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Without Democrats, there is little in debate.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Leader of the Australian Democrats 15th October 2001 MEDIA RELEASE 01/623

Without Democrats, there is little in debate “One of the many unspoken issues in last night’s debate is that which ever Party forms Government, it will not hold a majority in the Senate,” said Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Leader of the Australian Democrats.

“Who ever wins the election will not be able to pass their legislation in the face of a hostile opposition without negotiating with a third party.

“The Democrats challenge the old parties to let the Australian Democrats respond to the agenda they propose,” said Senator Stott Despoja.

“The real choice facing voters at this election is who will hold the balance of power.

“The debate covered little ground. Neither Mr Beazley nor Mr Howard spoke about protection of the environment, health, welfare, aged care, how to tackle unemployment nor a range of other issues.

“The Prime Minister should check his claim that the number of Indigenous people in Higher Education has increased.

“The Australian people should have been able to hear the views of the third party in Australian politics, the Australian Democrats. We hold the balance of power and we are asking the Australian people to allow us to continue to do so.

“If the Democrats do not hold the balance of power, the Government will be negotiating with a grab bag of independents from the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

“The fact that in the debate, Prime Minister John Howard mentioned Pauline Hanson, but not the Democrats, speaks volumes.

“The debate highlighted John Howard’s lack of a third term agenda.

“Beazley performed better, but no one scored. It emphasised the need for an alternative to the old Parties,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.

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