Thursday, 17 March 2016
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee
I mentioned the sunset clause, because the minister was very confident that the Australian people would understand how this works. Considering 1 is supposed to be informal—although, it has become formal, which really does raise a question around section 329. There is supposed to be a savings provision, not a permanent provision where you can go 1 above the line forever, so you can do what you have been doing for the last 32 years and, for maybe an election or two—that is what I take the savings provision to be—that would be allowed. The rules, which have been changed, say 'six minimum,' so we should be encouraging people and educating people. I would have thought that the AEC would have a massive education campaign in place, ready to go, ready for these reforms, if that was the case.
Backroom political operators—you mentioned, Minister, in your answer that this change will remove parties being able to preference each other, even if they have got a very close alliance. That is fine; you are saying that is what it is all about. But it does not actually remove backroom political operators; it allows factional tensions within parties to continue. Why then hasn't the government considered the Robson rotation, if they are that concerned about removing backroom political operators?