The Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission has released its latest Draft Redistribution Order, redrawing the boundaries of the 47 electoral districts of the House of Assembly in the South Australian Parliament. The draft report consists of a draft order for the electoral redistribution and its reasons for proposing that the electoral boundaries be altered in the way shown in the 47 separate sketch plans that form the schedule to the draft order. Comments are sought by 6 July.

The federal Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has launched an inquiry into the AEC’s analysis of Fair Work Australia’s report on the Health Services Union. The committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions by 21 June 2012.

Moving backwards?

5 June 2012

Writing in Australian Policy Online, the Audit’s Marian Sawer shows that Australia is slipping in relation to comparable countries in the representation of women in parliament.

Two bills to enable the Australian Electoral Commission to directly enrol voters using a variety of data sources have passed through the House of Representatives. The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Bill 2012, which will allow the AEC to initiate a first enrolment, has also passed through the Senate, and the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011, which will allow the AEC to update the information of voters who have changed address using the same data sources, is expected to be debated soon.

Writing in the Canberra Times in March, Rob Hoffman and the Audit’s Brian Costar argued that the legislation is a necessary step in enfranchising a large group of potential voters.

The Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee has commenced a very broad-ranging Inquiry into the Future of Victoria’s Electoral Administration. The inquiry will examine all aspects of electoral administration except local government.

A new book by the Audit’s Norm Kelly was launched by Phillip Green, Electoral Commissioner for the ACT, on 18 May. Directions in Australian Electoral Reform: Professionalism and Partisanship in Electoral Management assesses Australian electoral reforms of the past 30 years using personal interview data and parliamentary debates, to provide a picture of the reform process as well as the outcomes. The book also examines Australia¹s electoral administration, testing for professionalism, independence and integrity. It can be downloaded for free from ANU E-Press and can also be ordered in hard copy.

Victoria’s 2010 election examined

May 30, 2012

The Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee has released the report of its Inquiry into the Conduct of the 2010 Victorian State Election.

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Australian elections timetable

May 30, 2012

A new background note from the Australian Parliamentary Library, prepared by Rob Lundie, provides a brief overview of the rules for determining the next Commonwealth, state, territory and local government elections.

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Electoral Regulation Research Network launched

May 28, 2012

Collaboration between the New South Wales Electoral Commission, the Victorian Electoral Commission and the Melbourne Law School has resulted in the establishment of the Electoral Regulation Research Network. The central purpose of the Network is to foster exchange and discussion amongst academics, electoral commissions, political parties, parliamentarians and other interested groups on research relating to [...]

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NSW election inquiry

April 30, 2012

The NSW Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is conducting a review of the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 (excluding Part 2) and the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981. The Committee will consider whether the acts “should be amended or rewritten to promote free, open and honest elections in New South Wales.” [...]

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2010 election book released

February 22, 2012

Julia 2010: The Caretaker Election, edited by Marian Simms and John Wanna, is the latest of the regular post-election analyses by a group of Australia’s leading political scientists. It provides a comprehensive coverage of one of Australia’s most historic elections, which produced a hung parliament and a carefully crafted minority government that remains a heartbeat [...]

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The Greens since 2008

February 20, 2012

Balancing act: the Australian Greens 2008–2011, a new paper by Joy McCann for the Australian Parliamentary Library, presents a brief introduction to the structure, ideological underpinnings and policies of the Australian Greens, and includes a brief history of the development of Green politics internationally and in Australia. It focuses on the party’s electoral fortunes and [...]

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Direct enrolment bills in parliament

February 20, 2012

The federal government has introduced two related bills, the Electoral and Referendum (Maintaining Address) Bill and the Electoral and Referendum (Protecting Elector Participation) Bill, which seek to introduce direct enrolment systems for federal elections. The bills are now at second reading stage. The Audit’s submission to the inquiry into the first of the bills by [...]

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2010–11 political donations data released

February 20, 2012

The Australian Electoral Commission released its annual disclosure of information about political donations and expenditure for the 2010–11 year on 30 January 2012. The Audit’s Graeme Orr and Brian Costar discussed the data and its limitations in this article for Inside Story.

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NSW donation and spending bill passed

February 20, 2012

On 15 February a NSW Legislative Council select committee reported on its inquiry into the provisions of the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Amendment Bill 2011, which set out to ban all donations to political parties by organisations (including unions). Although the report proposed a number of amendments, the bill was introduced on the same [...]

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