Recorded: 11 April 1989
Length: 31 minutes
Interviewed by: Greg McIntosh

Listen to the interview


Greg McIntosh recorded this interview with Jo Vallentine at Parliament House, Canberra, 11 April 1989.  

G McIntosh: Interview with Senator Jo Vallentine, Parliament House, Canberra. 11th of April, 1989.

Basically, I want to cover three areas. The first one is just your general view of the executive-parliament relationship as it is, and what you think it should be ideally.

J Vallentine: Well I suppose it is very different from an Independent’s perspective because I would expect that the executive would actually take a lot more notice of its backbenchers, you know, so that the views of that the backbenchers express in caucus would be more important, and be reflected in what happens in the parliament. But that doesn’t really seem to be happening — it seems to be government by executive, and I don’t think that’s very good for democracy — in fact I think it’s pretty terrible.

G McIntosh: How far do you think the balance — I mean a lot of people argue that the executive has to be able to govern, they don’t want to see it even, they’d like to see the executive have the balance there — but how far do you think it is at the moment, how far in favour of the executive?

J Vallentine: Well it just seems to be wholly weighted in favour of the executive, and that seems to be to be one of the main problems with the major — two major party system, you know they do seem to have a strangle hold, and as long as there is that stranglehold, then I think the parliament is going to be less and less relevant — I suppose there is some argument of having an executive which can actually cut through the blockages that would occur in a parliamentary situation if the…

G McIntosh: It’s the whole argument between accountability and getting things done…

J Vallentine: Yeah, and I don’t really know where the balance is — it’s very hard to say but at the moment it certainly seems to be heavily weighted in favour of the executive that the backbenches are virtually irrelevant.

G McIntosh: Well another area, particularly that I’m concerned about or interested in, is the new Parliament House, just in general terms overall to start with — how have you found the new building?

J Vallentine: It’s quite isolating for somebody like me — I mean it’s nice to have the extra room, I must say, and nice to have the extra facilities, but there isn’t that easy access to ministers, I mean you have to make an appointment and go into that separate, special, sacred area. It doesn’t feel as easy to have either the formal contact with ministers by appointment, or the informal contact that happens much less often — you just don’t bump into those people in corridors as much as you used to, because they have a particular track from their office to the chamber and back again. And it doesn’t — I mean they’re never seen wandering around these corridors. You don’t bump in to them. And that happens even as far as the other parliamentarians are concerned too, the corridors are so long and often so empty, and you see somebody coming from way down the other end and gradually you — familiar as you get closer to them — it’s quite isolating.

G McIntosh: Do you think that’s very important in terms of the way the parliament and the government operate?

J Vallentine: Oh I do. G McIntosh: How important are those informal…

J Vallentine: Well I think they’re very important, and again for me as an Independent they’re probably more important than for other people who have lots of contact anyway through their party meetings and so on. But I have to rely quite a lot on informal contacts for the chit-chat that goes on. I mean a lot of people don’t want to make appointments to see people all the time, and you know — so that informal stuff is much more important to me than probably anybody else. Because I don’t even know a lot of the people who are in the House of Reps, unless they happen to be then in some of the other groups that I belong to.

So I make sure I join some of the extracurricular activities, as I call them, to ensure I get to know some of the members from the Reps side. Things like the — excuse me — Parliamentarians Against Apartheid, Amnesty International — which is a fantastic group — Parliamentarians for Democracy in Central and South America, the Parliamentary Disarmament Group — which doesn’t do very much — the Christian Fellowship — all of those actually give me that kind of access, although those groups don’t meet very often, but at least it means I can get to know some of the people who I think are useful to talk to.

I was just going to say something else about the actual physical — oh yes, the loos, I mean it’s really very nice for us all to have our own loos, but it’s amazing how much that actually stops contact too, because everybody used to be in the corridors when they had to go down to use the common loos. And I’d much rather have a fax and photocopier actually, where the toilet and shower are.

G McIntosh: Everyone I’ve spoken to so far, has spoken about the dining room — saying how bad it was and people aren’t using it as much, it just doesn’t have the right feel or atmosphere or whatever, they’re saying it should be changed — do you have any comments on the dining room?

