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Preference for vote hit

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“PREFERENCE whisperers” would be banished from the Australian political system under a proposal by independen­t Senator Nick Xenophon to change the way we vote.

And crossbench MP Clive Palmer wants to keep the bastards honest by banning them from serving more than two terms in Parliament.

Senator Xenophon has floated a compromise proposal to make it more difficult for members of tiny political parties to be elected with only a small number of votes.

He said making voters in Senate elections register at least three preference­s above the line, or 12 below, could put an end to such preference deals.

Mr Palmer yesterday said the committee’s proposal would probably have prevented Senator Xenophon from winning his first Senate terms in 2007.

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