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Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties) Bill 2014

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2013-2014

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties) Bill 2014

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Rhiannon)

 

 



OUTLINE

The Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties) Bill 2014 will reduce registration fees for individuals and minor parties that want to participate in Commonwealth elections. It reverses the increase in nomination fees as a result of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Act 2013 , passed in February 2013.

While there is growing support for reform to the Senate voting system, which in 2013 saw candidates elected to the Senate with less than 1% of the vote, The Greens don’t support the creation of more barriers to minor party political participation.

This Bill will reduce the registration fees for minor parties and individuals to ensure that minor parties are not unfairly squeezed out of the Australian electoral process.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1 - Short Title

1.       This is a formal provision specifying the short title.



Clause 2 - Commencement

2.       The Bill's provisions are to commence the day after it receives Royal Assent.



Clause 3 - Schedules

3.       This clause provides that an Act that is specified in a Schedule is amended or repealed as set out in that Schedule, and any other item in a Schedule operates according to its terms.



Schedule 1 - Amendments

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

Item 1 substitutes into existing paragraph 170(3)(a) “$2,000” to “$1,000.

Item 2 substitutes into existing paragraph 170(3)(b) “$1,000” to “$500.

Item 3 makes it clear that the amendments made apply in relation to elections the writs for which are issued on or after the commencement of this item.



 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties) Bill 2014

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

Overview of the Bill

The Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties) Bill 2014 reduces registration fees for individuals and minor parties running in Commonwealth elections.

Human right implications

The Bill promotes Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular the right “To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections”, by reducing barriers to political participation for those seeking to be elected.

Conclusion

The Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties) Bill 2014 is compatible with human rights because it advances human rights as outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.