J Vallentine: The dining room, to be quite honest, doesn’t affect me too much because I don’t go and eat in the Member’s Dining Room unless I’ve got visitors to take in there. I found it okay. I’m always a bit embarrassed about the bowing and scraping that goes on, the silver service — I feel much happier eating in the canteen actually, so I only go in there if I’ve got visitors who I think would really get a buzz out of eating where some of the parliamentarians do — so for me that’s pretty irrelevant, I don’t go in there — I mean I might go in there once a week, or once a fortnight.

G McIntosh: Another one — someone suggested — they spoke about the separate executive — do you think that should be changed and the ministers should be mingled in like they used to be with other ordinary MPs?

J Vallentine: I doubt that very much that that would happen, but I think it’d help…

G McIntosh: It’d cost money and so on, but would that be worth it?

J Vallentine: I don’t know, I think this Parliament House is not good for democracy, so probably anything that can be done to get back that greater access probably would be helpful. One thing I was wondering was whether you were asking all these questions to the media, and I asked a few of the media people last night and they said they hadn’t been asked.

G McIntosh: Well I’m doing the politicians first, while the sitting’s on. In the winter recess I’m doing — I’ve just had printed — not the multiple copies but a slightly reworded questionnaire is going to other users of the building, including the press and administrative heads of all the bureaus, and get a sample of what the Press Gallery — and then I’m going to interview people as well, but it will be Hansard and the library, Reps, Senate, and all see each of the heads of department, and we’ll select a sample — hopefully not too biased a sample — and get the perceptions of other users, rather than parliamentarians.

J Vallentine: It’d be really good to ask some of the attendants in the corridors too, because they feel their isolation. They feel they don’t see as many people — they only see the few people who use their corridor. So yeah…

G McIntosh: Everyone I think, without exception — almost without exception — has mentioned the isolation and so on. Some people have said ‘yes it’s a good building’, they’re quite happy with the executive having that power. You can almost pick the sort of people that would say that, and you can almost pick the people who will say ‘we’ve got to redress the balance a bit and back towards the parliament’.

J Vallentine: So what are you going to do then with this research…

G McIntosh: At the end of it I’m going to write up a paper, and the library are going to publish it hopefully and go from there. Now what happens from that I don’t know, but I don’t want to make it too academic, because nobody will read it. I want to gear it more to the general public level if I can. If some sort of debate can come up out of it — but I don’t expect much, I mean if there is a crying out for some sort of reform there, well I’d like to highlight that — but really what will happen will be over to the MPs themselves. I mean reform is very difficult, and a lot of them don’t want reform, but I think there will be certain areas where an overwhelming majority will want change. So I’ll just see what happens there.

J Vallentine: Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how much push there is for change…

G McIntosh: I think a lot of people will acknowledge this problem…

J Vallentine: Oh sure that’s one…

G McIntosh: …but some of them are frightened to say it, which really surprises me — a lot of them are happy to go on the record and say what they like. I spoke to Ian Sinclair yesterday, happy with it all on the record. There’s others who have sent it in and insisted that nothing be quoted, they’ve gone out of their way to put it in an unsealed envelope so that I can’t find out who they are. They didn’t fill in the back part about the person either. And I’m not going to use anything against them…

J Vallentine: How extraordinary…

G McIntosh: …but they’re so worried, I don’t know why — it must be — and that’s a point I want to raise as well, the party discipline in this place, just how strong it is in this place, it appears to be people there who are for some reason they don’t want to upset other people in the party — must be fear of promotion, or lack of promotional prospects or whatever, but they — and just about everyone I’ve spoken to, or the vast majority really don’t care too much. So it’s interesting, but on that party discipline one, do you think there will ever be moves to lessen party discipline? I mean it is very strong…

J Vallentine: I’m probably the worst person to ask that, because I mean I’m here only because I’m not in a party — I just couldn’t survive in a party the way they carry on. You know with the party meetings and the discipline that’s expected of them — I mean I never had the ambition to be here anyway, but certainly now that I see how that all happens, I’m really quite appalled by it.

G McIntosh: Again it’s that same thing isn’t it like the executive and the parliament, the parties wouldn’t survive if they didn’t have some discipline, but again it’s how you get that balance, and the ALP with the caucus rule, I mean it’s almost total. But the Liberals aren’t much different. J Vallentine: Not in fact, no. They say they are but they’re not really. The Democrats are different and presumably you’ll be interviewing some of them too.

G McIntosh: I’m speaking to Janine Hayes tomorrow.

