Here are a few of my gripes about ACT elections.
Firstly, the whole ‘caretaker period’ concept is a joke. In Westminster democracies, the idea is that, when the Legislature is dissolved before an election, it can no longer hold the Executive to account in Parliament and the government must enter caretaker mode. However, in the ACT they get about two weeks of “government” after the Assembly is dissolved to do whatever they want. The caretaker conventions should be amended to put the government into caretaker at the end of the last sitting day of the Assembly.
The stupid Hare-Clark system that was entrenched as a virtual constitutional amendment in 1995. Now we can only get rid of it with another referendum.
Four year terms and the almost inability to have elections before that time. The Electoral Act only allows elections before four year in four circumstances: (1) when the Governor-General dissolves the Assembly; (2) when the Chief Minister is booted out and not one else is appointed for 30 days; (3) when no one stands for election, and; (4) when a new election is required by the court of disputed returns. We’ll probably have the worst four years of government ever seen, however, there will be virtually nothing anyone can do about it.
Stupid rules like the 100 metre ban on handing out electoral material. Aside from the typical ACT “ban” response to anything that might ever happen that might be bad, it basically leaves electors with even less information about who on earth they should vote for.
The election costing laws. In the Commonwealth, the Treasurer must say that the government has announced all agreed policies before the pre-election update is done, however in the ACT, Katy and Co. spent the election campaign saying “This is money we committed before the election. We are now just allocating and announcing it.” I presume Zed was not told how much he could have “allocated and announced”.
An electronic voting system from 1985, and an Electoral Commissioner who does not appear to be too on top of the actual rules and laws about voting or party registrations.