The Senate: Terms Of Office, Voting, And “Reform”

This is the text of a paper on Senate reform by Barbara McGarity, President, Women Into Politics

The paper was presented to the “Trust The Women: Women’s Constitutional Convention” in Canberra.

Text of paper by Barbara McGarity, President, Women Into Politics.

Women Into Politics has been advocating a large increase in the numbers of women in Australian parliaments since 1992, when our non-party political coalition of women’s organisations was formed. In the Women Into Politics publication A Women’s Charter for Political Reform 2001: a Charter for Political Equality for Women and for Good Government for All Australian Citizens, it is suggested that political parties should be penalised if they do not pre-select equal numbers of women as candidates for winnable seats. Since our first publication, called Coming to the Party?, we have called on the major political parties to restructure themselves so that preselection processes would be open and democratic. One party (the ALP) is currently making moves to change itself, to be more relevant to the electorate, but time will tell whether this will be a major restructure, a whitewash, or something in between. [Read more…]