J Vallentine: Yeah you know they’re the only ones who really are prepared to break ranks and to be a bit independent in their decision making. So that’s something that I do appreciate about them, but with the — but it’s just so frustrating for me, working on the issues that I’m working on — particularly on foreign affairs and defence issues, where I know that probably about a third of the Labor Party would agree absolutely with everything I say, and yet there’s no support, absolutely no support in here for it. So it was really quite exciting when Keating announced the resumption of uranium sales to France for example, and John Scott, Peter Melton, and Lewis Kent actually got up and walked out, I mean that for them was quite dramatic that they had the guts to do that — and I thought why didn’t all the rest of them do it too? It would’ve been much stronger if more had — I mean that’s a great frustration for me, knowing that there are people there who actually would maybe be more radical than me, and yet you don’t hear a peep out of them. In the public arena, in the chamber, through the media.

But I think in the caucus they go and do battle occasionally, but from what I gather even there, they are to a certain extent, intimidated by the executive within the caucus as well. So they don’t necessarily say how it is, how they’re really feeling about things, it’s expected that it’s generally known that if you belong to a faction and have a view about this and the other factions will have other views about that same subject. But I don’t know how widely they’re really discussed, because I do feel from comments that have been made to me by people in the left wing that — and I said ‘did you have a go and talk about this, did you really push that in caucus?’ And they say ‘no, you don’t — it’s not quite like that — you don’t do it quite like that, there isn’t really the opportunity’, as Bob Hawke sails in and gives his view of things, the state of the world at the moment, and it’s very difficult for people who are known to disagree to have the courage to do it even within the caucus.

G McIntosh: Well we’ve got a problem I think in Australia, that perception in the media and the public and so on — it’s a sign of weakness if a government loses a vote on the floor. Now to me it would seem certainly feasible or possible, if they had lost the odd vote on the floor — so what? Unless it was crucial financial legislation or something that really laid the credibility on the line. I can’t see — I know why governments won’t allow it, but to me in theory, I can’t see why the odd vote couldn’t go against a leader or a government. Parties admit that they’ve got different interests in different parties, why can’t they harness all that and if the odd vote goes the other way and they vote with the opposition, so what?

J Vallentine: Yes, it’s like there are three Labor Parties really and there are three groupings in the opposition as well. Yes so it’s not really — it’s not really being quite honest I don’t think to have this strangle hold between the two parties, it’s not really reflecting the view of the people out there in the community, so to that extent really the people here are non-representative once they actually get locked into the two party system.

G McIntosh: Well certainly there’s lots of disillusionment out there

J Vallentine: Oh there’s enormous disillusionment, there’s just so much of it. And it’s largely because, I mean the two major groupings are seen to be similar to each other, because when people are voted in — especially from people who are, I think my constituents if they see people who are going to be good Labor Party people voted in with left wing views, and they get in there and are absolutely lost in the system — it is so disheartening.

G McIntosh: Well you certainly — if you come in with strong ideas, if you don’t compromise you don’t last.

J Vallentine: No, that’s right. Preselection next time, you’re gone.

G McIntosh: I work for Ian McPhee, and he is in big trouble with his preselection at the moment. And he’s just someone who’s got strong views, believes in them and is consistent.

J Vallentine: But then he’s so popular with the people out there because he says what he feels, he’s honest with the people.

G McIntosh: Yes, in here though then the Liberal…

J Vallentine: Oh it’s a — it’s treated like a crime. He’s great.

G McIntosh: It’s really sad — yeah I really enjoyed working for him and I really respect him as a person and a good friend.

J Vallentine: Yeah he’s a lovely man.

G McIntosh: And everyone will say that about him, but within his own party, because of the way the system goes.

J Vallentine: Peter Baume is another one who cops it so…

G McIntosh: Although a little group of Liberal forum or core there, a little so called ‘wet faction’, which is fairly loose, and I mean they are totally discredited in regard…

J Vallentine: That’s a shame, because they really strike a very responsive chord with people out there. And that’s one of the things that I find so frustrating when people who really are representative of certain views in the community, just go down the gurgler in here because of that stranglehold. I don’t really know quite how to break that, except by encouraging lots of people to have a go at getting in here with — without belonging to the major parties, I mean there is a lot of talk in the community about a new movement.

