Parliamentary and Electoral Reform Minister Geoff Gallop leaves Perth tomorrow for an 11-day study tour examining electoral and parliamentary reform issues in Britain and Canada.
"Both countries have laws dealing with the public disclosure of political donations, limits on election spending and the regulation of election broadcasting - issues which are likely to have an important bearing on the future of political democracy in our own country," Dr Gallop said.
"In addition, both countries have recently held major inquiries into these matters and are now armed with the most up to date information available."
In Britain, parliamentary and electoral reform issues were the subject of an inquiry by the Hansard Society; and Canada has held a Royal Commission into electoral reform and the financing of politics.
Dr Gallop said that in Britain he would meet with Government officials and leading academics to discuss the Hansard Society's report 'Agenda for Change'. The talks would also cover other aspects of the Westminster parliamentary and electoral system.
In Canada, the primary focus of meetings would be on new legislation to upgrade the regulation of political financing as recommended by that country's Royal Commission.
Dr Gallop said he would examine the Canadian response to the disclosure of political donations - a matter already subject to legislation before the Western Australian Parliament - as well as examining the Canadian Royal Commission's recommendations on the disclosure and limitation of election expenditure.
The Minister said this aspect of his trip was all the more relevant given that the Western Australian Royal Commission was likely to address the issue of how politics is financed.
"By looking at countries which have already tried various political and electoral reforms we will be able to determine the best path for our own political democracy."
Dr Gallop said a policy officer would accompany him on the trip.