Deregistered Political Parties

Huh. The death of political parties is good news in the context of a social revolution; not-so-great news in the context of a constitutional monarchy / parliamentary democracy…

On Crikey, Stephen Mayne reports that the AEC has recently de-registered a whole swag of political parties, by reason of the ‘Application of Schedule 3 of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2006‘. Mayne reckons that this “must surely go down as one of [HoWARd’s] lowest acts”, which should give you some idea of his priorities, as well as his attachment to People Power. Anyway, for what it’s worth, the parties that — as of December 27, 2006 — have been de-registered are:

1) Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group);
2) Citizens Electoral Council of Australia;
3) Citizens Electoral Council Australia (NSW Division);
4) Help End Marijuana Prohibition;
5) Hope Party Australia;
6) liberals for forests;
7) New Country Party;
EIGHT) No Goods and Services Tax Party;
9) Non-Custodial Parents Party;
10) One Nation Queensland Division;
11) One Nation Western Australia;
12) People Power;
13) Progressive Labour Party;
14) Queensland Greens;
15) Republican Party of Australia;
16) Socialist Alliance;
17) The Australian Shooters Party;
18) The Fishing Party;

and last, but by no means least

19) The Great Australians.

The AEC helpfully provides an infosheet on its site, which purports to explain the legal gobbledygook found in the Act. In plain English then:

Schedule 3 of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2006 (the Amendment Act) operates to de-register those political parties without current or past representation in Federal Parliament

What is the rationale for de-registration?

The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters made a number of recommendations for change to the Act in its ‘Report of the inquiry into the Conduct of the 2004 federal Election and Matters Related thereto’.

Chapter 4 of the Report included recommendations to address apparent confusion on the part of electors over party names. The recommendation for de-registration of certain parties was adopted by Parliament…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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7 Responses to Deregistered Political Parties

  1. Goat says:

    Mayne is a complete moron.
    This happens regularly, and parties are made to reregister and provide membership lists to prove fulfillment of registration.

  2. @ndy says:

    Goat,

    Mayne may or may not be a moron — I happen to think that he’s a reasonably articulate liberal democrat, but whatever — but you’re certainly wrong about the de-registrations in question. As indicated, they took place as a result of an amendment to the Act. In the absence of this amendment — created specifically on the basis of alleged confusion among voters inre party names — the parties would all still be registered.

    Yeah?

  3. Goat says:

    As the AEC says:

    De-registration will occur on 27 December 2006. The AEC has until this date to satisfy itself that parties have, or have had, representation in the Parliament.

    De-registered parties may apply for re-registration. In doing so, they must satisfy the contemporary registration requirements (including naming provisions) of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) before being re-registered.

    and

    Re-registration arrangements

    It is open to a party that is de-registered under these measures to again apply for registration under Part XI of the Act. The Federal Registration of Political Parties Handbook provides guidance to assist applicants.

    Such parties should be aware that:

    * The application will be treated as a new application, with details of the application advertised and measures such as the ‘500 member’ rule checked as necessary;
    * Section 129, which provides that parties with certain names not be registered, was amended in 2004 by the insertion of paragraph 129(da). This requires that a party not be registered if a reasonable person would think that its name or abbreviation suggests a connection or relationship between the party and a registered party that does not, in fact, exist.
    * The $500 fee which normally applies for registration of a political party is waived for applications made before 26 June 2007 by parties who have been de-registered under schedule 3.

    But what would Mayne care?
    He got booted from his own party and still wont leave
    Perhaps hes upset People Power will be reregistering without him
    Or at least trying to

  4. Robert says:

    I’m with Goat. This has been blown out of proportion by Mayne.

    In 2004, changes were made to the registration rules to prevent people using names that are too similar to other parties. The AEC now keeps a list of words that have been used by registered parties, and you’re not allowed to use them if they’ve already been taken (with the exception of things like “Australian” or “Party” or “Alliance”, etc). This is a democratic arrangement, because it helps voters distinguish between parties and avoids confusion at the ballot box.

    However, the 2004 reforms didn’t apply to parties that had already been registered under the old rules. There were still many confusing names. It was decided that all parties that hadn’t had an MP would be deregistered. They would then have to re-register in compliance with the new naming rules, and the usual registration fee would be waived. For the vast bulk of the deregistered parties, it will be a minor nuisance. There will be some parties that no longer have 500 members, but the problem there (if indeed it is a problem) is the membership threshold that has long existed.

    In short, this is a minor housekeeping event that has been exaggerated by the failed candidate for one of the inconvenienced parties. It’s another lame Mayne tantrum.

  5. weez says:

    Long live the People’s Front of Judea!

    err… Judean People’s Front!

    ah, I mean… oh fuckit.

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