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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3164


Senator MACKLIN(6.38) —by leave-I move:

(22) Page 105, clause 80, lines 39 to 41, leave out proposed paragraph 106C (2) (c).

(23) Page 105, clause 80, line 42, leave out ''where paragraph (c) does not apply-''.

(24) Page 106, clause 80, line 1, leave out ''where paragraph (c) applies'', insert ''where only the name, or a name, of 1 party is so entered''.

Basically, our concern refers to the Senate ballot paper. We have the possibility here, for the first time-I think that ought to be acknowledged-of giving great assistance to the voter by having the party affiliation of the candidate, if the candidate desires, placed on the ballot paper. I think this will help enormously. By way of an aside, I point out that, in the Northern Territory election on Saturday, for the first time in Australia, ballot papers will carry photographs of the candidates. That seems to be an extremely interesting innovation. It might be detrimental to some candidates but I think it is an interesting innovation.

The problem I am alluding to is that, as the ballot paper was originally drawn up-if honourable senators wish to refer to it it is actually Form E in Schedule 1 attached to the Commonwealth Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill-there arises two ways in which the teams could be indicated on the ballot paper. First, the name could be put beside each of the candidates; but, secondly, if all of those candidates were of the same team, the name would appear once only. I do not expect to get a great deal of support from the National Party or the Liberal Party on this subject, because basically it is not in their interests. But I think they would accept that it is a fair thing that, since the Australian Labor Party would be running a team, what would happen to the Labor Party would be that its name would appear only once whereas in those States in which the Liberals and the Nationals run a combined ticket there would be Liberal and Liberal, National and National, or Liberal and whatever the operation was. So the whole ballot paper would become unbalanced in terms of having a dominance of one party in relation to one team and lots of names next to another team. I am not quite sure why the Labor Party put this provision into the Bill. I hope that it will see that it is in Labor Party interests to take it out, because it tells against the Labor Party and, speaking from the Australian Democrats' point of view, I believe it tells against us. But in all fairness, the simplest way of dealing with the matter is that every candidate ought to have next to his name the party designation.