Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Electoral Legislation Amendment (Voter Integrity) Bill 2021; Second Reading
The member for Burt should listen. He should be curious, not judgemental, as Walt Whitman would say. Be curious, Member for Burt, not judgemental. What he would realise is that what the Electoral Commission meant is that it is 'vanishingly small' to prove that someone committed fraud in our current electoral system, because it requires you to commit fraud and then the only way that we can prove that you actually committed the fraud is for you to admit it.
In other words, what the Labor Party is saying—and I absolutely agree with them—is that people who commit fraud are disinclined to admit to it. I agree; that's absolutely true. So what we are trying to do as a parliament is bring in a system that is actually a lower standard than what they have in the United Kingdom, in Canada, in the United States, in France, in Portugal, in Spain, in Italy, in Greece—even the Greeks have managed to do this! I suspect when you go to the polls in Russia they ask you to at least prove who you are. So the standard of the electoral system that the Labor Party wants this country to endure has less checks and balances in it than those that virtually every other Western democracy on the face of this planet has.
Then they claim—because we have the temerity over here to demand that there be at least a modicum of integrity in our voting system—that we are racist. I say to those opposite: keep telling the working men and women of Australia that when they disagree with you they are extremists. Keep telling them that they are Neo-Nazis and keep telling them they are racist. I'm sure that will go down incredibly well. No wonder you need so many front groups to hide behind at every election. No wonder you need The Vote for You, no wonder you need GetUp!, no wonder you need voices of front groups, no wonder you need whatever electorate rising/souffle, no wonder you need independents at every turn to hide behind, because you cannot stand up—
Opposition members interjecting—
What I really fear is that I've made the member opposite wait! I have gone over my three minutes. So I will stop there. But I will say this much: shame on those opposite. Shame on you for playing politics when you should be putting the people of Australia first. Shame on you for calling anyone who dares to disagree with you a racist, an extremist or a Neo-Nazi. Shame on all of you, because the fact of the matter is that this brings long overdue integrity into our voting system.