Queensland’s undemocratic electoral process

Libertarians, classical liberals and small government conservatives will likely be disappointed in their options when they come to vote in Queensland’s election. Faced with a choice of choosing between the Liberal National Party, Labor, the Greens and One Nation many may choose to put a blank ballot paper in the box. Where’re the Liberal Democrats or the Australian Conservatives they will likely ask? The answer to that question has nothing to do with either of those parties’ willingness to run candidates, but Queensland’s byzantine process for registering political parties. It’s time to call bullshit on the corrupt processes used to prevent Queenslanders voting for the party of their choice.

The process for registering a political party in Queensland is outlined in the Electoral Act of 1992 and is described in the Political Party Handbook produced by the Queensland Electoral Commission. That process requires that a political party either have a State MP or 500 members. For smaller political parties reaching the all-important 500 number is difficult; made even more difficult by the process used the QEC to confirm these memberships.

The Political Party Handbook states:

“Once satisfied that some application prima facie complies with the Act the commission will write to members inviting corroboration of their party membership. A pro forma response and business reply paid envelope are supplied to allow members to reply without cost to themselves. Replies are cross-referenced with the Queensland electoral roll.”

Yes, that’s right. The QEC requires that members mail back confirming their membership for those memberships to be accepted. Anyone has ever conducted a survey knows that the return rate for surveys is incredibly low.

Many small political parties have less than 100 active members, with the remainder being busy people who are sympathetic to the cause, yet are unlikely to show up for a meeting. In practise this means parties hoping to register require significantly more members than the stated 500 to have a hope of meeting this threshold.

This byzantine process prevented the Australian Democrats from registering in Queensland at a time when it had a Senator representing Queensland in the mid-2000s. It’s now preventing both the Australian Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats from running candidates in the upcoming election.

If Queensland had an Upper House this process may be defensible. At the Federal level, some standards are required to prevent the Senate ballot paper becoming excessively large with unknown candidates. However, even at the Federal Level micro parties such as the Pirate Party or WikiLeaks manage to get registered.

At the State level people can only vote for a local member meaning any candidates for minor parties can only run in local electorates. The law as it stands, prevents passionate political activists running under the banner of their preferred party. If a member of a micro-party is endorsed by their party and chooses to run in their local electorate they should be able to do this.

The current system is convenient for the major political party, it prevents them losing votes to parties that better represent the wishes of the electorate. It’s time the system changed. My suggestion to Queenslanders is if you don’t have a candidate worthy of your vote, don’t vote. Don’t allow a corrupt process to force you to endorse a candidate not worthy of your vote.

Justin Campbell
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2 Comments on "Queensland’s undemocratic electoral process"

  1. [Share This] AEC is working hard using dirty tricks and treachery to hinders and interferes with our free exercise and performance, of our political right and duty, to stop us registering our party, we need as many members as we can muster.
    We are looking for Senate candidates, Reps and executives. Time is fast running out, our children won’t have a future; we won’t have a country unless we act now.
    If you want your country back from the corrupt government, this is how to do it by our direct democracy modelled Commonwealth of Australia Constitution party, where true democracy is the law. We can tick off all the boxes, Exit the UN, Free speech without persecution, Ban Islam in Australia, Australian sales tax for foreign companies, Royal commission into family court corruption, one after another.
    We have to take government, dominate Parliament. All we need to do is get every member here to sign up two friends, to start our bloodless revolution. [“Share”] FREE MEMBERSHIP http://www.cofacpmembers.com/

  2. I have spent years in court fighting government corruption, all three branches of government are treacherous, no doubt, lying and cheating has become government standard, we are losing our country fast.
    Thing is we have had independents in the senate and reps, brandis just ignores them, is why we are building this party, it is a government corruption hunting party, we need an army of people to do it, independents are not enough, see our constitution. We are not conservative party, Commonwealth [Common wellbeing] of Australia Constitution Party “by the people for the people” quite literally, our members make our policies, added to our policies list, freely voted on democratically prioritized by all members, we are a true democratic party.
    Democracy is logarithm strength in numbers.
    Note; you are running against Labor, LNP, Greens, like Communist parties, National Socialist parties, Bath party etc, all make policies by the leadership [rarely adhered to if ever] as do independents, there called ‘Autocracies’. I urge you to take the democratic path, ask your constituents to list their policies alongside yours, if you intend to make your own policies alone it is autocracy.
    Democracy (Greek: δημοκρατία dēmokratía, literally “rule of the people”) The word comes from demos, “common people” and kratos, strength. Led by Cleisthenes, Athenians established what is generally held as the first democracy in 508–507 BC. Cleisthenes is referred to as “the father of Athenian democracy.”
    An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power (social and political) is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d’état or mass insurrection).
    Absolute monarchy (such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Brunei and Swaziland) and dictatorship (such as Cuba, China, and North Korea) are the main historical forms of autocracy.
    Wish you the best, you’re a good man and a good candidate, if you need we are here for you.
    Steve Wickenden Federal Executive, Party Secretary for Commonwealth of Australian Constitution Party 3/49 Old Burleigh Road Surfers Paradise 4217 [email protected] Copyright © All Rights Reserved. http://www.cofacparty.com/commonwealth-of-australia-constitution-party-constitution/

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