Independent clauses are usually put in place by governments to ensure that the rules of the game are set in a fair way.
They give a voice to people who can’t speak for themselves and can’t be ignored.
But they’re not always easy to understand.
We’ll look at five of the best.
What are the independent clauses?
Independent clauses are the terms used by governments and civil society organisations to limit or regulate a person’s ability to speak out.
The idea behind them is that the people who speak up for themselves are often less able to influence the government than those who agree to speak in support of the government’s position.
They are used to stop people being able to speak up in the name of “national interest”.
They have been used to prevent journalists and civil servants speaking out on behalf of their views.
And they’ve been used in Australia, where they have been a tool used by Labor to restrict the ability of Greens MP and independent candidate Adam Bandt to run in the state election in May 2019.
The Greens have used independent clauses to limit the ability to be heard by the government.
They’ve also used them to limit what independent political groups can do.
In the 2016 election, the Greens successfully blocked the introduction of the Australian Capital Territory Independent Electoral Commission, which would have had a role in regulating the way independent candidates and parties were able to run.
They were successful because independent political organisations are allowed to run candidates, but they can’t get to them or spend money on them.
The independent clause was introduced in the ACT in 2016, after a previous amendment to the electoral law was passed.
It was designed to limit independent political parties’ ability to run without government support.
It’s an issue that has divided opinion in Australia.
The Greens argue that the government should not have a role to play in how independent political campaigns are run.
“It’s one thing to put the interests of the community above all else,” Greens senator Nick McKim said.
“But there are other ways that we can use that same community to ensure the interests are served.”
Professor Mark Taylor from Griffith University’s School of Government and Public Policy, says that the Greens are being disingenuous in their arguments.
“This is not about being fair to the person who is in the middle of the line, it’s about protecting them,” he said.
Independent political organisations like the Greens have to pay taxes.
They have to run campaigns and get donations from their members.
They also have to publish their accounts to the public.
The government has an interest in ensuring that independent political donations don’t get diverted into the hands of vested interests.
“The Greens, like most political parties, have a responsibility to be accountable to the Australian people,” Professor Taylor said.
Professor Taylor says that independent organisations have to be subject to the same rules as politicians and that the current system for independent political funding should be changed.
“That is a political issue that the political parties have to address, not the Greens,” he says.
“We have a right to be a part of that system.”‘
You can’t vote for yourself’The independent clauses are often used to limit a person to one political party or another, or to limit their voice.
In Queensland, independent candidates are allowed only one name on their campaign list.
Independent candidates in the NSW election are allowed one name, but the party is not allowed to pay for it.
Professor Mark Williams from the Australian National University’s Institute of Public Affairs says independent political leaders have to make sure they don’t create a situation where they are not able to make their case to the voters.
“They have to have the credibility of the party that they’re running for and that they have that sort of relationship with their members,” Professor Williams said.
He says the Greens should have the same right to run independent candidates in Queensland, but that independent politicians shouldn’t have to “pay taxes” to fund their campaign.
“In the long term, you can’t choose your own party and if you’re elected as a party, you pay tax,” he explains.
“So you can certainly vote for someone who’s a party and pay tax and get elected and that’s the same as if you were the leader of the Liberal Party and pay taxes.”
The Greens are also taking a position on whether it’s OK to limit who can run for the same party.
In the ACT, independent political candidates can only run in one party’s seat.
The Independent Political Association (IPA) of Queensland is campaigning for an end to independent political leadership and the establishment of an independent political party.
It says the Independent Political Awards (IPAs) are a “misleading” system that “distorts the political landscape and harms the public good”.
It wants a ban on leadership and a system that makes it easier for independent candidates to run for elected office.IPAs are part of the system that sets the rules for political parties in Queensland.
Independent political leaders must be registered with the IPA.
They can only