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Impartial Review Of MMP Needed - ACT

Impartial review of MMP needed - Ken Shirley

Friday 11th Feb 2000
Ken Shirley
Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

Friday 11th Feb 2000 Ken Shirley Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley says ACT opposes the Government's proposed make-up of the select committee charged with the MMP review.

"Public confidence in the integrity and fairness of the electoral system is paramount in any democracy and the Labour Government's initial proposal to have the committee chaired by Jonathan Hunt does not pass muster," Mr Shirley said.

"Mr Hunt has publicly opposed MMP from its inception, bringing into question the appropriateness of his chairing this committee with a deliberative vote.

"We face the grave risk of his partiality being challenged in the minds of the public. This could only reflect poorly on the office of Parliamentary Speaker.

"In my view it is doubtful whether a review of this matter should be confined to members of Parliament who generally are not known for their impartial behavior, particularly in electoral matters.

"Clause 264 of the Electoral Act is restricting rather than enabling to the extent that it effectively precludes the review being undertaken by an independent statutory body. This clause is also unnecessary because Parliament at any time has the power to set up such a committee and there is no need whatsoever for this prescriptive and restricting provision to be enshrined in the Electoral Act.

"It would be a simple matter for Parliament to expunge this Clause from the Act next week if the parties agree, thereby freeing Parliament to ensure that an impartial and more appropriate review of the electoral process is conducted," Mr Shirley said.


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