Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1704 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
butcher shop buying meat. I think he is terrific and I am going to put 1 next to Mr Connolly". If they did that, that would be a valid vote. That is fine. That is how we deliver social justice, but the most important issue here is that the will of the people was very clearly expressed in a referendum that was carried by a two-thirds majority. That referendum always should have been acted on. It has taken longer than it should have, but that is what this legislation does.
MR BERRY (11.55): Mr Speaker, I am extremely disappointed that Mr Moore could not apply a more cerebral assessment to his argument. Mr Moore has established himself as an expert on the Labor Party. There are all of these experts on the Labor Party around the place, but none of them are in it. Mr Moore drew to our attention the way that Labor Party members subject themselves to the scrutiny of their membership before they come forward as candidates to face the electorate. Mr Moore would never be game to do that. If he had to go through preselection in a decent-sized party, he would not get there. I can understand why he would not be interested in that sort of merit process.
Mr Speaker, I want to talk about some of the things Mr Kaine said. He argued that the use of how-to-vote cards was covered in the referendum papers because it said somewhere in them "just like Tasmania". He said that people had assessed the question of whether we should have how-to-vote cards or not. The fact of the matter is that the people were not directly asked the question, "Do you want how-to-vote cards or not?". It is a fraud on the community to say that they were asked that question. I am disappointed that Mr Moore would say those sorts of things. I would not be surprised if it came from the Liberal Party, because they are prepared to spin any web to have their way on a particular issue.
I suspect that how-to-vote cards do not advantage the Labor Party. Under a system without how-to-vote cards, we might be able to get our message through more easily. We are a large party, we have a lot of helpers and we could get that sort of information out, even if we did not have the "readies". We are probably acting against our own interests on this issue. Nevertheless, there is this important question of the freedom of somebody to come up to you, as you are going to the polling booth, and say, "Vote for this person, for these reasons". If a community does not have access to that information when they go to vote, I think they are disadvantaged. This is a deliberate attempt by the Liberals to ensure that that sort of information is not available to the community.
Self-interest is evident in this debate. People opposite think that they would be advantaged by having this sort of legislation. The incumbents would be pretty well protected. Mr Moore would be protected by this sort of blanket ban on providing information for the community at the polling place. I suspect that Mr Osborne may support this move also. It is no wonder that the Liberals, Mr Moore and Mr Osborne would want to support it. It is in their interests to do so. They are going to be here for three years making themselves known to the community, and it would be very difficult for somebody at the last minute to round up enough resources to properly canvass their particular political position throughout the community.