The number of ACT Senate seats should be tripled and terms extended to six years, according to independent David Pocock.
Senator Pocock has made the case in a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the 2022 election, which he also used to back an overhaul of political donation rules but warn against imposing a "universal" spending cap on all candidate and parties.
The former rugby superstar made history at this year's federal election when he became the first non-Labor or Liberal candidate to win one of the ACT's two Senate seats.
The key crossbencher now wants to make it easier for independents or non-major party candidates to secure a seat in Parliament's upper house.
Senator Pocock is pushing for the ACT and NT to be granted four extra seats in the Senate, taking their representation to half of the 12 seats each of the states are allocated.
He also wants the terms for territory senators extended from three to six years. Three of the senators would be up for re-election every three years.
In his submission, Senator Pocock said that aside from some notable exceptions, such as Liberal senator Gary Humphries' decision to cross the floor on same-sex marriage, territory senators had stuck to party lines even when that position ran counter to the interests of their constituents.
"Increasing the number of senators in the territories provides greater opportunity for a more diverse representation, better reflecting the views of the people," the submission read.
Under the proposal, Senate candidates would need to achieve 25 per cent of the vote to win an ACT senate seat, compared to the existing high bar of 33.3 per cent.
If that system was in place at this year's election, Liberal Zed Seselja would have retained his seat alongside Labor's Katy Gallagher and Senator Pocock.
"I believe strongly in a diversity of views and lived experiences in Parliament and think that any efforts to reduce barriers to entry, including lowering the quota in the territories, can only be a positive thing," Senator Pocock said in the submission.
Senator Pocock argued that the decision in 1975 to hand the territories two Senate seats each was a political one, which didn't consider the fundamental question of what the "baseline" level of representation should be for smaller jurisdictions.
"Territories are treated differently to states and rightly so. Currently our voice is worth one-sixth of that of the states in the Senate.
"Becoming a state is not an option at this stage for the ACT or the NT but improving the quantity and diversity of our representation in national debates is."
Senator Pocock's submission also backs major changes to political donation laws, including significantly reducing the threshold for donations to be made public, and releasing those details in close to real-time.
Under the current laws, donations made this year financial year below $15,200 won't need to be disclosed.
He also reiterated his support for truth in advertising laws to stop "outright lies" being part of the political system.
Senator Pocock is urging the parliamentary committee to consider election spending caps, however he's warned that imposing the same rules on all candidates and parties won't create a "level playing field".
He said there should be a "slightly" higher cap for independents and micro-parties in recognition of the challenge of taking on the "recognised brands" of the major parties.
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