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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1688 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

parties, so they are looking for an alternative that will keep the major parties honest. I congratulate Don Chipp for his famous saying on that, even though it was about a different party. I will use it. I will do my best to keep the bastards honest. When we have the two major parties joining forces we know that there is a smell in the air. That is when we know that something crook is happening.

I have said enough on that. Mr Kaine wants to join the Greens. He should do what Mr Moore has done and join the Liberals. That would suit him better. That is a better idea, Mr Kaine. Folks, I have said enough. I have made my point. We have all made the point that the thing stinks. The original bill, under the wisdom of the Electoral Commissioner and his staff, is a good one. The Hare-Clark system is a fabulous system. Let us not bastardise the Hare-Clark system. The people of this town like the fact that it allows for a checking mechanism in this single chamber Assembly. There needs to be minority government.

Mr Stanhope: Why?

MR RUGENDYKE: To have a checking mechanism here.

Mr Stanhope: Who does that?

MR RUGENDYKE: We know, don't we, Mr Stanhope? You know that next year when you have majority government you will have open slather. Mr Speaker, next year those people will have open slather to do what they want without any checking. Let's keep the Hare-Clark system, let's keep minority government and let's keep some Independents here.

Mr Speaker, I have said enough at the in-principle stage. I might say a bit more on the amendments, but we know that we have a done deal. We know that the two major parties have joined forces to sideline the Independents, but I might say something at the detail stage anyway.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (6.13), in reply: I thank members for their comments in a very interesting in-principle debate. Some fascinating scenarios will be coming forth as a result thereof, but I will say more on that later. I take it that the two bills which everyone seems very comfortable with are orders of the day Nos 3 and 4. I will address some remarks to those firstly. I thank members for their comments in relation to them. I think those bills are terribly important, especially the removal of the anomaly we found in the 1995 and the 1998 elections whereby some candidates could benefit unfairly from the donkey vote by being immediately under a candidate from their own group or party who had been eliminated first.

What is proposed, and what I think all members are supporting, is a far fairer system. It removes that anomaly. It prevents people having the benefit of that. Some people have even had the benefit of a double whammy in that regard in the last two elections. The proposal here really will ensure that the will of the electorate will be adhered to and that people will not get the benefit of the donkey vote. I think that the amendment is very sensible. It is a fairly complex way of doing things, but is an effective way of ensuring that that does not occur. I think that it is a very significant amendment, and I commend everyone for supporting it.

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