Thursday, 17 March 2016
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee
I thank the minister for having enough concern about people's preferences that he thinks that they should be able to have control of them above the line. I am very sceptical about that, considering one to six is what has been said in this chamber all day every day and out in the media, instead of six right through. If the minister were really concerned about people having control of their preferences, it would be six minimum right through to the end. If you really want control of your preference, go six, because that is formal right through to the very end of above the line. Or go below the line and go to 12.
That aside, Minister, I have heard you say many times in this debate that if you vote above the line for a minor party, you lose control of your vote the second you put '1' in the box above the line. Under these changes, if you vote '1' for a minor party above the line and that party does not receive a quota, you lose your vote. Can you explain for the one in four voters who vote for a minor party what would happen to their vote, under this Greens-Liberal-Nationals party coalition legislation, if they vote for a minor party that does not get a quota?