Banana Republic tactics in Queensland reveal political corruption

The Liberal National Party in Queensland has moved to block Katter’s Australia Party from achieving official party status, by changing the law governing political parties. Shane Knuth , a Member of Parliament with Bob Katter’s party, has described the situation as a “disgrace”, which surely must qualify for the understatement of the year.

Apparently the change requires “new parties seeking official recognition to have three MPs voted in under the party banner at the most recent election”, apparently in an effort to deny official party status to Katter’s party, which has just received its third MP with the defection of Ray Hooper from the LNP; but as he transferred to Katter’s party, rather than being “voted in under the party banner”, he now no longer counts towards the requirement for the official recognition of the party. Coincidentally, the parliamentary administration had only just written to Bob Katter to advise him that his party had received official party status; but now all that has changed.

In what can only be described as yet another example of the moral corruptness of both of the major parties, the Labor Party voted in support of the Liberal National Party’s changes to the rules. Parties with official status are entitled to extra resources, but it looks like the Liberal and Labor parties want only their snouts to be the ones snuffling in the trough of public spending.

This act stinks to high heaven of officially-sanctioned political corruption and a lack of moral fibre. The current state of politics in Australia is so morally corrupt that it would fit right in with a Third World Banana Republic.

Political parties have to jump through hoops of fire (with masses of bureaucratic red tape) to become registered as official political parties. However, the whole process is politically corrupt from the start.

Federal law requires a political party to have at least 500 members to become registered; however, this does not apply to any party with an MP in parliament, which very neatly excludes the Liberal, National and Labor parties from that red tape nightmare, which is an amazing coincidence, because it was the Liberal, National and Labor parties which brought that law into being.

In New South Wales the party registration law requires a party to have at least 750 members. That’s 50% more than what is required at federal level. Why would a state require a party to have 750 members, when to have a party covering the entire country requires 500? The answer is obvious. It was done to stop small parties from registering in NSW.

This is Banana Republic-style political corruption; making up rules to ensure that your party has a better chance of staying in power. And both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party engage in this sort of political corruption.

At the federal level, being registered as a political party ensures that the party name is listed beside the candidate’s name. However, candidates still have to pay the Australian Electoral Commission to be a candidate anyway, their name still goes on the ballot, and they are still entitled to electoral funding if they get over 4% of the vote. So why make it so difficult to have the party’s name beside the candidate’s name? The answer is that having a party name listed ensures wider recognition by voters of what the candidate is about; so, if the Liberal-Labor politicians can deny that right to candidates from smaller parties, that means that Liberal and Labor end up getting more votes. More political corruption.

The fact is that 500 (or 750) members are not needed to have a political party. 10 or 20 members is enough to have a political party; which is all that should be needed as a minimum. The thousands of dollars needed to mount election campaigns already stop people running “just for fun”. The bureaucratic red tape and government fees would stop political parties being created on a whim. When any candidate runs for parliament, he or she should be automatically entitled to have their party affiliation listed beside their name, just like the Liberal and Labor politicians have. Anything else is just more political corruption.

The same applies for electoral funding. If we are to have funding at all (and that’s a big “IF”), then it should be distributed evenly and fairly. If candidates get, say $1 per vote, then that should be applied no matter how many votes they get. One candidate might get 20 votes, and $20, whilst another gets 30,000 votes, and $30,000; to have funding distributed equally, per vote received, is fair and equitable. There is absolutely no need for a cut-off point. At present, candidates get funding only if they get 4% of the vote; a minor party candidate could spend $20,000 and get no funding, whilst a major party candidate could spend $20 and get $20,000 in funding.

It would be a rarity for a Liberal Party or Labor Party candidate to get less than 4%, so the Liberal-Labor crowd are virtually guaranteed electoral funding every time they run. Which is an amazing coincidence, because it was the Liberal and Labor parties which brought in the electoral funding laws. There should be no-cut-off point; the current system is yet another example of political corruption.

Then there’s preferential voting. The major parties have made it compulsory, instead of optional, at federal elections so that everybody’s vote will always eventually count for one of the major parties, no matter how much an individual voter may not wish to endorse either of them. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the major parties also introduced “ticket voting” in the senate, which meant that their how-to-vote cards would instruct voters to merely put a number “1” in the major parties’ senate boxes, and then all those voters’ preferences would automatically be used in exactly the way the major parties wanted them to be used, rather than by the specific choices of the individual voters.

Again and again, the electoral laws in this country favour the major parties. And that is no coincidence, because it is the major parties which are making up the rules just to suit themselves.

The election rules currently in place in this country are designed to make it extremely difficult for small parties to properly participate in elections. A true democracy gives all candidates an even playing field to operate on. What we have in Australia today is not a true democracy; it is a sham democracy; a fraud. Say goodbye to a fair dinkum Australia, and say hello to the new Banana Republic of Liberal and Labor.

Katter accuses LNP and Labor of cash grab” Brisbane Times, 30 November 2012, Daniel Hurst
KAP MP Shane Knuth says LNP delusional over vote to deny Katter team party status”, The Courier-Mail, 29 November 2012 (Kelmeny Fraser, Robyn Ironside)
Handbook for New and Continued Registration of Political Parties in NSW” New South Wales Electoral Commission
Party Registration Guide” Australian Electoral Commission


  1. I am not surprised by this. Lib/Lab, their heads are so large I’m surprised they can stand up straight, let alone stand for a seat.

  2. They will try and do what they did to Pauline …….. don’t let the bastards do it !!!!
    I’ll be voting for some independent, that’s for sure !

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