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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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Changes To Senate Voting Methods Recommended; Liberals, ALP And Greens Agree To Stamp Out Preference Gaming

An interim report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has recommended the abolition of group voting tickets in the Senate in a move, supported by Liberal, Labor and Greens members, that will cripple micro-parties and prevent them from “gaming” the electoral system.

The Committee’s chairman, Tony Smith, the Liberal member for Casey, and his deputy, Alan Griffin, the ALP member for Bruce, presented the report today and held a media conference to discuss its recommendations. The Committee includes members from all parties and both houses. Its report was unanimous.

Ballot [Read more…]


Clive Palmer Releases Memorandum Of Understanding With Motoring Enthusiast Party

Clive Palmer has released the text of a Memorandum of Understanding his party has with Senator-elect Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party.

The document, dated October 6, says “each of the parties intends to work together and where it is practicably to vote together in the Senate”. The parties express “a desire to cooperate and assist each other as may be appropriate”.

The agreement permits each party to vote in Parliament in accordance with their policies, principles and conscience.

The document lists four points numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5. It itemises three statements as A, B and D. [Read more…]


Queensland To Introduce Voter ID Law, Increase Funding Threshold, Allow Unlimited Donations

Requiring electors to produce identification when they vote is part of a package of electoral reforms to be introduced by the Queensland government.

Voters will be required to produce a driver licence, passport, utility bill, Medicare card or similiar identification when they turn up to vote.

The government is also proposing to increase the primary vote threshold for public funding from 4% to 10%, a measure that will severely affect the level of funding provided to minor parties, including the Greens and the Palmer United Party.

The government is proposing to publish how-to-vote cards on the Electoral Commission’s website during elections.

The most controversial measure proposes to abolish caps on political donations and expenditure. The government plans to bring donation disclosure regulations in line with federal laws.

Media statement from Jarrod Bleijie, Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

Voting revolution for Queensland

Voting will be revolutionised at the next state election under electoral reforms introduced in Parliament today. [Read more…]


The State Of The Federation: Ted Mack

This is the text of Ted Mack’s Henry Parkes Oration, delivered in Tenterfield tonight.

MackTed Mack was an independent councillor and Mayor of the North Sydney Council in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was elected as the independent member for North Shore in the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1981 and was re-elected in 1984 and 1988, retiring two days before he became eligible for a parliamentary pension.

In 1990, he was elected as the independent member for the federal seat of North Sydney, defeating the incumbent Liberal, John Spender. He was re-elected in 1993 and retired in 1996.

In this speech, Mack argues that “no serious observer of politics in Australia, except those with specific interests, can pretend that we do not have major problems with our system of government or that we are incapable of achieving any improvement after a century of experience”. [Read more…]


Queensland Government Electoral Reform Discussion Paper

The Queensland government has released a discussion paper on electoral reform.

Media attention has focussed on the issue of compulsory voting. Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan have attacked the Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, over compulsory voting.

In fact, it is more likely that the government is keen to make changes to the political donations and public funding rules. [Read more…]


2010 Federal Election Report Released

A Joint Standing Committee report on the conduct of the 2010 federal election has been released.

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is required to report on the conduct of each election.

The Committee is chaired by Labor MP Daryl Melham.

A dissenting report from the Liberal members of the committee forms part of the report. [Read more…]


Government Releases Second Electoral Reform Green Paper

The Australian government has released a Green Paper on electoral reform.

The Green Paper is titled, “Strengthening Australia’s Democracy”. It was released by the Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, Joe Ludwig.

The paper follows last year’s release of a Green Paper on election funding, donations and expenditure.

This document deals with a broader range of issues and options relating to Australia’s electoral systems.

09-09-01_strengthening-australias-democracy_green-paper


Electoral Reform Green Paper

The Australian government has released a Green Paper on electoral reform.

The paper deals with election donations, funding and expenditure.

08-12-01_electoral-reform-green-paper


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…]


Queenslanders Embracing Optional Preferential Voting

Queensland and New South Wales are the only States to employ the Optional Preferential System of voting.

Optional Preferential, unlike the compulsory preferential system used in other States and in the House of Representatives, allows voters to cast as many or as few preferences as they wish.

For example, a voter may simply place the number “1” next to a candidate and leave all other squares blank. This will count as a formal vote. Of course, if preferences are needed to find a winner, this vote will be exhausted and the voter will have missed the opportunity to influence the result. [Read more…]