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By December 10, 2020May 11th, 2021SMOS

The Morrison Government has today launched an outrageous authoritarian-style assault on Australian democracy in a report into the 2019 Federal Election.

Using its control of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM), the Government is proposing drastic measures designed to silence its critics, suppress the vote and stop workers and grass-roots campaigners from participating in our democracy.

The JSCEM report on the committee’s inquiry in the 2019 Federal Election, tabled today, reveals the Morrison Government plans to:

  • Abolish compulsory preferential voting and replace it with optional preferential voting, undermining our compulsory voting system;
  • Introduce voter ID laws, disenfranchising our most vulnerable citizens, including people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, and many First Nations Australians;
  • Abolish by-elections and allow the retiring member’s party to choose their replacement, eroding the democratic right of Australians to elect their lower house representatives; and
  • Stop workers and third parties from speaking to voters as they go to cast their ballot.

The Chair’s report is a window on to a very dark future for Australian democracy under a Morrison Government.

Labor opposes these disgraceful plans to undermine the very principles of our Australian democratic system and has tabled a dissenting report proposing measures designed to continue our commitment to transparency and accountability:

Our proposals support strengthening Australian democracy through:

  • political donations reform to improve the integrity of our political system;
  • truth in political advertising laws; and
  • measures to improve the enrolment and turn-out of First Nations Australians.

The Morrison Government must not be allowed to destroy the democratic rights of Australian voters.