The selection for the Head of State is done on a State by State basis and would be overseen by the Australian Electoral Commission. (AEC)
The Government, Political Parties and “the People” are all entitled to nominate candidates, that would be elected by the people of their state or territory.
The final selection of a HOS would be made by the politicians from the representatives that the people of the states and territories have elected.
THE “PRIMARY CANDIDATE”:
To allow the States a direct say in the selection of the HOS, a candidate known as the “Primary Candidate” is selected by each State as well as the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
Whether the State chooses to use both Houses of Parliament, or just the Lower House is a decision for the individual state.
A 67% (2/3) vote for the candidate will be required to be the successful nominee.
If the State or Territory is unable to ratify a primary Candidate, they will not field a Primary Candidate in the First Position.
As can be seen later, this will have important ramifications on the ballot paper.
This will require the Government and others to work together to field a Primary Candidate that is respected by the Government and non government MPs.
If the Primary Candidate is a sitting politician, the nominee must eventually resign to become the State or Territory’s Candidate. In keeping with Federal by election laws, the representative could serve as a MP or Senator up to 33 days from the election. If the Primary Candidate is a State representative, then a by-election for that seat will be held on the same day of the Federal election. Should the nominee fail to resign by the 33rd day the nominee may not be included in the ballot.
THE POLITICAL PARTIES CHOICES:
Each party with more than 50,000 members per state may nominate a single candidate who may not hold a seat in either House. A Member of Parliament must resign to become their Party’s nomination. In keeping with Federal by election laws, the representative could serve as a MP or Senator up to 33 days from the election. If the Party Candidate is a State representative, then a by-election for that seat will be held on the same day of the Federal election. Should the nominee fail to resign by the 33rd day the nominee may not be included in the ballot.
How the party would make their selection; by appointment, or by election, or another fashion, would be their choice.
For the party to qualify, it would have to be registered with the SEC and have at least a sitting member in either the Lower or Upper House and have 50,000 financial members.* (*Or the same number of members as the people require signatures to be included on the ballot.)
The Candidate would be known on the ballot paper as the “Nominated Candidate of “THE PARTY”.
THE PEOPLES’ CHOICES:
The people may have as many candidates as they nominate, (providing the candidates fulfill the AEC Guidelines) and have a minimum number of supporters who are registered voters. It is suggested that 50,000 voters be required to receive selection on the Ballot Paper.
(*The minimum number of voters required can be discussed: 50,000 ‘signatures’ is a recommended starting point for discussion. The selection process or the way to be chosen is something that can be discussed on this blog: That is, how to nominate and be nominated, the minimum number of signatures required, etc. It is possible that this could be done online.)
However, unlike the party system, individuals can receive a ‘signature of support’ from any registered voter living in any state or territory of Australia. This would include any ex-pat Australian living overseas — provided that are enrolled to vote. However, having supported that individual, they may not necessarily be able to vote for that person if they are from a different state.
A person can support multiple candidates.
If a Member of Parliament or a Senator is voted as a People Choice candidate, the Member of Parliament must resign to become the nominee. In keeping with Federal by election laws, the representative could serve as a MP or Senator up to 33 days from the election. If the Candidate is a State representative, then a by-election for that seat will be held on the same day of the Federal election. Should the nominee fail to resign by the 33rd day the nominee may not be included in the ballot.
As well as having the minimum number of signatures, the AEC requires a deposit from political candidates. According to the AEC, a deposit of $2000 is required for each Senate candidate and $1000 for each House of Representatives candidate.
It is suggested that when standing as an HOS candidate, a deposit of $5000 be required.
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- The Northern Territory
So that no Australian is denied the opportunity to become the Head of State of Australia, each territory with more than 200,000 residents would receive the same rights as a state and be included on a individual Territory Ballot paper. As such, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory would each have a separate ballot paper.
These two territories would have a Primary Candidate nominated by their respective Legislative Assembly, Political Parties, electors and residents providing the same criteria is met for the states, effectively a two third majority from their lower House or a state party membership of 50,000 votes or electoral support of 50,000 nominations from any elected voter within Australia.
The External Territories:
- Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- Australian Antarctic Territory
- Christmas Island*
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands*
- Coral Sea Islands Territory
- Heard Island and McDonald Islands
- Jervis Bay Territory
- Norfolk Island
The residents of the external territories would also be able to stand for the Head of State. Each person would also need to qualify in the same manner as the states and mainland territories, ie, 50,000 signatures to field a candidate. The nominations can come from any registered voter within Australia. As for their small size of under 200,000 citizens they may only be nominated as individuals and must disclose political party interests. There are no Political Party or Primary Candidate nominations.
Most of the External Territories nominations would be included on the ACT Ballot paper.
The exceptions would be The Cocos Islands and Christmas Island which are currently recorded on the Northern Territory ballot.
There would be an acknowledgement from the Territory they have come from.
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