- by N Woodruff
- The Guardian
- Issue #1976
The Morrison Government has introduced a raft of bills that will make it more difficult for minor parties to enter the nation’s Federal Parliament. The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill 2021 increases the number of members required to register a political party from 500 to 1,500. Non-parliamentary parties will have three months after the bill passes to get the extra 1,000 members needed to meet the new registration rules. This will directly impact the CPA’s ongoing efforts to register The Communists to be eligible to stand in the Party’s name in elections. The proposed changes stand in the way of a robust and diverse parliament that brings every perspective to Australia’s democracy.
Katter’s Australian Party and the Jacqui Lambie Network have spoken out against the changes and will oppose them in Parliament, calling it a tool for the political oligarchs of the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal-National Coalition.
Tasmanian Senator and Network Leader, Jacqui Lambie, has called on Labor to decide where it stands on this “power grab.”
“When the big parties gang up to set the rules applying to the small parties they’re competing with, they’ll rig them, exactly like we’re seeing now,” she said. “We’re not a two-party country anymore, and you can’t just rewrite the rules to try and turn back the clock. It’s a smackdown to the one in three Australians who don’t support major parties.”
Katter’s Australian Party leader, Robbie Katter said instead of trying to be a better government, the Coalition are trying to eliminate the competition. “It demonstrates a weak and insecure government that’s not focussed on being a productive Government,” he said. “Minor party politicians and independents will speak up on every issue they see fit, whereas major party MPs will always toe the party line.”
Most minor parties are volunteer-run and do not have the resources to recruit 1500 members within three months, especially before they have the publicity of an elected member. This bill is an attack on the political freedom of Australians and a further encroachment of corporate dollars in the democratic process, buying out both sides of politics and shutting out opposition.
The bill is currently before the House of Representatives and is yet to pass the Senate.
Join The Communist via our secure online form at cpaforms.wufoo.com/forms/join-the-communists