Senate debates

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Bills

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016; In Committee

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

The agenda here is not about choice. It is not about empowerment. It is not about any of those slogans which are being used. It is fundamentally about political power. It is about political power and it is about reshaping this Senate and this political system to ensure that the parties that are here tonight—the coalition, the Greens and the Labor Party—will be advantaged. It is about ensuring that independents and minor parties cannot, or will find it extremely difficult to, get into the Senate.

I wish the Australian Greens would actually be up-front about it. I wish they would say: 'Do you know what? It is because we want more of us in here. We are prepared to risk the coalition having a working majority in this Senate to pass their radical reforms because we want to try and make sure that there are more of us in here and fewer of anybody else on the crossbench.'

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