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Thursday, 9 May 1985
Page: 1678

Senator VIGOR(5.34) —I particularly want to make a few remarks about the last sentence in the report, which states:

The value judgment that has to be made is whether the possible exhaustion of some 15,000 ballot papers justifies the effective disfranchisement of 375,000 electors.

I ask whether anything justifies the effective disfranchisement of nearly four million Australians. I am sure that all honourable senators are horrified at that prospect. Unfortunately, not all honourable members realise that this actually happened last year. When one looks at the returns, one finds that the efforts of 3,827,118 voters were completely futile. Even though they managed to record a formal vote, 3,827,118 voters voted for a losing candidate and did not have their ballot papers examined for second or later preferences. Under a proportional representation system we would have a greater proportion of voters able to cast a valid vote.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Colston) —Order! The time has expired for the consideration of Government Papers.