|SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ|
Special Minister of State
|A11/01||19 June 2001|
Yet another Labor State has effectively condoned and facilitated electoral fraud by refusing to support a Federal Government initiative to clean up the electoral roll, Special Minister of State, Senator Eric Abetz said today.
Senator Abetz revealed that the Western Australian Attorney General and Minister for Electoral Affairs, Jim McGinty, had written to him on 14 June, stating that the Gallop Labor Government would not pass the complementary legislation necessary for the effective operation of the Commonwealths Electoral and Referendum Amendment Act (No. 1) 1999.
In refusing to help clean up the electoral roll, Western Australia joins the other Labor States, all of whom have deferred consideration of, or indicated they will oppose, the regulations essential to the Commonwealth Act.
"The most extraordinary aspect of the Western Australian decision is Labors ongoing and wilful refusal to admit the truth," Senator Abetz said. "They are desperately trying to play down the damning reality that was the Shepherdson Inquiry and its findings."
"In his letter to me, Mr McGinty actually wrote: I am not aware of any major shortcomings with the present practices. The Shepherdson Inquiry found very little evidence of fraud, certainly nothing which makes the proposed changes necessary.
"The proposed change which Mr McGinty fears most, of course, is one that Justice Shepherdson himself supported. It provides for the presentation of identification by those seeking to have their names added to the electoral roll.
"This measure would go a long way to cleaning the electoral roll and narrowing the scope for Labor style rorting. This is probably why, to a man, the Labor Premiers are refusing to support the measure.
"I notice also that, like the Labor Premiers, Mr Beazley has now fallen obediently into line behind Senator Faulkner and is now parroting the unconvincing excuses Senator Faulkner proffered on the "Sunday" program.
"Rather than fight for the integrity of the electoral roll, Mr Beazley is endorsing the wilful obstructionism of the Labor Premiers. He lacks the moral leadership to insist that his Party cooperate in the fight against electoral fraud. He hasn't the ticker to take a principled stand on this issue and the Labor Premiers know it," Senator Abetz said.
Senator Abetz is available for Media interviews
Media inquiries: Michael Barrett 02 6277 7600 or 0419 276 490
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SMH tried to explain away the rorts, even though it had a tiny number of NSW facts to go on, on November 11 2000, in long article "Vote early, vote often" at:
TO VOTE ON LINE as to whether a Royal Commision ought to be held on Electoral Cheating, click PUBLIC DEBATE at http://www.publicdebate.com.au/is/681/
An HISTORICAL BACKGROUND of how Parliaments gave up their power to determine electoral fraud claims, a paper by Dr Amy McGrath to the the Eighth Conference of The Samuel Griffith Society, University House, Canberra, ACT, 7 - 9 March, 1997, is at http://www.samuelgriffith.org.au/vol8/mcgrath.htm
Queensland inquiry into preventing Electoral Fraud, noted and copied on 12 Aug 01 as legalreview.pdf is best read at legalreview.htm , or the original at www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Comdocs/LegalRev/LCAR028.pdf
The above-mentioned WA Attorney-General Jim McGinty, in a letter dated 4 September 2001, says there has been no evidence of widespread fraud in electoral enrolment, and that having to prove identity [similar to opening a bank account] would disenfranchise many electors. Read the McGinty letter.
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