Former Liberal chief minister Kate Carnell has encouraged voters to consider voting for independent candidates running for federal parliament, describing ACT independent Senate candidate Anthony Pesec as "pretty cool".
Mrs Carnell said she wanted to see more people with a business background in parliament.
"Anthony's one of those. He has owned companies in the ACT for a long time so I'm just saying, it's really up to all of us to have a look at the candidates that are out there, to have a look at the policies that are being put on the table and make decisions based upon those things," she said, speaking on radio station 2CC.
Mrs Carnell, who was chief minister from 1995 to 2000 and is now the Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman, told The Canberra Times she was not endorsing Mr Pesec's campaign.
She said it was a "big deal" for independents to run for Parliament without the support of a major party.
"For someone like Anthony, who's a business owner, he's done a lot around the business area for lots of years and he's involved in lots of community things, he sits on some not-for-profit boards.
"It's a big thing to do, to put your head up. I admire that," she said.
In comments that will frustrate Liberal Zed Seselja's campaign one week out from polling day, Mrs Carnell said voters shouldn't mindlessly vote in the way they always had.
"I feel quite strongly about what democracy is about. It's about looking at the candidates, it's about looking at their policies and making a balanced decision," she said.
Mrs Carnell refused to say whether she thought Senator Seselja had been a good advocate for the ACT.
"I'd hope that Zed's campaign would be very positive about comments saying that you should have a look at the policies of the various players and the people involved and make a balanced decision," she said.
Changes to the Senate voting rules which allow voters to exhaust their preferences have made it harder for the Greens or an independent candidate to knock Senator Seselja from his Senate seat, which he has held since 2013.
The Liberal primary vote would need to fall below 33 per cent before the seat was at risk for the Liberals, Tasmanian-based election analyst Kevin Bonham told The Public Sector Informant.
Since 1975, when the ACT first elected senators, the two seats have been shared by the Labor and Liberal parties.