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Tasmania Needs Strong Electoral Laws

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Tags: Political Donations, Electoral Reform, Corruption, House of Assembly

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Robust electoral laws are crucial for a healthy democracy, which is why the Tasmanian Greens have made a comprehensive submission to the government’s electoral reform consultation.

The 2018 State Election campaign was a stark demonstration of how Tasmania’s feeble electoral laws allow for massive distortions of our democratic processes. The Liberals have been promising proper electoral reform ever since, and now more than three years later they’ve finally put something on the table.

While the Liberals’ draft Bills show they have been dragged kicking and screaming to some modest improvements, the fact is their proposed changes would still leave Tasmania with the weakest electoral laws in the nation.

The Greens understand this is a chance to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive, and we’ve put forward a range of recommendations that would do just that.

Capping both political donations and electoral expenditure, and banning foreign donations, would finally end the dominance of corporate interests in politics, and empower everyday Tasmanians to have a genuine voice in our democracy. Making the model for public election funding fairer would make sure any Tasmanian who wants to put their hand up for Parliament can do so, regardless of how deep their pockets are.

In an age of increasing disinformation, we believe the introduction of ‘truth in political advertising’ laws is an essential step. Political parties should not be able to get away with spreading lies and deceit in their efforts to get elected.

As Tasmanians we’re incredibly lucky to live in a democracy, but we must not take this for granted. We need to look at how we can strengthen our democratic institutions and processes, and protect them from the increasing threats of vested interests and disinformation. 

In the interests of all Tasmanians, we call on the government to consider our recommendations with an open mind and for them to get serious about bringing Tasmania’s electoral laws in line with the rest of the country.

Our full submission is available here: