House debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021


Electoral Legislation Amendment (Voter Integrity) Bill 2021; Second Reading

10:52 am

Photo of Patrick GormanPatrick Gorman (Perth, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Western Australia) Share this | Hansard source

In my hypothetical example—which, clearly, the government acknowledges might actually be something that someone would experience—this particular hypothetical voter has just given up, not because of the legislation but just because of the ridiculous experience they have had of standing in the queue for hours and hours, having their ID demanded, being required to go through all these other obstacles they have never had to put up with before, and now this hypothetical voter just wants to go and get a democracy sausage. But they've been in the queue for hours. The sausages are a bit burnt, the bread has gone hard and, worst of all, there's no tomato sauce left. Talk about an unfair shake of the sauce bottle. That's what the Morrison government wants to do to our democracy—to destroy the experience that Australians love so much and to follow the American path rather than the Australian one that's served us well for more than a century—from tomato sauce on the democracy sausage to ketchup on the undemocratic hot dog.

And we know that just a few months ago the following was said about voter identification laws: 'All states should pass voter ID laws. Anyone who wants to vote should show photo ID to eliminate corruption and fraud, so we never again have an election rigged and stolen from us.' These are the words of Donald Trump, sending a message out to the conservatives across the world that they should jump onto voter ID laws. What does the cabinet and the Morrison government do just a couple of weeks later? They go and follow the words of Donald Trump and try to put them into legislation here in the parliament.

We know that here in Australia it was Clive Palmer's star candidate in Queensland, Campbell Newman, who first introduced voter ID laws in Australia. Let's talk about this. Donald Trump, Clive Palmer and Prime Minister Scott Morrison are all pushing in the same direction. That should tell the Australian people what is really behind these laws—implementing Donald Trump's and Clive Palmer's agenda here in Australia and writing rules to suit themselves. We know that when the United Kingdom passed voter identification laws earlier this year, former President Trump couldn't hide his excitement. I'm sure that as soon as he sees these laws—if the government get them passed—he will be busily saying what a fantastic job the Prime Minister is doing. He might even give him a call to say congratulations. We know how much former President Trump loved talking to former Prime Minister Turnbull.

I do wonder, as we look at digging out these ideas from the United States, what comes next? Will we move elections to Tuesdays to suppress the vote even further? Is that on the government's agenda? Maybe they could have an election Christmas Day to really mess things up for people who might find it hardest to vote or have ID? And then if we look at—

The DEPUTY SPEAKE R: The minister, on a point of order?


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