"Will the Voice Referendum Signal the End of an Era in Australian Voting?"wordpress,Australianpolitics,voting,VoiceReferendum,era,politicalchange
"Will the Voice Referendum Signal the End of an Era in Australian Voting?"

“Will the Voice Referendum Signal the End of an Era in Australian Voting?”

4 minutes, 19 seconds Read

The Voice Referendum and the Future of Australian Electoral Reform


In the final stages of the Voice Referendum, the debate over political advertising and the influence of big money in Australian politics has come to the forefront. Billionaire Clive Palmer’s massive spending on political ads has raised concerns about the role of money in elections, prompting both Labor and the Coalition to consider electoral law reforms. This article explores the potential for bipartisan cooperation on electoral reform and the need for truth in political advertising, spending caps, and donation limits in Australian politics.

The Influence of Big Money in Australian Politics

Clive Palmer’s substantial financial contributions, such as the $117 million spent during the 2022 election, have sparked discussions about the need for electoral law reforms. Labor, in particular, has been keen to address the issue of “distorted political conversation” caused by large corporate donations. The Coalition, on the other hand, aims to prevent large donations that can help elect independents, who currently hold seven heartland Liberal seats.

Bipartisan Interests in Electoral Reform

Despite their frequent conflicts on various issues, both major parties share a common goal when it comes to electoral law reform. Labor seeks to limit the influence of big corporate money, while the Coalition aims to safeguard against large donations that support independent candidates. While the Coalition has previously resisted spending and donation caps, it has not ruled them out entirely. Additionally, Labor sees an opportunity to push for increased senator representation in territories.

Bipartisanship and Electoral Law

Interestingly, even amidst heated debates surrounding the Voice Referendum, Labor’s Don Farrell and the Coalition’s Jane Hume were able to negotiate a deal on the referendum machinery bill. These positive instances of bipartisanship demonstrate that both parties can work together on electoral law matters. However, if the Coalition rejects a deal, Labor may have to navigate a more complicated path involving the crossbench, which includes the Greens, who advocate for restrictive donation caps and bans on industries like fossil fuels.

The Need for Electoral Law Reforms

Addressing Advantages and Ensuring Fairness

The ongoing conversation about electoral law reforms extends beyond spending and donation caps. Independent member Kate Chaney’s private member’s bill proposes banning donations from harmful industries and mandating member or shareholder approval for union or corporate donations. This bill highlights the need to address existing advantages enjoyed by major parties and incumbents.

Possible Pitfalls of Reform

There is a fear that the Victorian reforms regarding smaller donations and increased public funding may serve as a model for a federal Labor-Coalition agreement. Critics argue that such reforms could inadvertently support the two-party system and restrict the entry of challengers. Striking a balance between allowing enough fundraising and spending for insurgent independents and preventing undue influence from billionaires remains a challenge. Any reforms must also consider public support for major parties, which has been declining.

The Future of Australian Electoral System

As Australians head to the polls for the Voice Referendum, they must consider the potential impact of electoral law reforms. Both Peter Dutton’s concerns about corporate support for the “yes” campaign and progressive criticism over Clive Palmer’s “no” ads demonstrate the need for change. Following the referendum, Labor and the Coalition may find themselves aligned on electoral reform, and it will be up to voters to decide the extent to which they want big money out of politics. The question remains if the regulatory cure for election integrity is worse than the disease of unrestricted political spending and influence.


With the conclusion of the Voice Referendum, the time is ripe for Australian electoral reform. Both Labor and the Coalition recognize the need for truth in political advertising, spending caps, and donation limits. Despite their differences on various issues, the major parties have shown that bipartisan cooperation on electoral law is possible. However, striking a balance that encourages fair competition, safeguards against undue influence, and retains public support for major parties will be a delicate task. As we embrace a potential new era of electoral change, it is crucial to ensure that the regulatory cure does not create unintended consequences.


"Will the Voice Referendum Signal the End of an Era in Australian Voting?"
<< photo by Dylan Gillis >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

You might want to read !


Edwards Jake

G'day, I'm Jake Edwards, the man on the street. I've been crisscrossing this great country, bringing you the human stories that make Australia what it is. From interviews with local legends to the everyday Aussie battlers, I'm here to tell your stories. So let's yarn, Australia

Similar Posts