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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1747..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

to have things on the walls of polling booths - I am not sure how many such States there are, but there are some that have it - there are strict controls on both the size and the content of that material. If it was going to happen here it should happen with those kinds of restrictions as well. To answer Mr Berry's interjection, no, I do not support this, even if those issues are addressed here.

Mr Berry: Then why whinge about it?

MR HUMPHRIES: Because these provisions go against the point of this legislation. I hope that my friends the Greens will think about this as well. These provisions in this amendment of Ms Follett's are designed to allow the party to push aside people's judgment and say, "We want you to vote this way to support the Labor Party". They want to say to people, "To support Labor in power you must elect these people. Forget your choice, bugger your free choice in this matter; you must vote for these candidates in this order to elect a Labor government".

That is a nonsense. There are many people whom the Labor Party put up as candidates at the last election - 17 in all. Any of those people would have made, I assume those opposite will agree, reasonable members of the ACT Assembly. The Labor Party had no right to tell voters of this constituency that they could vote only for certain candidates in a certain order to achieve a Labor government. That was not true.

Mr De Domenico: Do you remember the A grade and the B grade?

MR HUMPHRIES: The A team and the B team. It is just false, it is just misleading, to suggest to people that they have to vote for candidates in a particular order to achieve a particular result. That simply is not the case.

In some ways I regret referring to the question of the environmental impact of how-to-vote cards. It detracted from the key issue of this legislation, which is the question of empowerment of individuals and of voters. Mr Berry and some of the other unelectables over there know that without how-to-vote cards they are in deep trouble. Mr Stefaniak was the first candidate elected in Ginninderra on his own merits. There was no Liberal Party how-to-vote card which said, "Vote 1 Bill Stefaniak". You were elected third in Ginninderra, or something like that, on the basis of having hundreds of pieces of paper or other things saying, "Vote 1 Wayne Berry to elect Labor", "Vote 1 Wayne Berry". In some electorates it did not work at all, as Mr Wood will testify. We need to preserve the fundamental right on the part of electors under this Hare-Clark system to choose for themselves. They do not need parties telling them whom to vote for and in what order, and we should respect that right by rejecting these silly amendments.

MS TUCKER (4.20): First of all, I can remember Mr Moore giving me some advice one day, when he suggested that if you do not like an amendment you can pull it to bits on how it is worded, but if you actually support the essence of it you do not worry too much. I would agree that there are some problems with how this amendment is worded. Mr Moore's stunt was good and entertaining, but obviously there are ways in which these problems could be addressed quite simply.


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