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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1928 ..

Mr Quinlan: How did you go mate?

MR STEFANIAK: I did a lot better than the last No 2, Teddy. The only way you get in as No 2 on the Senate ticket in a major party in Canberra is if their No 1 gets hit by a bus after they issue the writs, and that is yet to happen. I think 20 is a reasonable number. I think it is fair for the minor groupings, for Independents. It is not particularly onerous, but at least it indicates some level of support. It is quite manageable. I do not think it disadvantages anyone. We think 50 is fine federally, but the ACT is that much smaller. The Liberal Party thinks 20 is a fair figure. Accordingly, I commend that to the house.

MR KAINE (9.03): Mr Speaker, this is one of those hurdles that I spoke about. Mr Stanhope justifies his amendment to make it 50 on the ground that somehow or other this establishes some sort of credibility for the candidate. Fifty constitutes credibility. The Electoral Commissioner thought two did. The Liberal Party thinks 20 does. So it is an interesting debate about how many signatures you have to get on a bit of paper before you are a credible candidate. Even if you had 1,000, does that necessarily make you a credible candidate? If somebody wants to take the mickey out of the electorate as some people before have done and stand with some very odd party titles, does getting 50 signatures change their attitude, or 20, or 10, or 6 or 18? It is a fiction, Mr Speaker. Mr Stanhope is expecting us to build into our Electoral Act a fiction that 50 signatures on a bit of paper constitutes credibility before a candidate can go and nominate to the Electoral Commission as a candidate. There is just no substance to that proposition at all.

I think somebody made the rather idiotic comment in here the other day that all you have to do is get your mum's and dad's signatures. Well, maybe that is not bad. If your mum and dad both think that you are worth standing as a candidate, maybe that is a pretty good qualification. I know a lot of mums and dads who would not think their kids could hack it and they would not nominate them.

I just do not understand this. It is simply setting another hurdle in the way of Independents. Mr Stanhope, when he goes to enrol, will not have to take his list of 50 candidates with him. My guess is that in some of the party branches, Liberal and Labor, some of the candidates at the tail end of the preselection list got up with maybe six votes from the preselectors in their own party, maybe six. Because they are the last candidate, they got six votes and they are in as a candidate. But when Independents turn up they have to have 50.

Mr Moore: Or even 20, with the amendment.

MR KAINE: Or even 20, yes. There is just no justification for Mr Stanhope's position. He has not put forward any argument that says that 50 is a good number. Nor have the Liberals put forward any argument that 20 is a good number. It is just a better number than 50 in their view. Well, I reckon two is a good number. I reckon the Electoral Commission got it right.

If it comes to an argument about 50 or 20, I will go for the 20 every time because it is less of a hurdle, and I think the other Independents in this place would say that. I would like to see the amendment thrown out, together with the Liberal Party's

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