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.