A hidden consequence of the Government’s changes to electoral laws is the impact that it will have on independents and micro and minor parties in WA politics.
Under the proposed changes, existing political parties will have to re-register within 12 months of the Bill’s passage by paying a fee of $2,000 and by collecting 500 signed declarations from their members.
Knowing what I know about my political party, Daylight Saving WA, I don’t think that I’ll be able to satisfy this requirement.
As a result, and to my knowledge, I will become the first person in WA politics who involuntarily became an independent.
While I’m not upset about losing out on a career in politics, I do fear for what this means for the future of diversity of thought in Western Australia.
Just how practical will it be for parties representing grassroots issues such as animal welfare, social justice and renewable energy to achieve registration?
Our democracy is made richer when more political views are represented, not fewer. Sometimes the major parties don’t have all the answers, and that’s where independents and micro and minor parties have a role to play.
Under these changes, Western Australia will become a form of ‘curated democracy’: one where Premier Mark McGowan and Attorney General John Quigley decide who appears on the ballot paper, rather than the people of WA.