Oz first online political party sets up online voting

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Sydney, Oct 18 (UNI) Australia's first completely online political party has vowed to make available all of its decisions to a web-based vote.

The party hopes the move would provide the people of Australia with ''unprecedented power, the true sense of democracy''.

The party, Senator On-Line (SOL), is running for a place in the Senate and plans to allow anyone on the electoral roll to vote on every piece of legislation that passes through Parliament by voting online.

Party founder Berge Der Sarkissian said the positions of his senators would be based solely on the results of the online polls.

The Independent Mayor of Willoughby Pat Reilly will run as the party's main candidate for NSW.

Explaining his reasons for starting the party, Mr Sarkissian said the Senate was failing in its role of checking and scrutinising government activities.

He said the party, which has 512 members and was approved by the Australian Electoral Commission in August this year, would nominate two candidates for each mainland state so it ''can have an above-the-line position on the ballot papers''.

Mayor Reilly said elected party representatives did not always follow through on their pre-election promises, so checks and balances such as those promised by SOL were important.

He said like the late Democrats founder Don Chipp, his goal was to ''keep the bastards honest''.

''Everybody in Australia has the opportunity to turn around and put their view online so you can get a real record of whether the majority of the populous wants a particular bill to go through or if they don't, and that's not necessarily always the case (today),'' Major Reilly was quoted as saying by Sunday Morning Herald.

But the ABC's election analyst, Antony Green, said Senator On-Line was ''utterly impractical''.

''What Harry Evans is talking about is the Senate is not giving enough consideration to legislation -- now just opening up legislation to a lot of people doesn't give you extra consideration,'' he said.

The party's website, www.senatoronline.org.au, would include information and views both for and against pieces of legislation that were before Parliament. Users could debate each bill via the website and the SOL senators would then present those views in Parliament.

UNI

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