contained in an appendix. This would be a short 10 question quiz, possibly
17.1 The Governor, and the members of the Legislative Assembly, shall be paid a salary
by the state
17.2 Members of the Legislative Council shall be paid at least the minimum state salary
drawn by members of the Legislative Assembly
18.1 [These consist of water, land and other resource rights]