Truth in Political Advertising Breakthrough Win for Democracy

Special Minister of State Don Farrell’s move to legislate truth in political advertising laws is a breakthrough win for democracy.

The Australia Institute’s polling research has consistently shown that Truth in Political advertising laws are a popular, possible, and practical way of ensuring voters are not mislead on the way to the ballot box and improving Australian federal elections generally.

Key Points:

  • 86% of Australians agree truth in political advertising laws should be in place before the next election
  • 73% of Australians reported coming across political ads they knew to be misleading during the last election campaign
  • The Australia Institute’s 2019 submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) outlines the case for truth in political advertising laws, including how they could be implemented in a way that is nationally consistent, constitutional and upholds freedom of speech

“The reality is it is currently perfectly legal to lie in a federal political advertisement and it should not be,” said Bill Browne, Head of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“Without new truth in political advertising laws our elections risk becoming a fake news free for all, putting the very integrity of our democracy at risk.

“Today’s news is a big breakthrough that has built on much work by many politicians at state and federal level.

“Congratulations to Minister Don Farrell for showing genuine political leadership that could be a big step to helping fix politics in Australia.

“Congratulations also to the 39 prominent Australians and the thousands of Australians who have led the charge for such laws. Without their action we would not have had this breakthrough“Since the Australia Institute first polled Australians in 2016, we have consistently found four in five or more Australians support truth in political advertising reforms.”

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