Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Labor Party backs bills to de-register most political parties

Australian Labor Party backs bills to de-register most political parties, WSWS, Mike Head, 25 August 2021  In a nakedly anti-democratic and self-serving move, the Labor Party’s parliamentary caucus this week agreed to assist the Liberal-National Coalition government push four far-reaching electoral bills through parliament with breakneck speed.

As a result of Labor’s complicity, the bills could be rammed through both houses of parliament and become law within days. In fact, the three main bills were rushed through the House of Representatives yesterday.There has been virtually no public discussion or media coverage on this historic attack, unveiled suddenly last week on the eve of the next federal election, which is due by May next year.

The bills contain a host of measures to suppress alternative political parties and the basic rights of voters. Neither the Morrison government nor Labor has offered any explanation as to why these bills have been brought forward now, seemingly out of the blue……..

The most sweeping provision in the bills seeks to strip party registration from every party not currently represented in parliament. It would compel parties to provide lists and details of 1,500 members—triple the existing requirement—within three months of the laws passing, all in the middle of widespread lockdowns.

Without party registration, federal election candidates for the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and 35 other currently registered parties would be prevented from having their names and thus identifying their political affiliations on ballot papers. Their candidates would have to stand without any party name, or as undifferentiated and unexplained “independents.”

…….. Predictably, the existing parliamentary parties would continue to be exempt from any membership requirement whatsoever. They could well have difficulty nominating 1,500 members, unless they could count MPs, staffers, trade union officials and other office holders.

……… The only provision that Labor will not support is the lowering of “political campaigner” financial disclosure obligations for advocacy, welfare, environmental and other groups that participate in election campaigns.

…………. The same bipartisan front has been formed on every attack on fundamental democratic rights over the past two decades. This includes the repeated tightening of police-state “terrorism” laws, the “foreign interference” legislation to potentially outlaw links to international or overseas parties, and the 2017–2018 expulsion of members of parliament who were possibly entitled to dual citizenship, effectively disqualifying millions of people with immigrant backgrounds from even nominating for election.

August 28, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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