Electoral Reform

Made public participation in democracy easier by allowing electronic petition to be accepted by Parliament.

Secured a future cap on political campaign expenditure and changes to permit electronic voting for the visually impaired.

In July 2018, Fiona Patten delivered  a future absolute cap on party political campaign expenditure – to be implemented via recommendations of an independent review that the relevant Minister is obliged to use their ‘best endeavors’ to implement.

These important electoral reforms were secured via negotiation with the government on the Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2018.

Ms Patten said “This is particularly important given that election campaigns are now going to be publicly funded. We need to ensure there is a limit to the amount that can be spent so the public are not left with a continually growing bill. Almost 50 countries around the world have capped their election campaign spending including Canada, the UK and New Zealand and it makes sense that it is introduced in Victoria.”

Fiona Patten also secured a review into improving voting for the visual impaired, including the prospect of electronic voting.

Fiona Patten MP is responsible for the introduction of Electronic petitions (e-petitions) to the Victorian Parliament. E-petitions improve public engagement with the political process and make democracy more accessible, participatory and responsive.

As a community, we have become far more familiar with online petitions than hard copy petitions, which prompted Fiona to act to modernise our Parliamentary approach.

On 8 June 2016, the Legislative Council supported the motion of Fiona Patten  to change the Council’s standing orders and allow e-petitions to the Legislative Council. In Victoria, both houses of Parliament had previously only accepted paper petitions in accordance with relevant standing orders, despite several parliamentary committee inquiries having recommended their introduction. Patten’s motion, which had the full support of the house changed this, with the new rules coming into effect from early 2017.

Create a new e-petition here: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/component/rsform/?amp;view=rsform&formId=73&Itemid=1073

You can view and sign existing e-petitions here: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronic-petitions/view-e-petitions

 

In May 2018, Fiona Patten called on the government to take this a step further and introduce a scheme requiring a mandatory response to parliamentary petitions. She said:

“The action that I am seeking from the government is to introduce a mandatory government response to petitions when a certain threshold of petitioners is met. This would not be for single-person petitions, but when a threshold is met I would like to see those petitioners notified and the government respond to the petition. The petition may be duly noted, but Scotland has a Public Petitions Committee where every petition is considered. Those petitions may be referred to a joint house committee or a standing committee. Those petitions may actually be referred to the house for greater debate on the floor. Those petitions are taken as important communications with the house.”

“I feel we should be taking greater notice of the petitions that this house receives, so the action that I seek from the Special Minister of State — as Special Minister of State but also as the Leader of the Government — is that he enacts a process where the petitions can be responded to, noted or actioned on once they have been tabled.”

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