Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bills

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

Photo of Ricky MuirRicky Muir (Victoria, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party) Share this | Hansard source

Minister, you said at the start of that answer that if the one in four voters who vote for minor parties—and it could end up being more this year because it becoming more and more prevalent—vote '1' above the line, because that is formal, and their vote exhausts, that is their choice. You said it is up to the voter if they want to vote for a minor party; that is their choice. But then you pointed out that 97 per cent of voters are voting '1' above the line—they have been doing that for 32 years—so you put a savings provision in. What I am taking out of that is that if somebody votes for a minor party, and that vote becomes informal, that is fine—if they are going to vote '1' above the line, and their vote exhausts, that is fine; it is up to them to make sure they vote for six candidates. So, for those one in four people who vote for a minor party, voting for anything below six candidates is not acceptable. But you put a savings provision in for those who are used to going in and voting '1' above the line for you. So what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. That makes absolutely no sense. Am I reading that wrong?

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