G McIntosh: That would only be in the Senate though wouldn’t it?

J Vallentine: Well, yes in the short term. But people really want something different in Australian politics. They definitely do not want the creation of another traditional political party run on the same lines, but there is a lot of talk about a new movement — I mean it’s happening already in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the ACT…

G McIntosh: Do you think though they’d ever, in any seat get 30 or 40 per cent of the vote — I mean that’s almost impossible…

J Vallentine: In the short term that seems pretty impossible, yes. Unless there is a much greater education of the people out there about what democracy is really meant to look like.

G McIntosh: Well again the Senate report on active citizenship, it just highlights how much apathy there is out there, and I was teacher of politics for many years and I had trouble even getting classes up and running in Victoria, where there was a really good course at HSC level — even among tertiary educated people who should know better, they don’t read newspapers, they don’t follow — and their political views and values are so superficial.

J Vallentine: That’s right…

G McIntosh: And then you’ve got the other great of mass of people out there, they either don’t have the opportunity or are just turned off.

J Vallentine: Yes. Well they’re turned off partly because of the way they see politicians behave, partly because they feel totally disillusioned that people who have promised this and that, don’t deliver. I mean there are lots of reason for their disillusionment which are very understandable, but I talk about participatory democracy as much as I talk about the particular issues, because we’re only going to get those issues addressed if we really have active participation in the process. A lot of people don’t realise what power they’ve got, and that’s a very important part of my work is to empower people, to start the lobbying process.

To really consider that their representatives are there to represent them, even if they didn’t vote for them, to be the servants of the people. I mean that view, might seem very old fashioned really, but I think we’ve got to encourage people to really utilise the power that they’ve got. And most people don’t realise that they’ve got it.

G McIntosh: Well a lot of people don’t even know who their local member is. And quite often they’re not sure if they go to the local, state or federal government for this particular issue, because they don’t know where the power lies. A lot of people out there are totally lost…

J Vallentine: But you see this is a deliberate ploy, I believe — I mean you’d never get the major party people to admit it, but I believe they deliberately keep the people in the dark to a certain extent, I mean we’ve got the Australian Electoral Commission which is meant to educate people as well as do the bureaucratic of the running of elections — I don’t know how much money they get, and in fact this is one of the things I’m taking up with the Electoral Commission in Western Australia, there probably underfunded — I mean every department would say that it is, but I think they are probably very much underfunded.

For example, in the election that we just had in Western Australia, the Electoral Commission put out a lot of advertising material — I mean I was watching for it, so I suppose I was aware of it — but they said at the end of every television add, and at the end of every newspaper add ‘vote on Saturday, it’s the only way to have your say’, and I took them up with them, I challenge that because I think it is a very important way to have your say, but it’s not the only way — I mean I felt like taking them to court for misleading advertising, because that is actually disempowering — it’s saying to people, ‘this system is here and it’s all you’ve got’…

G McIntosh: Once every two years, have your vote. J Vallentine: Yeah, I mean essentially it is the bottom line, but there are so many other things that people could do. And if people see that system of voting every couple of years, and they were so confused — people didn’t know if it was a state election or a federal election. When I was supporting some independent candidate there were people saying ‘oh yeah I want to vote for you on Saturday, now where will you be, which bit of paper will you be on?’ And I’d have to say ‘actually, no this is a state election’.

And that’s the level of education out there, but the Electoral Commission I think is adding to the confusion by not really being clear enough. They did too little advertising, they didn’t advertise the fact that this was the first opportunity in Western Australia, because we had a new upper House voting system, that this was an opportunity to really get different kind of representation in there. People just don’t know enough about the system.

G McIntosh: Well I know that even in schools there is very little taught — most teachers know nothing about the system. Very little of it is covered in any of the courses, and if it is it’s very ad hoc and part of the humanities courses — it’s just not taught. And if it is taught it’s very superficial. And with the push now that Dawkins and so on are on about more science, what I’m worried about is that we might need more scientists, but it’s no good having these highly educated people that are social — socially illiterate.

J Vallentine: Absolutely, absolutely.

G McIntosh: And that’s what I’m really worried about and in Victoria, as I said where they pushed it — even there only a very tiny minority of kids would do anything vaguely resembling politics, let alone economics. I mean Keating gets up and talks and Peacock and that — it just goes over the head of 95 per cent of people.

