Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1703 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
Ms Follett is quite right when she says that parties and Independents running for this Assembly will get information out to households. That is certainly the process that I will use. To suggest that that requires further printing is questionable. If we land information in households a couple of times prior to the election - I presume that we will continue to do that - we will include in that material information on how to vote. I did last time, as I think a number of other people contesting the Legislative Assembly election did.
Ms Follett said that the Bill infringes the fundamental right of free speech as ruled on in a High Court decision. If it does, take it to the High Court and let us see what happens. You have that prerogative, and you probably have the wherewithal to do it. Do it, and I think you will find that the Bill does not infringe that right. While it sounds a neat argument, I think you will find that the Bill does nothing of the sort. I reiterate that the Labor Party's stance is directed at retaining the factional and interfactional system in the Labor Party and ensuring that the appropriate people are preselected and then elected. Without how-to-vote cards, what would have happened at the last election? The Labor people elected may have come from such a mix of factions that the factional representation here now may well have been reversed. Voters may well choose to do that. I can understand why Mr Berry and Ms Follett would be worried. There may well be a reversal of factional representation.
Supposedly, an Electoral Commission poll found that less than one per cent of people were dissatisfied with how-to-vote cards. That is a silly point. It has nothing to do with what we are doing today. We are not dissatisfied with the shape of how-to-vote cards or the information on the how-to-vote cards. We are not concerned with that question and people's understanding of it. The real poll was the poll at the referendum held with the election before last. In that referendum two-thirds of the people of the ACT said that they wanted the electoral system as used in Tasmania. That is what the Liberals committed themselves to because that was what the people said. There is no better form of consultation than taking the result of a referendum and then implementing it. The Labor Party tried to shonk that referendum result. The Liberal Party and I - together with Helen Szuty in the previous Assembly - did our best to try to implement the exact meaning of that referendum, and I will continue to do so.
The environmental argument has already been dealt with, but let us deal with the social justice argument. Ms Follett concluded her remarks by talking about the issue of social justice and the different languages on how-to-vote cards. Of course, you have the option of getting information into the household, but the real social justice issue is to provide an optional preferential system. An individual coming into the polling booth to vote Labor - heaven knows why - has the option of simply putting a single mark on the ballot paper or, in Molonglo, if they do not understand who is who, they can write 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 down the paper and their vote will be distributed to members in that order.
The system recognises the wish of those people who understand who has worked hard and who has not worked hard to vote in an order different from that on the ballot paper. That is the whole point of Robson rotation. Labor Party voters who know that they want to vote Labor because their dad did and their grandfather did before them - they do not realise how much Labor has changed - can just write 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and their vote is delivered. Others might just say, "I have seen Mr Connolly on television, and what he says makes sense for me. I think he is a great man. I have seen him down at the