Democracy is ‘not a toy’

Liberal Senator James McGrath says the proposal for legislation which would ban the controversial practice of preference harvesting in Victoria is something he agrees with because democracy is “not a toy”.

The bill – introduced by Victorian MP Fiona Patten – would make it difficult for micro-parties to have their candidates elected seeing as preference harvesting has often led to the election of candidates who received very little of the vote.

“The bill is introduced ironically by someone who’s benefited from preference deals … she’s admitted that it might cost her herself,” Mr McGrath told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“I’m actually not opposed to this bill, I don’t like the fact that shady deals can be done in shady rooms by shady people being paid money.”

Mr McGrath said that “when it comes to democracy” there is “nothing wrong with party swapping preferences”.

“But when it comes to these dodgy deals between minor parties … you sort of have to wonder are people playing democracy?” he said.

“Democracy is not a toy, it is something to represent the views of people and not to be used by people to get a pay check for three or six years.”

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