Senators Challenge Voting Reform Law in High Court


Family First Senator Bob Day and Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm are behind a legal challenge against laws regarding a reform in the electoral process in Australia.

The senators are going to High Court against the legislation which will change the way the nation elects its senators. The law passed in the parliament on Friday after there was a sitting, which went on for many hours.

Day and Leyonhjelm are among a number of other Crossbenchers who are against the reform. John Madigan, Zhenya Wang, Glenn Lazarus and Ricky Muir opposed the legislation, which was eventually carried 36-23 votes in favour of it.

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Political analysts believe the reform is going to eliminate the role of independent and minor party senators. It will establish the Liberal-National coalition in the Upper House, they believe. According to the senators, the change is undemocratic.

“Yesterday the Liberal Party, Nationals, Greens and Nick Xenophon teamed up to get rid of independent senators and minor parties. We think that is undemocratic,” Sky News quoted him as telling AAP. “We’re confident others will see the value in what we are doing.”

The senators argue that the law will disenfranchise three million voters, who are going to play no role in electing political representatives. “Their votes will die under the optional preferential system, once they have voted for the minor party,” a representative of Day said.

According to the representative, the legal challenge is being privately funded by Day. Nevertheless, the senator is expecting other crossbenchers to join his cause. The issue has been forwarded to a number of independent and minor party senators, he said.

Small parties, according to the reform, will not have the opportunity to secure a place in the senate with 0.5 percent of the primary vote.

According to The Australian, the reform will ask voters to number minimum six boxes above the line on the ballot paper. The reform is expected to take place in July.

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