Tuesday 23 November 2010
Hansard of the Legislative Council
ELECTORAL AMENDMENT (LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BALLOT
PAPERS) BILL 2010 (No. 70)
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Madam President, this is a fairly simple
and straightforward proposal which I do not see any members
of this House opposing, whether they are dedicated Independent
members or members of a party. Surely there would not be anybody
here who would oppose it.
Mr Aird - We want to see either Independent Labor, Independent
Liberal or Independent Greens on the ballot paper, then we
would have fairness.
Mr FINCH - Sorry, I am speaking -
Madam PRESIDENT - Order, the honourable member for Rosevears
has the Floor. Everyone else will have their opportunity,
including the Treasurer.
Mr Aird - What would you be, Independent Liberal, do you think?
Mr FINCH - I am speaking on behalf of dinky-di Independents.
This merely allows people like me, Independent candidates,
to in fact declare their independence on ballot papers just
as members of parties declare their membership, and why not
have the opportunity to have the others? Some years ago the
member for Windermere stood and declared herself as independent
Labor and I think that should be the case, that she should
be able to declare that -
Mr Aird - Under this legislation you couldn't do that.
Mr FINCH - No, but when the person is elected next, under
that situation they might want to bring that legislation forward
as well and have things changed.
Mr Wilkinson - Some change after the election, of course.
They stand as an independent and then they join a party.
Mr FINCH - When they come to their senses.
Mr Wilkinson - And the other way around.
Mr FINCH - I am incredulous of this unfair situation. It has
really gone on for so long without it being noticed or corrected,
and as the proposer of the bill put in his speech, this present
situation is inequitable and inconsistent because candidates
endorsed by a registered political party are able to indicate
to voters on the ballot paper which political party they represent
whereas Independent candidates cannot indicate that they are
Madam President, whilst most parties continue to make inroads
- or try to - into the composition of the Legislative Council
there is plenty of evidence that many electors prefer their
Legislative Councillors to be free of party ties and those
restrictions. The year 2010 may well become known as the 'year
of the Independents' in the Federal sphere. We only have to
look at the way people chose to vote, not only Federally but
here in Tasmania for our Federal counterparts where party
adversarial politics were on the nose with a proportion of
Australian voters and I am reading that that is the way of
the world. It is going to be our future as well.
Madam President, you do not have to be of a particular view
on the value of Independents when considering this bill, all
you have to do is have a notion of fairness. I strongly support
this bill and I thank the member for Western Tiers for bringing
the anomaly to our attention and for writing my speech.