Gillard vows to improve Australian democracy

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pledged to “renovate” the Labor Party’s tradition to make lasting improvements to Australian democracy.

With the Australian Electoral Commission’s vote count still hanging between Labor and the opposition coalition, Gillard Tuesday pledged to make changes if Labor retained power in a hung parliament, without spelling out specific details, Australian news agency AAP reported.

“I want to renovate that Labor tradition, to deliver lasting and durable improvements to our democracy, improvements not just for this parliamentary term, but measures to permanently uplift our system of government as other reforms have done in generations past,” Gillard said in a 26-minute speech at the National Press Club.

With three independent MPs — Tony Windsor, Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott — holding the key to who will form the next government, Gillard said she had given the three independents a political reform paper citing Labor’s intended parliamentary reforms.

The paper centred on campaign financing and electoral reform.

“We are completely transparent about this. We will continue to be transparent about it,” she said.

“We won’t be adding a dollar to the budget bottom line. The budget is coming back to surplus in 2013, full stop, that’s it.”

She said she had spoken to former prime minister Kevin Rudd since the election, but would say nothing on those discussions. She also did not say what role Rudd would play in a Labor government.

“I am not outlining a ministry, my focus is on stable and effective government,” she said.

Filed under: Politics

will not be displayed