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Proportional representation – Xanadu

By John Hargreaves 27 April 2015 39

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Anyone see John Warhurst’s article in last week’s Crimes? It was on voting reform. He made a number of good points.

One was that the report from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) was just released and it would be probably only of interest to “the smallish number of people who find electoral matters riveting.” He’s right on here. Watching paint dry or grass grow sometimes has more appeal.

However, the issues he raises are worth a conversation and I enjoin such with a certain amount of bias. My bias comes not from my membership of a political party, although that did influence my view in the early days. It comes from being in a parliament filled with people elected on the proportional representational basis, a system which I find inherently flawed in terms of having someone in the parliament to represent people, read: go to battle for them.

The proportional representation model throws up a number of fringe groups and while they may have a legitimate gripe are still usually single issue zealots who have a single mindedness which cannot translate into representing people who disagree with their views.

Remember please the Party! Party! Party! Party, the Sun-Ripened Warm Tomatoes Party. Who can forget the Abolish Self Government Party which had Dennis Stevenson elected and all he did was take advantage of the perks. How about the No Self Government Party, where one of their number ended up as a minister. So much for philosophical commitment!

What about the Community Action Party, one of whose candidates admitted that he had been a member of the Liberal Party for 40 years? Was this a “dummy” party to ensure the election of a conservative government? Good question that!

Proportional representation is a furphy. People should admit that it is really only a vehicle for self -interested “would be if they could be” types who suffer relevance deprivation syndrome.

I don’t see why a group of people whose membership can fit inside an ensuite in a 10 square house should be guaranteed a seat in any parliament.

The system in the ACT allowed a minor party to get 12 per cent of the vote in Molonglo and get elected and what happened? We ended up with a Greens minister! That was a good idea, wasn’t it? Thank God it is now 5 x 5 and people need 16.6 per cent.

But back to actual representation of people in the electorate.

I spent nine-and-a-half years as a non-Executive MLA and saw first-hand how a multi-member electorate functioned. It didn’t.

I was one of five members in a multi-member electorate and can tell you that not all members were all that dedicated to their constituents. Some just couldn’t work in an iron lung and some were only interested in the easy issues and others were MIA a lot of the time.

The problem with this is that if an elected member is one of five in an electorate of 65,000 voters, he or she doesn’t know which 13,000 people are his or hers, so services have to be provided to them all. When some Members don’t provide the service, the load becomes very large and very time consuming. It is also very rewarding but exhausting.

Proportional representation is effective when people are dependent on their brand. The major prizes are always taken by Liberal or Labor with the fringe dwellers picking up the scraps.

When the electorate is unhappy enough, they take it out on the brand and not individual Members although this can (and did, in Brindabella in 2004) happen. Mediocrity can survive and flourish and factional hackery can rise to the top. All major parties are guilty of this one.

Single member electorates mean that the member is solely accountable to the electorate. There is no place to hide. If people are happy with a brand and unhappy with a representative from that brand, they can toss them out and start again. It is a bit harder with proportional representation. I’d love to be proved wrong, but I don’t reckon it is gunna happen soon.

Parliaments filled with cardboard cut-outs are the result of complacency and mediocrity is rewarded by longevity. Parliaments filled with parliamentarians who are committed to their electors and are not professional politicians can come up with good government if given a chance. But fringe parties who are single issue zealots are not the answer.

Proportional representation is a nice idea in a utopian world filled with people of good intention. Xanadu!

What’s Your opinion?


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Proportional representation – Xanadu
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rubaiyat 7:07 pm 01 May 15

chewy14 said :

I think nobody sees the Nationals as a truly individual party anymore do they?

Both the Nationals and the Liberals do. Certainly the people in the country electorates, who get the choice, do.

Don’t forget that Barnaby Joyce was complaining about the Greens merely promising to not vote against Labor in a vote of no confidence. Not actually of getting into coalition with them.

…and he would not have been complaining if Abbott had swung over the independents, with even less votes, to the conservative side.

chewy14 2:30 pm 01 May 15

rubaiyat said :

chewy14 said :

And in the 2008 election, the Greens had four seats off a 15.8% vote compared to Labor’s 7 and the Liberal’s 6 despite both major party’s vote being significantly above those ratios proportionally when compared to the Greens.

In that case the Greens benefitted, but it was a one off and still not as disproportionate as the current distribution.

To see a real disproportionate representation that is permanent and guarantees the party ministerial positions when on the winning side:

2013 Australian Election:

The National Party with only 4.29% of the vote got 9 seats and 5 ministerial posts! More than half of the elected party are ministers!

The Greens with more than twice the vote of 8.65% got only 1 seat, and even when they were co-operating (not in coalition with the previous Labor government, no ministerial positions.

The irrational position is that some Australians are more ENTITLED to power than others.

