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Democratic Audit Update - 15 May 2008
Relics of a bygone era
Peter Brent examines the regional structure of the Australian Electoral Commission and argues that the existence of permanent District Returning Offices is wasteful and is holding back the adoption of world's best practice enrolment procedures.
Read the discussion paper.
The Institute for Social Research at Swinburne is holding the third of its Emerging Scholars' Workshops on the theme of Democracy. Applications are sought for places at the workshop.
Find out more here.
The Electoral Matters Committee of the Parliament of Victoria is conducting an Inquiry into Political Donations and Disclosure. Submissions close on Friday 27 June 2008.
The case of the disputed election in the Division of McEwen is set down for hearing in the Federal Court of Australia, Melbourne, in courtroom 8D on 21 and 22 May at 10.15 am
… and more donations
The Australian Electoral Commission has released details of electoral donations from the 2007 federal election. They can be found here.
The NSW Election Funding Authority has asked the Crown Solicitor to prosecute 800 donors who failed to declare $8 million in donations to parties and candidates at the 2006 state election, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on 3 & 4 May 2008.
More details here.
… and deductible donations
The Democratic Audit of Australia supported limited tax deductibility on small political donations in its submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters Inquiry on Tax Deductibility of Political Donations.
No four-year terms for Queensland
"Talks have again broken down between the Bligh Government and the Queensland Opposition over a referendum on fixed four-year terms," reported The Australian on 1 May.
The full item is here.
Electoral changes in the Senate
The government has today introduced its changes to the Electoral Act into the Senate. Senator Faulkner's media release is here.
Lobbyist register website
As well, the federal government's lobbyist register website is now up and running, and can be viewed here.
The lobbyist register will be fully operational from 1 July. Crikey's Bernard Keane reports today that Senator Andrew Murray "has referred the register to the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration to consider ways that it could be improved, including the key issue of whether in-house lobbyists should be included, and whether it should be extended to all members of Parliament. However, as a ministerial code rather than a regulation or legislation, the Register requirements are in force, and lobbyists have until 30 June to register themselves."
Reviewing the 2007 federal election
Some readers will also be interested to download a copy of the Parliamentary Library's research paper on the 2007 federal election, written by Scott Bennett and Stephen Barber, which includes a narrative discussion of the election campaign and its outcome and a comprehensive set of statistics.