This post is meant to provide a facility for us to keep up to date on how the poll counting is progressing. For your convenience here’s the AEC Virtual Tally Room and the ABC Election Live Results. I’ve also included John Davidson’s suggestion for reforming the senate voting system.
It’s possible to feel sorry for Tony Abbott. He said that he would not run a minority government but ended up with having to negotiate agreement with six of eight senators outside Labor and The Greens. Some of them are so weird that almost inevitably he will need the agreement of the Palmer United Party.
Here’s some information on six senators our current senate voting system has given us. For example Wayne Dropulich from the Australian Sports Party in WA polled 1,937 primary votes, or 0.22% of the electorate. Yet he is currently ahead of Scott Ludlam for The Greens who polled 86,346 votes or 9.93%.
On the 7.30 Report Leigh Sales interviewed three of the bits and pieces senators. Wayne Dropulich looked as though he’d never heard of carbon trading, John Madigan is a full-on climate denier, anxious to restore brown coal to its rightful place. David Leyonhjelm, being a full-on libertarian, will co-operate in getting the government out of our lives and our pockets. Clive Palmer wants the government to pay all the carbon ‘tax’ back.
Good luck Tony! Especially negotiating with PUP senators programmed by Clive by remote control.
Here’s John Davidson’s suggestions on senate voting reform.
REFORMING THE SENATE
by John Davidson
It would not be difficult to argue that the Senate election outcome for this election highlighted the need for serious reform for the Senate voting system. Issues include:
Problem 1: Above the line voting effectively takes away the power of most voters to allocate their preferences.
The current system of above the line voting is a scandal. It is a scandal because it gives party organizations the power to allocate preferences instead of the voter. The result is that it looks like we will end up with some Senators that would never get elected if it wasn’t for this backroom trading. For example, ask yourself why Labor in Qld thought the Katter and the Australian Motor Enthusiasts Parties were more deserving of their support than the Greens who helped put them in power in 2010?
Unsurprisingly, there are also hints of corruption and tales of parties being created for diverting preferences to surprising places. Sure, voters do have the option of voting below the line. However, in Qld this meant allocating preferences between 82 candidates. It is not surprising that most voters vote above the line.
Suggestion: End the backroom preference allocations and allow voters to allocate preferences above the line. In addition, move to an optional preference voting system such as the Qld optional preference voting system. Voters should not have their votes made informal just because they made a mistake in the allocation of their 31st preference.
Problem 2: New senators will take their seat on June 2014. These senators will be replacing senators who were elected in 2007. In addition, half the senators in the new Senate were elected in 2010.
The Senate make-up should reflect the results of the most recent election, not what people thought years ago under different circumstances.
Suggestion: All Senate places should be declared vacant when the election for the House of Reps is called.
Micro parties can be a pest but a healthy democracy should not have artificial rules aimed at excluding small parties without rich backers.
I think in principle we should not be forced to vote for people when realistically we won’t be able to find out anything about them. Even worse, we are forced to assign a preference to people we may think are definitely unsuitable. I’d also like to see party preferencing banned to eliminate party deals.
Lefty E’s earlier comment is here.