Labor’s climbdown is a win for local democracy

by Ted Sorensen
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The LNP has welcomed Labor’s decision to ditch its cynical plan to force compulsory preferential voting (CPV) on councils following a fierce backlash from local government leaders.

Shadow Minister for Local Government Ann Leahy said Labor’s reforms would have resulted in higher rates and electoral confusion across Queensland as part of a desperate bid to shore up Labor’s vote in Brisbane City Council elections.

“I congratulate the LGAQ and all council leaders who stood up to the arrogant Palaszczuk Labor Government on this important issue,” Ms Leahy said.

“Labor’s plot to force compulsory preferential voting on councils would have been a disaster for local democracy.”

A question-on-notice earlier this year revealed that the cost of Queensland’s council elections would have increased from $17.2m to $27.4m under compulsory preferential voting.

Ms Leahy said Labor should now back the LNP’s Bill to abolish compulsory preferential voting in Queensland state elections.

“No-one should be forced to vote for a candidate they do not support, but that’s exactly what Labor forces them to do,” Ms Leahy said.

“Compulsory preferential voting was scrapped in state elections between 1992 and 2015 because it takes power away from the people and gives it to politicians.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk only brought back compulsory preferential voting in state elections because she knew she could never win a majority if voters had a real choice at the ballot box.

“It’s time to restore our democracy and let voters decide who gets their vote – and who doesn’t.”

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