MPI: Election of Senators

The committee hearing this morning into the Senate voting system was a bombshell. Recognised experts provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about our complicated Senate voting system and the Liberals' and Greens' radical electoral changes. I was very impressed by the testimony of Mr Malcolm Mackerras. He took a principled stand and said the Senate voting system has been and will be unconstitutional. Mr Mackerras referred to our Constitution as an authority, saying our voting system must be candidate based, not party based. He kindly drew our attention to section 7 of the Constitution to support his claim. It states:

The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.

The system should be changed, but something this important should not be rushed.

The current system has evolved into one which Antony Green describes as 'a herding process to force voters to vote above the line'. But the new system proposed by the Liberals and Greens is, as Mr Mackerras said, 'breathtaking in its contempt for the Australian Constitution'. He called it a party-list system, because it can be gamed in favour of the big parties by running a just-vote-1 campaign. The Liberals want to change our voting system and then game our voting system by running a just-vote-1 campaign—they are quiet over there, aren't they?—and the Greens are the Liberals' enablers.

The Liberals are deliberately picking industrial fights in the construction and maritime sectors. In the short term they will bring our economy to its knees so that there will be a background of economic chaos and industrial unrest in the lead-up to the federal election in order to justify the inconvenience and expense of a double-D election on the Australian voter—every single one of them. Do you know what? You people should be ashamed of yourselves.