Greens candidate applauds Senate reforms

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

AS the Greens candidate for Gippsland in the next federal election, I would like to applaud the Greens for delivering the Senate voting reforms recently passed in federal parliament.

There has been a lot of politics played with this important issue, which has led to considerable misinformation.

The Greens have long pushed for an overhaul of the Senate voting system because in the past it has been possible to manipulate preferences to a point where senators could be elected with a miniscule number of first preference votes.

This has meant that it was effectively possible for Senate seats to go to the highest bidder.

Preferences were being directed, according to backroom deals, completely contrary to a voter’s first preference.

We will now have a much simpler and transparent Senate voting system which will see your preferences directed only to potential senators of your choice.

Your preferences will not flow to anyone you don’t vote for.

At the next election your Senate voting ballot paper will look slightly different, but you will still have the choice of voting above or below the line.

If you choose to vote above the line you can mark a minimum of six, or all the boxes in order of your preference and votes will not flow to anyone you did not vote for.

If you choose to vote below the line, you can mark a minimum of 12, or all the boxes and your vote will not pass to anyone you did not vote for.

The Greens have always been a party that supports good legislation regardless of politics, in stark contrast to the old parties.

Open, transparent democracy is a key value of the Greens and is just one of the reasons I have chosen to stand for them.