Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1707 ..
MR OSBORNE (continuing):
politicians and their sometimes rabid band of followers. I did not particularly like it. I suppose that it was because of a combination of concern to make voting less of an ordeal for the public and a desire to do my bit for the environment that I introduced Ossie's trash packs, which the Leader of the Opposition referred to. It was my answer to helping the environment. Saving all the trees gave me a real warm, fuzzy feeling inside after the election. Incidentally, after the election I took nearly a tonne of paper away from Brindabella's 20 polling places for recycling. I thought that was a pretty good result.
My view, Mr Speaker, is that voters ought not to have as much difficulty as they do now in getting from the safety of their cars to the safety of the ballot box. I am sure that very few people turn up at a polling place with absolutely no idea of whom they are going to vote for. Therefore, they do not need to be convinced where to put their 1, 2 and 3. Perhaps members who are not happy with Mr Humphries's Bill and who want to influence people on how to vote should move to a place that had a recent election, Iraq, and should think of joining Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. He seems to have perfected the how-to-vote cards. He got 99.7 per cent of the vote. Unfortunately, the 0.3 per cent who did not vote for him were shot. I have done a quick calculation and found that it would not be too bad here in the ACT. The Labor Party would have to shoot only 670 voters! For those reasons, Mr Speaker, and because of my long-held dislike of how-to-vote cards, I support the Bill.
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (12.09): The Labor Party has missed the whole point of the Hare-Clark system. It is the Hare-Clark system with Robson rotation. Why would you have Robson rotation with how-to-vote cards? They simply do not go together. I think that the Labor Party themselves found that at the last Assembly election. What do you actually say on your how-to-vote card if you still, as they did, want to direct the people of Canberra where to put their 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, depending on which electorate they are in? Quite simply, the whole basis of Hare-Clark with Robson rotation is that we are saying to the people of Canberra, "We want you to choose whom you want in this Assembly. We do not want the party machine to determine that". Obviously, at the last election the Labor Party was still unhappy with the Hare-Clark system, because they attempted to direct the people of Canberra where to put their 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Obviously, they want to continue to do that. That is the only purpose of how-to-vote cards.
As we are totally aware, our ballot papers in the ACT make it quite clear who the members of the Liberal Party are. They are listed under "Liberal". The Labor Party people are listed under "Labor". The Green members are listed under "Greens". Michael Moore is listed as "Independent". Candidates for any other parties that may be part of our elections in the future will be listed separately on the ballot paper under their party banner. Every single person who goes into a polling booth will know exactly who the Labor candidates are, who the Liberal candidates are, who the Greens are, who the Michael Moore Independent candidates are and who the Independents are. All people have to know is how many numbers they have to put on the ballot paper. That is the reason we have electoral officials. That is the reason we have information on the ballot paper telling people that they have to fill in 1 to 5, or 1 to 7. We have officials to help the people Ms Follett spoke about who may have problems with English or with literacy generally. The officials are there not to tell people where to put the number 1 but to tell them how to fill in a ballot paper if they have a problem. All that is looked after.