J Vallentine: Right over — that’s right, yeah.

G McIntosh: So they’ve got that field to themselves, no one can challenge it.

J Vallentine: And that’s in their interest, to keep it that way, that’s what really bothers me about it.

G McIntosh: Jargon.

J Vallentine: I mean the major parties don’t really want the population educated any more.

G McIntosh: Makes like too difficult.

J Vallentine: Yes, it’s easier for them if they’ve got — as long as we’ve got compulsory voting, then the two party system is entrenched and it’s there. So I think that’s something that I would really like to see changed, the compulsory voting — I mean it might mean that we take a terrific nose dive in the number of people that would actually vote, it’d probably go down to what it is in local government elections which is about 20 per cent. If you get 30 per cent out for local government that’s considered really good. But they might be considered votes, and we might then be able to really encourage more people to take an interest and understand the system. Although it’d be quite an uphill battle — I mean it would be a fundamental change in the system that I think might force some enquiring on the part of the masses out there in television land — I don’t know how quite we’d do it, but it really does bother me that we’ve got — it’s like a veneer of democracy, there really isn’t much active participation in that, and people are only too willing to vote once every two years and then sit back and bitch about the government in between but they don’t really see that they have any power to influence the process in any other way, and I think that’s a great shame.

There’s so much that you can do through community groups and lobbying, and of course by getting better candidates up in the first place. People who are really concerned about the country, there’s so little vision, and that’s another thing that’s missing there — the major parties don’t really have to present much vision, they don’t have to have a forward looking scenario, all they have to worry about is winning the next election. When they’ve got it sown up like this with just the compulsory voting and the uneducated masses out there.

G McIntosh: Within the parliament itself — I think on the survey you indicated that you’re in favour of a lot of those reforms that I put there — what would be the ones that you think are achievable? What sorts of reforms are achievable?

J Vallentine: What in making this Parliament House work better? G McIntosh: In making this parliament work better, or our system work better — bringing the executive more to account.

J Vallentine: Goodness, I’ll have to go through the again — what did you actually suggest?

G McIntosh: Well things like the — say in the House of Representatives — the power of the Speaker.

J Vallentine: Yeah, yeah.

G McIntosh: A lot of people have said that it’s personality basically, but if the Speaker was more independent, a bit more like the British model that Billy Snedden pushed. Would that be a significant reform or…

J Vallentine: That would — I think that would be useful, I suppose that any reforms, any changes that can be made in the direction of more accountability would be good, and a freeing up the stranglehold. I think that actually a lot of the changes need to happen outside, at the community level because I’m a great believer in the people having the power, that’s where the power should really reside with these people really representing people, which I don’t think they’re doing at the moment.

So I would encourage the reforms in the community, like getting rid of compulsory voting, and massive education about the possibilities of democracy, and I think that would be reflected in here in a more independent line being taken by people — even if they’re in parties, I mean we obviously can’t get rid of the party system altogether — I mean the Italian system is not a good example, and you know people often point to that and say ‘that’s the alternative if we don’t have this party discipline’.

G McIntosh: Well you have to have some discipline, it’s a matter of how much isn’t it.

J Vallentine: It’d be much more active, it’d be much more lively then for people in the community then if they really knew about some of the debates that are going on between their representatives. It might encourage more interest.

G McIntosh: Senator Aulich mentioned to me last Friday, he said that the legislation and the debate should be programmed better, so we’d all know that in a month’s the ID card’s going to be debated at 3 PM and so on. Senator Hamer says it’s probably not possible because of things that occur — crises and so on. But Senator Aulich was saying that if the community knew, the Press Gallery knew, people would have time to prepare their speeches instead of this one hour’s notice, they rush to the library, the standard of the debate is poor, no one knows the coming and going because the executive…

J Vallentine: Oh it’s so hard to operate. It is terribly difficult to operate here in any organised fashion and I mean again that’s much more difficult for me as an Independent. It’s very hard to track the legislation, to know when things are happening because even what is written on the notice paper for the day, can be changed at the whim of the whips and the manager of government business decides that something will be changed.

And it’s extraordinarily difficult — and yes, for the people out there in the community, it’s very hard for them to know and then they lose interest when they think that a particular bit of legislation is coming up, and it doesn’t come up, and it doesn’t come up, and it doesn’t come up and suddenly without any notices it’s whipped through, because it suits the government — again this is the control that they’d like to have, I mean it’s another — you could say — deliberate ploy, keep the people confused, including the parliamentarians in here — keep people confused so that you don’t make the use of the opportunities you’ve got.