The total disconnect that results from this being a permanent state of affairs was evidenced by an episode of Q&A where Barnaby Joyce slammed the “tiny” Greens as having a disproportionate say in politics and not even the Green on the panel said anything about the obvious hypocrisy of the statement.

Which gets us back onto the fairness or non-fairness of the semi-Proportional electoral system of the ACT vs seat based representation as practiced in the Federal and State parliaments.

Yes it is eminently fair, but is about to get manipulated to drive out the Greens, when they expand the electorates to 5 x 5 seats. Where there will be 50% more representatives but less Greens, possibly none, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum will divide the spoils between them.

I think nobody sees the Nationals as a truly individual party anymore do they? They may be a Coalition but really, I don’t think many people see them as separate from the Liberals.

So it’s not really fair to compare the Nationals vote in this way seeing as they’re only running candidates in certain country electorates compared to the Greens as an individual party putting up candidates everywhere, hence their higher overall vote.

With regards to the situation in Canberra, I agree with you entirely. I believe we would have much better government if we’d had 3×8 or 4×6 member electorates in the upcoming election.

Instead we’re definitely now going to be stuck with Useless and Incompetent for another 4years.

rubaiyat 12:36 pm 01 May 15

Both the US Republican Parties and the Liberal Parties are examples of major parties who can not get outright majorities and are drifting to the right. In some case much more than drifting, they are stampeding.

The Labor Party has also drifted to the right and seems to have lost all sense of what it it stands for, which is why it has lost so many voters to the Greens.

The Liberals and Nationals have also lost sight of their original power base and by pandering only to the rich and well connected (mostly outside Australia) they have lost votes to the populist right, PUP and the parties who easily fool the not too bright out there by using “sounds like” names.

What is really frightening is that the Liberals are sounding like Tea Party parrots.

The Tea Party gets its power in the USA from rich patron’s money, religious extremists, and gerrymanders made possible by at the State level the vast majority of people do not vote. Even at the Federal level they are lucky to get half the population to vote.

So back to what voting system should we have? Rigged to the advantage of Tweedledum and Tweedledee or offering some hope, slim as it might be, that we can get out of the eternal impasse.

Garfield 11:44 am 01 May 15

justin heywood said :

In a properly functioning democracy, we are always going to get a drift towards the centre (hence Tweeledum and Tweedledee). That doesn’t necessarily mean that the general population are rabid flag-waving supporters of either Tweedle, it just means that most reasonable people recognise that politics – like life- is imperfect, and no-one ever gets exactly what they want.

The drift towards the centre also means that reasonable people tend to reject the easy solutions offered by the extreme left and right.

That is why most people object to government being beholden to parties like the Greens and PUP who seek to use their good fortune in finely balanced parliaments to exercise far more power than the electorate has given them.

That is not democracy, and I suggest that the only people who think it is are the people at the left and right fringes. A glance at many of the posts this thread indicates that this is the case.

This statement makes the assumption that the major parties are drifting towards the centre. However from my observations the membership of parties is drifting towards the fringes with moderate members losing ground to more extreme members, and the parties becoming less willing to negotiate with their ideological opponents so we’re seeing fewer middle ground compromises. While this trend continues I think we’ll see more minor parties and so called unrepresentative swill win seats as more people become fed up with the antagonistic ideological bickering of the major parties, with the desperate hope that maybe some of those minor party candidates will hold the balance of power and force reasonable middle ground compromises on whichever major party is temporarily on top.

rubaiyat 11:27 am 01 May 15

justin heywood said :

In a properly functioning democracy, we are always going to get a drift towards the centre (hence Tweeledum and Tweedledee). That doesn’t necessarily mean that the general population are rabid flag-waving supporters of either Tweedle, it just means that most reasonable people recognise that politics – like life- is imperfect, and no-one ever gets exactly what they want.

The drift towards the centre also means that reasonable people tend to reject the easy solutions offered by the extreme left and right.

That is why most people object to government being beholden to parties like the Greens and PUP who seek to use their good fortune in finely balanced parliaments to exercise far more power than the electorate has given them.

That is not democracy, and I suggest that the only people who think it is are the people at the left and right fringes. A glance at many of the posts this thread indicates that this is the case.

Actually that is exactly democracy, to not take into account the views of everyone is the opposite of democracy.

The real reason for Tweedledum and Tweedledee, is that they have all the money and votes can be bought.

See PUP, see the US system where whoever has the most money wins.

The only ones who object to governments having to listen to other parties who got a large vote, are of course the MINORITY government and their INSUFFICIENT number of supporters.

There are an astounding number of people who through sheer ignorance or self-centred obsession think they are simply entitled to rule, no matter what the electorate decides.

justin heywood 10:07 am 01 May 15

In a properly functioning democracy, we are always going to get a drift towards the centre (hence Tweeledum and Tweedledee). That doesn’t necessarily mean that the general population are rabid flag-waving supporters of either Tweedle, it just means that most reasonable people recognise that politics – like life- is imperfect, and no-one ever gets exactly what they want.

