After a mad day in Parliament – the Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 has been adjourned until Tuesday July 24th.
The day started with hopes the Bill would be voted down, as ALL the cross bench bar the Greens had made public statements during the week that the Bill was fatally flawed – for various reason. On top of this the Liberal Party and then the Coalition had announced that they now opposed the Bill after their Party Room meetings on Monday.
But Mr Jennings – the Special Minister of State , had been hard at work finding ways to amend the Bill to satisfy the cross benches. Plus the Sydney hierarchy of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party had told the Victorian wing that they agreed with the idea of publicly funded elections.
All of this meant that during the very extended debate on Friday each of the mainly technical amendments were being passed 22-18.
But as the evening arrived the real amendments required to gain support form the cross bench arrived – the first was OK to restrict the period when you can be pulled into the VEC regulations by expending money on a comment which could be political. Now only the seven weeks between 1st Oct and election day in the election year counts for Third Party campaigners.
The fun started with amendments suggested by the Reason Party, to not only supply the new Administrative support money ‘upfront’ but that minor Party’s should receive a much higher rate. So the first member of any Registered Party would receive $250,000 on sitting, which includes if a MP splits and becomes a new Party they get this golden handshake of welcome.
This would be a standing invitation for any disaffected MP to walk and receive seed funding for their trouble. For once the Greens could see practical reason. They refused to support the amendment and offered their own to achieve some support for smaller Party’s without the golden handshake.
Suddenly the love fest was shattered – without Reason and Shooters and Fishers getting their wanted amendments the Bill was in trouble – so the Government pulled the plug and called for an Adjournment until the next sitting week (i.e. 24th July).
This site will provide a full run down on the amended Bill and the Green and Shooters amendments to the amendments in the coming week.