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Greens express concern major parties may use reform to squeeze out micros



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MEDIA RELEASE 12 September 2013

Greens express concern major parties may use reform to squeeze out micros

Australian Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon today expressed concern at suggestions the Coalition may use the growing support for Senate voting reform to squeeze out minor parties.

“We share the concerns of ABC’s Antony Green that the community concern about the Senate preference system should not be used in an underhanded way to make it harder for minor parties to run for election,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“We won’t support attempts to increase registration fees and other administrative burdens on minor parties.

“We have consistently been calling for the abolition of Group Voting Tickets, which take power out of the hands of voters.

“The Greens have a track record on electoral reform - including my push in 1999 which led to the adoption of above-the-line optional preferential voting in NSW, and Bob Brown’s repeated attempts to see this implemented at a national level.

“This recent election highlights the importance of reforming our Senate system to protect the role that minor parties play in our democracy, but also to ensure that voters are in control of their own preferences”

Please see the below table which shows the parties that would likely have won in the 2013 Federal election if had we have had an above-the-line optional preferential voting

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State Likely elected 2013

Hypothesis under OPV

WA SPORTS ALP

VIC MOTORING LIB

TAS PUP LIB

SA FAMILY FIRST XENOPHON

SA GREEN OR ALP GREEN OR ALP

NSW LIB GREEN OR LIB

Notes: It is impossible to model the exact scenario, as information about preference flows in the Senate is not available due to Group Voting Tickets.

The outcome in ACT and NT would likely not change at all. In Queensland, the Palmer United Party would still be elected due to their high primary vote.

The most obvious differences under Optional Preferential Voting would be the election of  Louise Pratt (Labor) in WA who received 12.77% over the Australian Sports Party who received just 0.22%  Helen Kroger (Liberal) in Victoria who received 11.8% of the vote over the Australian

Motoring Enthusiasts Party who received 0.51%.  Nick Xenophon’s running mate Stirling Griff in SA who received 11.51% of the vote over Family First who received 3.74%.