Party registration decision: What Women Want (Australia)

Updated: 4 January 2011

Party entered in the Register of Political Parties

File reference: 07/1095 – Reg2483

The delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission determined that the application by What Women Want (Australia) to be registered as a political party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 should be accepted and the Party entered in the Register of Political Parties.

Background

On 16 July 2007, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from What Women Want (Australia) (the Party) for registration as a political party under the provisions of Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).

On 19 July 2007, the delegate of the AEC approved the advertising of the Party's application to invite objections. The Party's application was advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette on Friday 20 July 2007 and in major newspapers circulating in the various states and territories on Monday 23 July 2007.

No objections were received.

Relevant legal provisions

Political parties may apply for registration for the purposes of federal elections in accordance with the requirements of Part XI of the Electoral Act. The Electoral Act requires the AEC to maintain a publicly available 'Register of Political Parties'.

The provisions specifically relevant for the current application under consideration are sections 4, 123, 124, 126, 129, 132, 132A and 133 of the Electoral Act. An extract of the relevant provisions is available adjacent to this notice on this website.

In relation to this Party, the relevant provisions require it to:

  • be an organisation with an aim of promoting candidates it endorses for election to the House of Representatives and/or the Senate;
  • have either at least 500 members eligible to be on the electoral roll;
  • make an application for registration in the manner prescribed in section 126; and
  • propose a name and optional abbreviation for registration that is not prohibited by section 129.

Application of relevant legal provisions

Political party

Subsection 4(1) of the Electoral Act defines a political party as an organisation that has the object or activity of, or has as one of its objects or activities, the promotion of the election to the Senate or to the House of Representatives, of a candidate or candidates endorsed by it.

The Party meets the definition under section 4(1) of the Act as it is an organisation based on a constitution, including an objective to promote the election of candidates to the "Federal Senate and the Federal House of Representatives".

Application

The application conforms to the technical requirements set out in section 126 of the Electoral Act.

Secretary

Section 123 of the Electoral Act requires that a party have a position that performs the functions of a secretary.

The Party passes this test as its constitution provides a description of the responsibilities of the secretary.

Membership

Section 123 of the Act requires a non-parliamentary party to have at least 500 members (who are entitled to enrolment).

The criterion for membership including the payment of a membership fee is set out in the Party's constitution and the statutory declaration by the secretary states that each of the members on the list has been accepted as a member of the Party in accordance with the rules of the Party.

If, in contacting a random sample of 20 people from the membership list, there is no more than one instance where the membership could not be confirmed, then FAD accepts that the party has passed the required membership test. The test is designed to detect fraudulent membership in the 500 members on the basis that an application that contains fraudulent memberships is unlikely to have 500 members.

A random sample check of 20 members was completed in July 2007. All 20 members confirmed their membership. A check against all available membership lists was conducted, and of the 542 members provided by the Party, no duplicates were found.

The Party has demonstrated that there is no fraud in its membership list and that it satisfies the membership eligibility criterion.

Constitution

The Party has a constitution that was provided with its application. The constitution contains the following matters relevant to registration:

  • a clear aim of promoting candidates for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives;
  • identification of the role of secretary; and
  • detailed membership criteria.

The Party passes this test.

Party name

Section 129 prohibits the registration of parties with certain names. A party cannot be registered if its name or abbreviation is:

  • longer than six words;
  • perceived to be obscene;
  • the name, abbreviation, or acronym of the name of another political party (not being a political party that is related to the applicant party) that is a recognised political party;
  • so nearly resembling the name, abbreviation, or acronym of the name of another recognised political party (not being a political party that is related to the applicant party) that it is likely to be confused with that other recognised political party;
  • one that a reasonable person would think, suggests a connection or relationship with another registered political party, if that relationship does not exist;
  • comprised of the words 'Independent Party';
  • comprised of, or contains, the word 'Independent', and the name, abbreviation or acronym of a recognised political party; or
  • comprised of, or contains, the word 'Independent' and matter, that so nearly resembles the name, or an abbreviation or acronym of the name of a recognised political party, that the matter is likely to be confused with, or mistaken for, that recognised political party.

There are no political parties with a similar name currently registered at State, Territory or Federal level in Australia.

The Party passes the names test.

Objections

No objections were received.

Conclusion

What Women Want (Australia) has been registered.

Paul Dacey
Deputy Electoral Commissioner
Delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission

28 August 2007

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