• Hannah Phillips

No More Mediscares

Changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act will ensure that voters have to be told who’s responsible all those profoundly irritating robocalls, not to mention the bulk text messages that clagged up the texts on our mobiles during the 2016 election when the Labor Party controversially tried to convince us that, if the Coalition was re-elected, it would privatise Medicare.

Under present rules, all pre-election political advertisements on television, radio and online platforms have to be authorised, winding up with the name of the organisation paying for it.

The new arrangements, which will be come into force on March 15, two days before the Batman by-election, will now apply to bulk text messages and robocalls.

Political parties, election candidates, third parties and government agencies planning advertising for elections and referendums must comply with the updated rules and they’ll incur civil penalties if they don’t.

Voters will breathe a sincere and collective sigh of relief but only if they know from the outset who’s interrupting their dinner preparations.

At least that way they’ll know whether to hang up or hit the delete button.

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