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Greens to drive electoral reform in first week of parliament

Media Release
Christine Milne 10 Nov 2013

The Australian Greens have today announced that they will move quickly to drive electoral reform in the new parliament by referring the matter of optional preferential voting in the Senate to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

The Terms of Reference ask the Committee to specifically consider the matter of optional preferential voting in the Senate, which would see an end to preference deals and let voters decide where their vote goes.

The Committee will also be asked to report on limiting the ability of a person to be the Registered Officer of more than one political party at a time and the ability of similar party names to be registered.

"We need to give voters confidence in our democratic system again by ending the ability of political parties to game the system with grubby preference deals," Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Backroom deals by unaccountable king-makers and preference harvesters are undermining voters' confidence in our democratic system.

"The Greens want to see the power given back to the voters. By having optional preferential voting, voters decide where their vote goes, not back room preference deals.

"We cannot just let another three years go by without addressing the issues we saw at this election which had voters wrangling a metre long ballot paper and magnifying glasses.

"This is about returning the power to the voter, this is an absolute priority for the Greens.

"I will be writing to Mr Abbott and Mr Shorten to provide them with these Terms of Reference and seek their support."


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