SENATOR Online candidate for McMillan Gary Patton has insisted political apathy would not undermine his party’s policy formulation system should he be elected on Saturday.
Listen to the interview: click the YouTube play button above to hear the full interview.
Speaking at a candidates forum in Warragul last month Mr Patton said he had no policies because he would vote on each issue based on Senator Online’s polling at the time.
In an interview with The Warragul Citizen after the event Mr Patton said low voter engagement in political issues was not a big issue for the party.
“In terms of apathy in the Australian electorate yes, there is an political apathy there,” Mr Patton said.
“At the moment less than two per cent of the Australian population are active members of a political organisation or actively involved in politics… so if I can get three per cent of the population to vote on an online poll for Senator Online… I’m one per cent better off than what the status quo is now.”
Despite few rights being detailed in the Australian Constitution, Mr Patton said he was trying to “get the Australian people to read [the document] to find out what their rights and that are.”
Mr Patton also said the Senator Online voting model was based on the referendum process (the process by which changes to the constitution are approved by the people) as written in the constitution.
The referendum process requires over 50 per cent (50%+1) of voters and a majority of voters in a majority of states to approve a proposed change to the constitution for the document to be amended, but Mr Patton said:
“The Senator Online model is based on the referendum model, so effectively with a referendum you have to get 70-75 per cent of the population to agree on it before the referendum passes,” Mr Patton told The Warragul Citizen.
Mr Patton insisted he was correct but later said the 70-75 per cent figure was a Senator Online requirement.
In a statement on his website Mr Patton said Australia should “once again be returned to… ‘good government’ as set out in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 and it’s (sic) eight subsequent legal amendments.” When asked which systems of government he was referring to given most were convention and not defined in the constitution Mr Patton asked “what do you mean by convention as opposed to constitution?”
He went on to say: “in 1984 Bob Hawke introduced the Letters Patent, and then in 1986 the Australia Act. Both had sufficient impact on the Australian Constitution Act 1901 that they should’ve been presented to the Australian people by referendum.”
“Those two documents are actually unconstitutional.”
Mr Patton said the major parties were not representing voters.
“I think there was a majority among the… non-major party candidates that there’s definitely something wrong in Australian politics and the representation of the Australian people.”
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