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Things to fix in ACT elections

By PantsMan - 23 October 2012 44

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
Things to fix in ACT elections
1
joingler 11:12 am
23 Oct 12
#

1. Caretaker – I don’t know enough about it so I can’t comment

2. I like Hare Clarke. Surely having multiple voices at the table is better than just 1 (it’d be better if it was a more centre party, not the greens but that’s the way it goes). I also like the fact we avoid a by election in the case of a retirement/death/sacking. And it is quite fair.

3. Name another reasons we should have a election? I can’t think of one.

4. 100m ban? Surely people should make their minds up BEFORE rocking up to vote?

5. Again, I really don’t understand it all so no comment

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2
bitzermaloney 11:30 am
23 Oct 12
#

“We’ll probably have the worst four years of government ever seen, however, there will be virtually nothing anyone can do about it.”

I doubt it. It will be a big effort to be the last government for that title.

Maybe if the Greens operated as an independant party instead of a “left wing” branch of the ALP (and kept Labor accountable as they should have done) then things may have turned out very different. Such a shame there is no real alternative to the two major parties.

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3
FioBla 11:32 am
23 Oct 12
#

joingler said :

3. Name another reasons we should have a election? I can’t think of one.

I don’t agree with the result the will of the people being mockery of a travesty rejecting the die of shame.

ELECTION NOW.

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4
Primal 11:43 am
23 Oct 12
#

The 100m ban is a beautiful thing.

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5
Matt_Watts 11:48 am
23 Oct 12
#

Not that it would have made a difference to the outcome (well, I hope not!), but I’ve heard several stories about people being enrolled federally and not having moved house since then, only to be told over the weekend that they’re not on the electoral roll AND they didn’t have the opportunity to lodge a declaration vote.

That’s likely to be a minor issue, but I think it goes to the management of elections and personal data more generally, and it should be examined.

One item most of the public wouln’t be aware of is the role of the rangers with the electoral signage etc. I know a lot of people don’t like the signs, but they are allowed within certain rules. I’m not here to defend every candidate or volunteer, either – just hear me out…

If signs are allowed in certain circumstances (ie not banned outright), I would expect a ranger to know what aspect of the rules makes the sign not allowed. I once had a ranger tell me that my immobile sign at Charnwood shops wasn’t allowed and, when pushed, his justification was that it was a distraction to drivers. I looked around at all the other signs – on cars, shop awnings, shops’ A-frames – and said he had to be joking, as that wasn’t in the rules. He backed down, but I didn’t like having to have that conversation.

(Having a certain MLA’s husband raise his voice at my aunt on the weekend regarding a sign she had nothing to do with wasn’t a nice situation either, but that stuff happens every election, unfortunately. Such matters should be left in the hands of the rangers and polling officials. This isn’t something we can change through regs, but it is a cultural change I’d like to see develop.)

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6
Holden Caulfield 11:50 am
23 Oct 12
#

A greater variety of cup cakes and bbq food at the volunteer stalls.

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7
p996911turbo 12:04 pm
23 Oct 12
#

What’s wrong with Hare-Clarke? I think it’s vastly better than the federal system. It means the preferences I pick actually bloody matter.

I also don’t think we’ll have the worst government we’ve ever seen. I like minority governments. When they give power to a party I like, great! When they give power to the other party, at least there’s a strong moderating influence.

The 100 metre ban is the best thing ever. I enjoy voting in peace and it’s totally unreasonable for people to thrust their how to vote cards in my face in the last few metres. I also want a ban on roadside signs. And a ban on electioneering in shopping centres. And bus interchanges. And possibly everywhere else. Maybe that’s a bit too far…

I do agree that the electronic voting system was a bit crap. A number pad as directional arrows is just pathetic.

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8
LSWCHP 12:17 pm
23 Oct 12
#

FioBla said :

joingler said :

3. Name another reasons we should have a election? I can’t think of one.

I don’t agree with the result the will of the people being mockery of a travesty rejecting the die of shame.

ELECTION NOW.

INCOHERENCE NOW!

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9
jakez 1:20 pm
23 Oct 12
#

I like Hare Clarke. Only a basic understanding of maths is required to understand the process and its benefits. I guess I would be open to a movement to using a droop quota but I don’t think it is a huge issue and it is certainly not the change most anti hare clarke people propose.

As for Robson rotation I’m ambivalent. I’d probably be in favour of keeping it but with the addition of an ‘upper line’ option ala the Senate.

The 100m ban is nice because you can avoid people, which is something I like to do whenever I can.

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10
poetix 2:24 pm
23 Oct 12
#

jakez said :

I like Hare Clarke. Only a basic understanding of maths is required to understand the process and its benefits. I guess I would be open to a movement to using a droop quota but I don’t think it is a huge issue and it is certainly not the change most anti hare clarke people propose.

Droop quotas are strangely unsatisfactory.

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11
davo101 3:18 pm
23 Oct 12
#

jakez said :

I guess I would be open to a movement to using a droop quota

You do realise that the Droop quota is what is already used in the ACT?

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12
Brindabella 3:41 pm
23 Oct 12
#

Getting the delivery people for all that junk mail, to acknowledge and respect the “No junk mail” stickers on letterboxes.

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13
Holden Caulfield 4:15 pm
23 Oct 12
#

Brindabella said :

Getting the delivery people for all that junk mail, to acknowledge and respect the “No junk mail” stickers on letterboxes.

Or, more correctly, getting the legislation changed so that political advertising is not exempt from “No junk mail” signs.

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14
Ian 4:45 pm
23 Oct 12
#

It would be nice to have some candidates who were actually worth voting for, particularly in Ginninderra.

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15
watto23 4:50 pm
23 Oct 12
#

Holden Caulfield said :

Brindabella said :

Getting the delivery people for all that junk mail, to acknowledge and respect the “No junk mail” stickers on letterboxes.

Or, more correctly, getting the legislation changed so that political advertising is not exempt from “No junk mail” signs.

+1 whatever the reason, i actually would rather have the handing out on election day, over the political junk mail and roadside signs.

As for Hare-Clark, it works well, given we have a single legislative assembly. Note that even the labor majority gov lasted one term and then the 4 greens got in….

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