Victorian Democratic Labour Party Senator John Madigan was interviewed on ABC1’s Insiders programme on Sunday morning. His comments about possible changes to Australia’s electoral laws are worth reading:
BARRIE CASSIDY: Some people have expressed surprise just the same that somebody with one, two and three per cent of the vote can get elected to the Senate. And there was talk for awhile of some reform of that, but I assume now that’s gone, that’s dead because the Government needs your support?
JOHN MADIGAN: I don’t believe it’s dead. I believe it’s just there simmering away in the background.
BARRIE CASSIDY: So there might be some reform?
JOHN MADIGAN: You look at it this way, there’s a trough and the major participants in the trough are the Coalition, the ALP and the Greens and they don’t want anybody else there other than themselves. We talk about a level playing field in business, we talk about democracy, but they only want a democracy that suits their agenda. Now, what are you frightened of? People have voted for the LDP, they’ve voted for Family First, they’ve voted for the DLP, they’ve voted for the PUP. All of these people put their name on a ballot paper, they campaigned in an election and people voted for them. That’s a democracy.
Now if the Government is proposing, or the Opposition or the Greens, to tell people there’s only three groupings, four groupings you can vote for, we’re the only ones here that you’re allowed to vote for, I don’t believe that’s a democracy. People have a right to vote how they wish and for whom they wish.