Fair Elections BillPublished on 9 April 2014 Hansard and Statements by Senator Joan Fraser (retired)
Hon. Joan Fraser (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Colleagues, I suppose I could, if I wished, turn this into a question of privilege, but I’d rather not. Senator Carignan has acquired a habit — for him, no doubt, a happy habit — of referring to a reference I made some days ago in this place to the fact that I had once been — once — been the victim of electoral fraud. He has done so several times now in Question Period. He is, I think, distorting the sense of what I was saying on that occasion.
I’m quite sure I’ve voted in even more elections than Senator Cordy. This happened to me once. I have told the story many times in the years since it happened, and I’m always greeted with incredulity because nobody to whom I have spoken has ever experienced any such thing.
The point I was trying to make was that, yes, in a free and democratic system on occasion there will be some abuses, and that is a price we pay for keeping our system as free and keeping the ability to vote as accessible as we possibly can. I said at the time that I did not think my own experience — at the time I didn’t think and I don’t think it now — was worth appealing for a change in the law.
I would therefore ask Senator Carignan if he would kindly, the next time he’s defending the bill, choose another example.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.