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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Preferential Voting Wednesday, 25 March 2015 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Abbott, Tony, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:23): My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the government plan to introduce optional preferential voting in the Senate elections, which will guarantee 38 senators and eliminate most of the crossbench, so the government can require the crossbench to pass all government legislation or threaten them with an early election? Will this mean the government, with crossbench support, can introduce optional preferential voting in the House of Representatives? Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) (14:23): I dare say that this coalition government that I lead, under whatever voting system we have, now and into the future will continue to talk respectfully to the crossbench and will continue to appeal to the crossbench on the basis of the self-evident merits of our case and on the basis of the self-evident merits of the legislation that we put before the parliament. I look forward to many cordial and warm consultations with all members of the crossbench, including the member for Fairfax. I daresay that one of the subjects that we will talk about collegially and consultatively in the months and years to come is the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters—that excellent report from the committee that was so well chaired by my friend and colleague. I look forward to considering its recommendations and to acting upon them in due course. Clive Palmer and Palmer United Party volunteers, Election day 2013 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 147


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