The Australian Labor Party has decided to move the date of its national conference following the Federal Government’s decision to put five by-elections on the same day.
The Labor Party’s biggest event has had to be moved after the announcement from the Turnbull Government that five by-elections will be held on July 28 – the same day that the Labor Party had originally planned to hold their national conference. The so-called “party trick” from the Turnbull Government has left much of the Labor Party furious.
President of the ALP, Mark Butler, today said that the triennial national conference would be moved so that it did not clash with the by-elections to be held across the country.
“Obviously we are not going to hold a national conference during by-elections,” Mr. Butler told the ABC, the “government has deliberately targeted the date…to prevent a policy platform (organised by the ALP) for a Federal election that could be called as early as August”.
It is expected that the Labor government will not hold back in its disgust that the Turnbull Government has organised for the by-elections on the same day as the national conference was originally planned. Whilst the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is supposed to control election fairness, it is ultimately determined by the Government in order to gain an advantage.
Despite the lack of evidence, the ALP is accusing the AEC of being an accomplice in the determination of the election dates provided to the Turnbull Government in order to disrupt Labor.
Anthony Albanese, Senior shadow minister said that he believed that the AEC had failed to have “taken into account the fact that these days one in four voters pre-poll” and alluded to the impact that school holidays would have.
Mr. Butler also continued from his above comments with a more blunt statement towards the AEC and the Liberal Party saying that the decision for the date of the by-elections was “deliberately designed to disadvantage the Labor Party”.
The Speaker, Tony Smith, who is also involved in the decision for the by-elections, said that the AEC advice had been that July 28 would be a suitable date. He explained that it allows sufficient time for the commission to make any necessary adjustments to regulations in order to ensure that there were no more dual citizenship issues for the candidates of the by-elections.
However, the supposed new regulations require the candidates to fill out certain forms to which Mr. Albanese said he had seen “more difficult forms to get a library card” indicating that the dual citizenship dilemma was a convenient reason for the specified date.