Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Pop-up political parties are threat to democracy - the Federal Government needs to act now



Download PDFDownload PDF

THE HON GARY GRAY AO MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOUCES SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE

MEMBER FOR BRAND

MEDIA RELEASE

POP-UP POLITICAL PARTIES ARE THREAT TO DEMOCRACY - THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO ACT NOW

The Federal Government needs to act now to prevent the erosion of our electoral system to pop up parties and voter manipulation” said Gary Gray, Shadow Minister responsible for electoral matters.

The Victorian Election results could see up to eight different political parties operating in the new Legislative Council.

This is unsurprising given that 11 new political parties popped up for Victoria’s 29 November State Election.

“This is a Victorian manifestation of the manipulation we have seen recently in federal elections,” said Mr Gray.

The rise of single issue pop-up political parties is a frivolous abuse of our democratic systems.

Electoral authorities and Parliaments need to be ensuring that the threshold for party registration is rigorous and that where possible we have harmonised systems across the Commonwealth.

“The Federal Government needs to act on the bi-partisan recommendations outlined in the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters Interim Report May 2014,” said Mr Gray. Currently only 500 members are needed to register a political party under Victorian and Commonwealth laws.

“The recommendations from the Interim Report - including the recommendation to increase the membership number from 500 to 1500 and more rigorous analysis of membership lists - will strengthen our system of party registration and governance,” said Mr Gray.

The attached table from the Australian Electoral Commission’s Submission to the bi-partisan Committee highlights the inconsistent approaches taken to political party registration across the country.

“People should be encouraged to join political parties, be involved in political debates and policy formulation and actively participate in the electoral process. But political pop-up parties are nothing more than manipulations of voter intention and stunts diverting attention from the real choices. They damage the fabric of governance,” said Mr Gray.

Jurisdiction Membership requirements Fees Deadline for

registration

Commonwealth 500 $500 Before issue of writs

NSW 750 $2000 Twelve months before

close of nominations

Victoria 500 $642 every three

years

Must re-register during each Parliament

Queensland 500 nil By day of issue of writ

Western Australia

500 nil Before issue of writ

South Australia 200 $500 Application must be

received six months before election day

Tasmania 100 nil Must be registered at

least 37 days before election day

Northern Territory

200 or registered with Commonwealth

$500 Application must be

received six months before election day

The Federal Government should act now to get its own house in order and to stop pop up parties.

TUESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2014