Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says he'll introduce a bill to keep micro party candidates with tiny vote counts out of the Senate.

Senator Xenophon said the current system represented the will of political parties not the Australian people.

He cited the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, which could win a Victorian Senate seat with only 0.51 per cent of the primary vote, and the Australian Sports Party, which could win a seat in Western Australia with 0.22 per cent.

That's possible because of preference swap deals in which these small parties agree to direct preferences to each other, but not the major parties, until one achieves a full quota of 14.29 per cent of the vote.

"I'm the first person to say that small parties and independents are good for Australian politics," Senator Xenophon said in a statement.

"But they, or any, candidate should only be elected if that reflects what voters want."

Senator Xenophon believes it is time to do away with above the line voting which led to ridiculously complicated preference deals.

Similarly, below the line voting, requiring voters to number every box on the ballot paper, should also end.

"A better system would be to have only the below the line set-up, but not force voters to number every box," he said.

"Instead, they would be required to list their first six preferences and as many as they wanted after that."

 

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