Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bills

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

Indeed, Senator Conroy thought it was a bit of a joke at the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. He was being quite chummy with our very distinguished federal director, Mr Tony Nutt. Here was Senator Conroy saying to Tony Nutt: 'Ha, ha, ha! There are only 10 of us in Australia who know how this thing works. There are only 10 of us who understand the science and maths of preference arrangements.' This is the whole point, Senator Muir: every single voter should understand what happens not just to their primary vote but also to their preferences. Every single voter should have the power to determine who they ultimately might help to elect. That is what we are seeking to do here. Because in our judgement—and ultimately the Senate is free to make its own judgement—it is up to the voter to determine what happens to their preferences. It should not be up to political parties to trade and direct those preferences in a non-transparent and opaque way in three different directions.

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