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Coalition outright control of Senate the greatest danger.



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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/1038 MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 2004 SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS Coalition outright control of Senate the greatest danger The Coalition could still pick up four Senate seats in Queensland giving them an outright majority in the Senate, according to the Australian Democrats. The Senate could become a rubber stamp for Mr Howard, something the Democrats warned against throughout the campaign. Democrats Leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said the Democrats strongly believed it was better to have almost any minor party elected than have an outright Coalition majority in both houses. "The Green Party put Liberals ahead of Family First in the Senate everywhere. The Democrats didn't and we don't regret that decision. "The Green / Labor preference deal may succeed in its aim of giving Democrat seats to the Green Party but it also may mean nobody is in a position to stop the Coalition doing whatever it wants. "If Family First are elected in Victoria it will be because of Labor preferences. "If Family First is elected in Victoria that is still better than the Coalition getting another seat and having an unstoppable majority." Senator Bartlett also said that if Family First are elected to the Senate then they have agreed to support Democrat calls for a Royal Commission into child abuse. Family First are also making a clear call for an apology from the Federal Government to the Stolen Generation. "If the Green Party had not spent the entire campaign attacking the Democrats, our vote would have been higher and there could have been Green senators elected in QLD and NSW on Democrat preferences. In Queensland in particular that could have prevented a Coalition outright majority. "The Green Party continue to focus on attacking the Democrats, but we strongly believe the risk of one Family First senator is not as big a disaster for Australia as an unstoppable Coalition majority." Media contact - Daele Healy - 0419 867 649