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Senators snub PM’s dinner over voting changes

SPACE TO SPARE: Lucy Turnbull did not have to make room for Ricky Muir at a scheduled dinner at The Lodge.
SPACE TO SPARE: Lucy Turnbull did not have to make room for Ricky Muir at a scheduled dinner at The Lodge. MICK TSIKAS

A SENATE crossbencher has threatened a High Court challenge to Upper House voting system changes proposed on Monday by the Turnbull government.

Family First senator Bob Day's threat yesterday follows Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcement of changes that are widely expected to favour the Coalition and reduce the potential for micro-parties to get elected.

Sen Day and several other crossbench senators have also declined to attend a dinner at The Lodge scheduled for this week, following an invitation from Mr Turnbull earlier in the year.

The Coalition is seeking support from the Greens to pass the legislation.

Labor had still not reached an official position yesterday.

Among the changes, "above the line" voting on the Senate ballot paper would allow up to six boxes to be numbered, rather than just one, before preferences were "exhausted", in an effort to end the convoluted direction of preferences by micro-parties.

Topics:  lnp malcolm turnbull politics senate



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