Eric Abetz’s performance in the Senate
yesterday gave a hint of what is to come from the Government’s
electoral reforms. The Special Minister of State managed to avoid
direct discussion of the real and substantive issues, substituting
policy detail for a few easy and cheap shots.

To get a clearer idea of what’s happening on the reform agenda, it’s best to follow the money. As Misha Schubert reports in The Age
today, a key to his agenda is the plan to lift the threshold for
undeclared political donations. And what will this do? For a start, it
will help mask the identity of most of the parties’ political donors.

Mike Steketee’s thoughtful piece in today’s Australian
gives a better insight into the proposed changes to electoral laws,
asking the simple question: if 74% of Australians favour compulsory
voting, why change it? We might find out that answer when Senator Abetz
faces Question Time today – but don’t hold your breath.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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