Minor political parties face higher membership requirements under the proposed new law

Minor parties are angry with proposed election changes that may limit the involvement of small or neighboring parties in future federal elections.

Last week, Deputy Minister of Elections, Ben Morton, submitted four bills to Congress aimed at reforming the election process.

One of the new bills will raise the membership requirement for all political parties from 500 to 1,500.

“This bill amends the election law to ensure that registered parties are built on a true foundation of community support,” Morton said of the Election Law Amendment (Completeness of Party Registration) Bill 2021. I mentioned it in my second reading address.

“This is achieved by increasing the minimum membership requirement for non-parliamentary parties from 500 members to 1,500 members.”

Parties have a three-month grace period to prove that they have 1,500 members nationwide.

Another amendment that “minimizes the risk of confusion for voters” or may be misunderstood rejects the election commissioner’s application for a new party if the name duplicates another existing party. Is to request.

“This includes commonly accepted word variants and also applies to the proposed abbreviations for the applicant’s name,” Morton said.

Political parties such as the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Liberal Democratic Party may be under the microscope given their similarities to the established Liberal Party.

However, the proposed changes are worrisome, saying that former Queensland Prime Minister Campbell Newman aims to benefit major political parties.

“A pitch-black day of democracy in which major political parties try to tighten election rules,” said Newman, who recently joined the Liberal Democratic Party, which has been devoted to the Liberal Democratic Party. I wrote in a Twitter post..

However, progressive-oriented New Liberals leader Victor Klein said his membership surged when the bill was introduced.

“With so many people participating within 48 hours, membership has tripled and now exceeds 2000. Sorry to tell you Qld Libs, democracy works,” Kline said. Written on twitter..

Greens senator Larissa Waters also opposed the increase in membership.

“Whether a party gets a representative in parliament should be based on the number of people who vote for them, but the government wants to prevent smaller parties from even asking for a vote.” She said in a statement.

“There is some sympathy for preventing political parties from impersonating rivals for the benefit of elections, but between preventing deliberate misrepresentation and excluding smaller parties from electoral politics. Has subtle boundaries. “

Daniel Y. Ten