Queensland could see one of the biggest changes to its electoral system in decades if the referendum on fixed four-year parliamentary terms passes.
The “yes” vote is likely go ahead with voters turning out in numbers on Saturday’s local government elections to back the proposal to replace the three-year terms with longer and fixed terms.
Reports by the ABC show that there was already a clear lead 53.3% to 46.7% after more than one million votes were counted.
While the case for retaining the status quo rests on the premise that “longer parliamentary terms water down democratic standards and reduce accountability of politicians” and that Queenslanders will have to wait longer to replace a bad government, those in favour of the reforms say it will lead to fewer elections and a better government.
The changes have also received the support of Labor and Liberal-National parties.
Member of the LNP of Queensland Ian Walker says that the fixed four-year terms “provide an aura of certainty to allow governments to plan and to put their programs out without the uncertainty of when an election is going to be called and whether it will be called at short notice”.
Further arguments by members of the Queensland Parliament say that the reform will reduce the cost of elections as well as encourage investment into the Queensland economy.
If passed, the reforms would come into effect after the current term with elections to be held every four years on the last Saturday of October.