Opinion

OUR SAY: Senate changes needed

Dr Russell Pridgeon's Australian Antipaedophile Party is clearly well intended and is likely to gain some support at the next federal election.

After all, who isn't opposed to pedophiles.

But for small parties like Dr Pridgeon's, the task is set to be much tougher whenever Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull takes us to the polls.

The government has approved potential changes to voting in the Senate that will make it hard for smaller parties to win seats.

And it will probably have the support of Labor and the Greens so the micro parties won't get much say when legislation is presented.

The six proposals include: Optional preferential voting "above the line" on the Senate ballot paper; the abolition of group and individual voting tickets; restrictions on the unique registered officers for a particular party, and; logos on ballot papers to reduce confusion about parties with similar names.

The micro and small parties might be upset, but the changes look like they will present a better deal for voters.

A system where tiny parties do deals that result in the election of candidates with relative handfuls of votes needs fixing.

The major parties shouldn't have the inside running, but neither should micro parties be able to take advantage of voter confusion to get elected.

Related: Grafton doctor starts political party for abuse victims

Topics:  editor letter our say politics senate



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