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Australian People

The Issue of Senators Resigning from their Party

March 16, 2015

Any High Court of Australia application based on the grounds that a senator was voted in because most voters marked above the line for the party and that the party therefore holds the senate seat and should be allowed to install another candidate than allow the senator resigning from their particular party to continue to stand as an independent, the APP believe, may be doomed to fail.

1. The argument has little merit - people vote above the line with a single number 1 because they can not be bothered marking out tens of numbers 1 to sometimes 50 or more in order below the line. Furthermore, voting below the line is assumedly usually carried out by diligent voters who care about how their senate preferences are distributed and this does not infer that people who vote above the line are not cognisant of the candidates' names below the line.
2. There would be a valid argument that the seat belongs to the person the party selected to stand and even if they resign from the party should remain in the hands of that elected candidate otherwise parties in the senate could sack whenever they felt one of their own disagreed with the party line and/or disagreed with the demand that they vote in a certain way.
3. It may be up to the discretion of the High Court to allow evidence to be lead from a raft of former principled candidates, members and parliamentarians who have resigned from a specific party and the learned judges may hear that there is possibly a valid pattern for the resignations emerging.

In totality and given the circumstance that may be put to the court the APP believe it may be found that it is fair and warranted that the senators keep their senate seats as independents.

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