The article will tell you What Is Branch Stacking in Politics and if it is legal to have such practices in Australian politics.
Do you know why branch stacking is recently making a headline in the Australian political news? The government has already lost its ministers related to the branch stacking scandal.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) scrutinizes notable persons for misconduct, including Victorian MP. In the following write-up, we will see What Is Branch Stacking in Politics of Australia and why you need to know about it.
What is the current investigation?
IBAC is looking into taxpayers’ money used to fund political work, or ministerial employees who did any suspicious job. Additionally, it is investigating whether Victorian government grants were used for other unlawful objectives. And, if this is the case, whether individuals in charge of allocating the funds did so intentionally or negligently.
The hearing starts on Monday, and Antony Byrne, labor party MP, said to IBAC that he has paid for membership on behalf of other people. He also alleged that Luke Donnellan, Daniel Andrews government minister, has also been on the same page.
What Is Branch Stacking in Politics?
Branch stacking is a term related to the politics where they willingly or unwillingly recruit a large group of people to join the political party. They do it to bolster their party and pay a membership fee, which is later voted for in the candidate selection process.
Therefore, the primary purpose is to influence the consequence of preselection of the candidate for public office or influence the party’s policy by building controllable votes.
Rather than actually looking into whether politicians of Labor factions falsely stack Labor branches, IBAC is looking into how they were recruited and retained.
After knowing What Is Branch Stacking in Politics is, let us know if it is legal or illegal to have such practices.
Is branch stacking legal or illegal?
Stacking is not illegal, but it is against the ruling party rules. In other words, branch stacking is legal, but if any fake activity is recorded to the Electoral Commission, it is sued as fraud. These are fake activities such as providing a forged signature or claiming a false address.
However, according to the constitution, both party members from labor and liberal parties of the country must pay their own fees and live at their alleged address.
Meanwhile, “What Is Branch Stacking in Politics” is not a new term in Australian political history.
Other Branch Stacking history:
In 2002 Hawke-Warn review claimed branch stacking has a destructive effect on party and deadening effect on branch activities.
Federal Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis quit politics in 2018 following allegations of branch stacking. A similar situation was seen in 2006, 2019, 2017, with an allegation to the liberal Party attempting branch stacking.
It is difficult to say now where the investigation will go and predict what will happen. After the allegation, Donnellan resigned, admitting to breaking the rules but denied the misuse of public funds.
We hope you now understand What Is Branch Stacking in Politics is.
How did you like the information about Branch Stacking provided here? Please tell us in the comment section whether you want more information about today’s hearing.