Electors rights violated

IN December 1998 the WA Electoral Commission approved Greypower as a political party for participation in WA State elections, in response to an application by the founder, D.H. Ratcliffe, accompanied by the signatures of more than 500 founding members whose names were on the Electoral Roll. 42 candidates were fielded in the 1989 WA State Elections.

More signatories have been obtained in the interim.

There should be no need to repeat a time consuming, labour intensive exercise to maintain the standing of Greypower as a legitimate political party just because the criteria have been amended by more recent legislation designed to incommode minor parties and to reinforce the grip of Labor/Liberal duopoly in Australia.

Indeed it may well be that those recent amendments to the Electoral Act are unconstitutional in that they invade the privacy of electors, who point out the secrecy of the ballot. The amendments are without doubt discriminatory as well. Moreover the requirements for registration contravene UN Declaration of Human Rights which contains an article on the free association of citizens. Many electors do not want their political persuasion to be publicised and forbear handing over party membership details to the Electoral Commission, which leads to further inquisition by Electoral staff by mail or by telephone.

Also, it must be averred that legislation should not be retrospective, nor retroactive; it should not violate a right or agreement already entered into viz the acceptance of Greypower as a political party eligible to field candidates in WA State elections.

Salli Vaughan

President, Greypower.

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