Periodic reviews

Party Duties

Your duty as a HEMP Party member is to continue to comply with the conditions of membership.

Here’s a line from the membership application page:

“Because the membership will be verified to ensure the HEMP Party is a legitimate political party with a genuine membership, you must be prepared to keep your electoral details up-to-date, and answer any query from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) as to the correctness of those details.“

Party registration reviews

The AEC’s (Australian Electoral Commission) policy is to review each registered political party once between federal elections – at the mid-point of the electoral cycle. Outside of this cyclical review process, the AEC will undertake a review of the registration of a specific political party if:

a parliamentary party ceases to have a member of the House of Representatives or Senate,

a party fails to endorse a single candidate in any four year period, or

media or other public commentary suggests a party no longer exists.

Membership testing

When testing the party’s membership list, the AEC tests whether there is evidence that the members are listed on the Electoral Roll, whether there are any duplicate members in the list or duplicates with lists held of members sponsoring other registered political parties and also whether the people on the list will confirm that they are members of the party.

The AEC runs an automatic matching program to compare the list of members with the current and historical electoral roll to see if the members are enrolled or have been enrolled.

If less than 500 members are identified, AEC staff will conduct manual checks to try to identify members who are enrolled with slight differences, such as truncated given names.

The list of members with an enrolment history is checked to delete duplicate entries and then checked for members who already support the registration of another party.

The final step in member testing is when AEC staff contact a random sample of members to ensure that those members will confirm that they are members of the party applying for registration.

The random sample is drawn from the membership list in accordance with advice from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Periodic reviews

Political parties need to meet the requirements for registration at all times to remain on the Register of Political Parties and access the benefits of party registration.

Section 138A of the Electoral Act provides the AEC with a power to review the continued eligibility of registered political parties at any time other than during the period when writs in relation to an election are outstanding.

The AEC’s current policy to satisfy this requirement is to review each registered political party once between federal elections, that is, in the mid- term of each federal parliament.

For registered parliamentary parties, the AEC determines that there is at least one Senator or Member of the House of Representatives that represents the party.

For registered non-parliamentary parties, the AEC seeks a statutory declaration from the party secretary annexing an up-to-date copy of the party’s constitution and a list of between 500 and 550 party members on the electoral roll.

The AEC then contacts a random sample of the members on the list to verify they are willing to confirm they are members of the party.

When the AEC seeks this information from parties, section 138A of the Electoral Act provides a period of two months for the parties to provide the information sought in the AEC’s request.

If a party does not comply with the request for information, or a registered political party appears to be no longer eligible for registration, the Electoral Commission issues a formal notice under section 137 of the Electoral Act that the Electoral Commission is considering deregistering the party.

The party then has a further month to respond to that notice.

Look for the Leaf on the Senate Ballot Paper

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