Australia's Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann (R) speaks during the debate on voting reforms in the Australian Senate at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/AAP
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The Australian parliament descended into farce with lawmakers hurling Monty Python insults and even donning pajamas in a poisonous all-night debate before the biggest shake-up of the voting system in decades was passed Friday.Australia uses a transferable ballot system, where voters rank parties or candidates according to preference. Previously, senatorial elections allowed them to either opt for a single party or rank preferences among a plethora of often-niche groupings. After nearly three years of deadlock in the senate, the government was supported by the Greens to pass the legislation, which could wipe out minor parties at the next election, due this year.Labor argue that the 15 percent of Australians who voted for minor parties at the 2013 election will be disenfranchised under the reforms.
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