Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 8 May 2008) . . Page.. 1696 ..
the fact that on polling day people are not overly confronted with how-to-vote material and all of these things.
This is what the people of the ACT signed up to. This is what, consistently, year on year, every time there is a review of the Electoral Act, the Labor Party has tried to undermine. It tried to undermine it in 1994 when it set about the task of implementing the Hare-Clark legislation which was approved at referendum. It tried to undermine it. It was one of the reasons, I submit, that the Follett government lost the confidence of the people of the ACT. It showed that it would ride roughshod over the will of the people of the ACT. The same arrogance is here today.
There has been only one little flickering time in the history of the ACT ALP when they showed any recognition of really signing up to the spirit of the Hare-Clark electoral system. That was when, in 1998, for the second election in a row, they were comprehensively drubbed. Their electoral review committee eventually said: “Look fellas, you have got to take it; you have to accept it. Hare-Clark is here to stay and you have to learn to live with it.” They went through the processes, the words—saying, “Yes, we’ll live with Hare-Clark”—but the spirit wants to buck the system all the time.
They forget that in 1992 in excess of 75 per cent of the people in the ACT said, “This is what we want.” This was the most spectacular, most decisive election result or result of a ballot that we have ever seen in the ACT—probably in this country. More than 75 per cent of people signed up to the Hare-Clark system. What we are seeing here today is the Labor Party attempting, once again, to undo the Hare-Clark system. At the time—let it go on the record—they were the only people in this territory interested in politics who were opposed to the introduction of the Hare-Clark system. It is part of the thing that drives them to undermine the Hare-Clark system. What they are doing here today is using their numbers. This is the only time since 1992 that they have had the numbers to do it. They are using their numbers to undermine the Hare-Clark system.
The people of the ACT lost all faith in the Follett government. Rosemary Follett undermined her credibility enormously on the day that she tried to buck the referendum result. What the government is doing here today is attempting to buck the referendum result of 1992.
Mr Mulcahy touches on a very important point. In 1995 we had an entrenchment referendum to try and stop this undermining of the electoral system. We entrenched the principal tenets—what we saw as the principal tenets—of the Hare-Clark electoral system. It may be that, after the fall of the Stanhope government in 2009 and after the review of the 2008 election, we will have to come back and entrench more things in the entrenching legislation, because there is going to be an awful lot of filthy work that has to be undone after the 2008 election.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (9.44): Once again we hear from Mrs Dunne on this matter. She seeks yet again to perpetuate the myth that this is some evil agenda on the part of the Labor Party. Yet again I refer Mrs Dunne to the report of the ACT Electoral Commission—that well-known hotbed of Labor Party apparatchiks, with all due respect to the commissioner.