ONCE a strong force in domestic politics, the bell has tolled for the Australian Democrats, with the Australian Electoral Commission de-registering the party earlier this week.
The once influential force, founded by former Liberal Minister Don Chipp was formally disbanded for not being able to show it had the 500 members it needs to stay registered.
The party maintained a strong presence in Australian politics for 30 years after its founding in 1977.
Its slogan, "Keep the bastards honest", became its popular catch cry.
The Democrats have not had any members in Parliament since 2008 when it lost four Senate seats in the 2007 Federal Election that swept Labor's Kevin Rudd to power.
Australian Democrats national president Darren Churchill has told Fairfax Media the party intends to appeal the decision.
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