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(generated from captions) story on the recriminations within the Labor Party is coming up. The biggest challenge polls tensionly facing the Abbott government over the next three years could be an unruly Senate. A ragtag band of cross-benchers will hold the balance of power some of whom only won a few thousand primary votes. They've secured their coveted positions thanks to a complicated Senate voting system and elaborate preference deals stitched up between the minor parties. As hay - Cooper reports, there are calls for reform. It is an unkind description. But the new Australian Senate has already been compared to the famous bar scene from Star Wars.

A collection of characters from a galaxy far, far away from the major parties.

It's a Senate that reflects the lottery effect of the system that we have. And it's a Senate that, unfortunately, will have a number of representatives who voters really haven't even heard of.They are a disparate group. Some of them have their own specific agenda issues. The government may find them difficult to negotiate with.From next year the States' House will have a very different feel. As the Labor-Greens alliance gives way to a mix of crossbenchers holding the balance of power. It's a recipe for confusion and according to some a dangerous development.I think we should be concerned with people with very few who are elected. They may be able to block a government's agenda and they're people who haven't received significant support within the community. Some of the new senators are there by chance. In New South Wales, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm was the lucky name in the first column on the vast Senate voting paper. It meant he picked up 280,000 vote, nearly 9%. In South Australia, Family First candidate Bob Day could take a seat, with just under 4% of the vote. Then there's Ricky Muir from the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party. He won just under 12,000 votes, only half a per cent. But a wily preference deal might get him across the line. The same goes for the Australian Sports Party. Wayne Dropulich poll admin. Scul 1900 first preference votes. Less than a quarter of 1%. But he could soon be a senator.It's bizarre. It's absolute ly bizarre.Veteran Nationals senator Ron Boswell will retire when the new Senate begins next year. He is deeply unhappy with the preference deals done to deliver the colourful new chamber.People have got to understand, who they are voting for this system we're working under at the moment doesn't allow that and that is totally wrong.

This is how it works. When voters vote above the line in the Senate, they're signing up to the preference deals that their party has done with others. And that's where this man comes in. The so-called preference whisperer, Glenn Druery.Look you can refer to me any way you like. I am there as an educator for the minor parties. I'm there to show them how the system works and this time around I think they've done pretty well. The consult ant sets up deals between the minor parties. So they trade preferences with each other until one of them has enough votes to claim a seat. What parties have you worked with in this last election?It's probably easier to ask which parties haven't we worked with. The Motoring Enthusiasts Party, the Australian Sports Party, are they all your clients?They're not my clients, no. But I have given both of them advice. Have you been involved in the deal that looks like getting them into the Senate?Only in that I invited them into the minor party alliance, explained how the system works and gave them a network. They did all their own deals themselves.Well might he distance themselves. This is a video of one of the candidates he advised. The Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party's Ricky Muir could be a senator next July. He's seen here throwing kangaroo faeces at his friends.

(Laughter)My goal is to help multiparty democracy in Australia. Glenn Druery's approach is controversial. He's already locked in a dispute with one candidate who wasn't happy with his services and complained to others. He responded to the complaint with this voice mail.

It's even more disgusting that you would phone a woman, use that sort of language and physically emotionally threaten her. Mr Druery refused to answer questions about the incident but his involvement in microparty wheemg and dealing is promoting calls for change.I think people have worked out that they can game the system. We've seen this particularly in New South Wales, we've seen microparties being very successful. That's now been played out on the the national stage and in a way that has quite a dramatic effect. There is a lot of complaints about Glenn Druery and his activities but if you change the electoral system you don't have to worry about Glenn Druery. He has just advised all the little tiny party it is you want to get elected, swap preferences between yourself before you go to the major parties. And that's what they've done. ABC election analyst Antony Green wants reform, a switch to optional preferential voting in the Senate.You still have above and below the line voting but if you want to vote abotch the line if you just vote 1 your vote only count noors party there's no further preferences. You can go 1, 2, 3 for different parties above the line and the preferences flow that way. Constitutional law experts Professor Williams wants that and one
other change a threshold to a candidate needs 4% of the vote to be elected.I suspect if something is not done, this will become a standard feature of our electoral process. For that reason we will see some action, some proposals. Having a threshold of some kind seems the most sensible and obvious way to proceed. That would be an attack on our democracy. Right now Australia has one of the most mature democracies of the Western World that would be a real shame, if we were to stop little guys from having a crack at the political system.

Three of the likely key