Under the cover of applying “one vote, one value” to elections for the Legislative Council, last month WA Labor also pushed through legislation that disadvantages smaller political parties, writes Sam Wainwright.
Why is the government so keen to reform Senate voting with the threat of a double dissolution election hanging in the air? The government and the Greens are supporting legislation to enact some recommendations of a parliamentary committee into the 2013 election while Labor and most small parties and independents are opposing them.
Recent scandals have placed a spotlight on Australia’s electoral system. However, the discussion about possible electoral reforms has largely failed to go beyond touch-ups to an increasingly obsolete set-up. Moreover, some changes would ultimately help tighten the grip that the two major pro-corporate parties have on power — precisely at a time when more Australians are turning their backs on them. Recent revelations have demonstrated what many of us already know: both the Liberals and Labor are backed by big business.