G McIntosh: We see delegations coming in too — they fly in from all over Australia, they’ve got two hours, and with quorum bells and division bells and so on, they get very little access to their representatives, and they go away frustrated.

J Vallentine: Extraordinarily.

G McIntosh: And everyone’s mentioned that as a problem. I can’t believe that’s not beyond the organisers of this place to overcome some of those things.

J Vallentine: Well, I mean we had the worst example of the programming I suppose, last December when we were here till nearly Christmas — and a lot of that was the bloody-mindedness of the opposition actually — they were prepared to string it out and to be uncooperative, more or less to teach the government a lesson — but that was a very costly lesson in terms of dollars and frustration both ways. It’s just outrageous that the parliament can be organised in that way, it is so badly organised.

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to getting involved with the process actually or how it’s organised in here — I mean mainly because I’m trying to keep my head above water and figure out what I should be looking at. It seemed like to me like that would be taking on City Hall and I prepare to do that on the issues, rather than on the organisation because I think there must be a lot of people also as concerned about the bad organisation. There are not many people concerned about the issues in the same way that I am, so actually I haven’t put a lot of mental energy into thinking about how it could be better, and I’ve deliberately steered clear of the committees that try and work on that.

I mean I don’t know how much they’re listened to, but the committees that are there for the scrutiny of bills and for the management of business and so on — presumably those people do the best they can within the framework, but it seems like it’s designed to confuse, designed to give the government the power to set the agenda and to bring things on or to drop things off at their whim. And I mean I absolutely concur that it’s not good enough, but I haven’t given a lot of energy to thinking about ways to resolve that.

But I have thought many times that we would not have been here until nearly Christmas last year if there were more women involved in the upper positions, because that kind of thing was really an example of the worst kind of organisation bungling, which inconvenienced — I mean it wasn’t just a nuisance for us to stay here until nearly Christmas that affected our families, it affected everybody working in this building. Everybody was totally screwed up, and that’s just not fair — it’s just so inconsiderate, it’s plainly just rude, apart from being badly organised.

I mean if you really are used to being able to organise about 50 different things at once, which as a manager of a household you have to do, and it’s still mostly women who have to do that — then we ought to be able to organise this place better, I mean there are some pretty good minds around here, what’s wrong with the situation when it can be allowed to go down the gurgler to that extent that thousands of people are really inconvenienced just for the sake of party game playing — that’s really what was the problem. It’s just outrageous.

G McIntosh: Can I just ask one final, quick question — if we’re here in 20 years’ time, how do you think the parliament will be different — as a democratic system, are you a pessimist or an optimist about the future?

J Vallentine: Oh dear, well in most cases I’m really optimistic, I mean about most issues of social change and people’s enlightenment and the awareness raising that’s going on in communities — in most cases I’m really very optimistic, but here I guess I just feel that there’s like a heavy blanket over the whole system because it’s so entrenched. I mean this is the most male dominated, hierarchical, adversarial workplace in Australia.

G McIntosh: Cautious and conservative…

J Vallentine: Yes, and because of the traditions of this kind of system which are going to be jealously guarded by the people — I mean it’s really the House committee, the Joint House committee and the office bearers, the clerk of the Senate and the equivalent — I mean really, that’s where a lot of the power resides here, and it seems like the people who are involved in that — the bureaucracy at that level have a lot to protect in keeping the status quo.

G McIntosh: I’d certainly be interested to hear — I want to talk to those people at that — what their views are on the executive and the parliament. Whether there should be change or not, because they are very cautions.

J Vallentine: Very — would very jealously guard the rights of their House in relation to the other chamber and so on. That — all of that, I mean the system itself is stifling, so here I suppose I feel less optimistic than I do about change going on out there. And you know that is a very frustrating situation really, because I think that people are becoming more interested in a lot of issues that I think are very important out in the community that are not necessarily reflected in here. The legislation that we’re passing isn’t necessarily in keeping with some views.

G McIntosh: Yet in theory this is meant to be representing…

J Vallentine: And it just tends to fall short, falls short. And I suppose — I would again take the view that people in the community have got to demand better representation…