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Queensland electoral 'reforms' dangerous.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland

Dated: 10 August 2006 Press Release Number: autzvyvp

Portfolio: Electoral Matters & Public Administration

More from on Electoral Matters & Public Administration

Queensland Electoral 'Reforms' Dangerous

The Queensland Governments' planned electoral reforms are undemocratic and an example of a Government drunk on power, Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett said today.

"The federal legislation on which these changes are to be based is fatally flawed," Senator Bartlett said.

"State Governments should be holding the line against decaying electoral laws, not copying them."

"Peter Beattie's statement that he will follow the federal Coalition by taking away the right of all prisoners to vote is blatantly undemocratic, an affront to the principle of universal suffrage and at odds with the stance taken by his Labor colleagues federally."

"It is primarily due to the efforts and insistence of the Democrats over many years that we have more transparent financial disclosure provisions in our electoral laws."

"The Federal Government's move to make it easier to give large anonymous donations seriously damages democracy."

"Given Queensland's well-known history of dodgy developer donations and money in brown paper bags, Mr Beattie should be looking to use State laws to plug some of the big gaps the Federal Coalition has opened, not contemplating going along with them."

"The action of the Federal Government in closing the voter rolls the day the election is called is another blatantly undemocratic move which the Queensland Government should be categorically ruling out copying."

"If the State Government wants to shut off the rolls earlier they should also implement fixed terms allowing sufficient public education campaigns informing citizens of their rights and responsibilities. Shutting the rolls earlier only leads to the disenfranchisement of voters and is unacceptable in a democracy."

"Electoral reform in Queensland may well be essential but it should not create a system that will be worse than what we already have," Senator Bartlett said.