The drift towards the centre also means that reasonable people tend to reject the easy solutions offered by the extreme left and right.

That is why most people object to government being beholden to parties like the Greens and PUP who seek to use their good fortune in finely balanced parliaments to exercise far more power than the electorate has given them.

That is not democracy, and I suggest that the only people who think it is are the people at the left and right fringes. A glance at many of the posts this thread indicates that this is the case.

rubaiyat 9:44 am 01 May 15

I forgot to mention that at the time of the Q&A incident, Barnaby Joyce’s Nationals had only 3.43% of the vote but still got 6 seats.

The Greens had well over 3x the vote at 11.76% but only 1 seat.

In a less stacked system either the Nationals should have had 2 seats or the Greens should have had 18.

But what has the reality to do with people’s prejudices?

rubaiyat 9:30 am 01 May 15

chewy14 said :

And in the 2008 election, the Greens had four seats off a 15.8% vote compared to Labor’s 7 and the Liberal’s 6 despite both major party’s vote being significantly above those ratios proportionally when compared to the Greens.

In that case the Greens benefitted, but it was a one off and still not as disproportionate as the current distribution.

To see a real disproportionate representation that is permanent and guarantees the party ministerial positions when on the winning side:

2013 Australian Election:

The National Party with only 4.29% of the vote got 9 seats and 5 ministerial posts! More than half of the elected party are ministers!

The Greens with more than twice the vote of 8.65% got only 1 seat, and even when they were co-operating (not in coalition with the previous Labor government, no ministerial positions.

The irrational position is that some Australians are more ENTITLED to power than others.

The total disconnect that results from this being a permanent state of affairs was evidenced by an episode of Q&A where Barnaby Joyce slammed the “tiny” Greens as having a disproportionate say in politics and not even the Green on the panel said anything about the obvious hypocrisy of the statement.

Which gets us back onto the fairness or non-fairness of the semi-Proportional electoral system of the ACT vs seat based representation as practiced in the Federal and State parliaments.

Yes it is eminently fair, but is about to get manipulated to drive out the Greens, when they expand the electorates to 5 x 5 seats. Where there will be 50% more representatives but less Greens, possibly none, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum will divide the spoils between them.

rubaiyat 11:38 pm 30 Apr 15

Maya123 said :

justin heywood said :

rubaiyat said :

justin heywood said :

switch said :

….weighted voting so your 2nd preference counted as only half a vote etc..

Now that is a good idea.

For heavens sake.

You are not getting “extra” votes, it is the same vote, just your first choices are being eliminated if they don’t get enough to count.

Really is it that difficult to follow?

It is so people can genuinely choose who they want, and not have to second guess what everyone else might be doing.

In the USA, the UK and other so called “democracies” if you don’t vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee you are throwing away your vote and being disenfranchised.

I understand it perfectly well. What you seem to fail to understand is that the majority actually want ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’, and the fact that minor parties such as the Greens are happy to exercise power far beyond their electoral mandate (as is the case in the ACT), means that reforms are needed.

If the majority of the voting public actually want ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ they will get in with a majority, so what is your problem with this? It’s only when the majority of the voting public don’t all want ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ that ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ might have to work with others who are not members of ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ parties. It’s called democracy. Take away, in effect, this right to vote for a minor party/representative and democracy is reduced and many people in effect will feel disenfranchised. If say 10%, 25%, etc want certain representation, why shouldn’t they get 10%, 25%, etc representation? That percentage only reflects the community wants, and unless the bigger ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ parties agree with them, they won’t get far, but they will be there to represent and speak up for the section of the community who put them there, and that’s democratic. People who rail against proportional representation, are in effect against true democracy. It can be noticed that the big ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ parties and their members tend to display this anti-democracy, because electorally it suits them to do so. But if it didn’t they would be the first to complain.

Here, bloody here!

Maya123 6:32 pm 30 Apr 15

justin heywood said :

rubaiyat said :

justin heywood said :

switch said :

….weighted voting so your 2nd preference counted as only half a vote etc..

Now that is a good idea.

For heavens sake.

You are not getting “extra” votes, it is the same vote, just your first choices are being eliminated if they don’t get enough to count.

Really is it that difficult to follow?

It is so people can genuinely choose who they want, and not have to second guess what everyone else might be doing.

In the USA, the UK and other so called “democracies” if you don’t vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee you are throwing away your vote and being disenfranchised.

I understand it perfectly well. What you seem to fail to understand is that the majority actually want ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’, and the fact that minor parties such as the Greens are happy to exercise power far beyond their electoral mandate (as is the case in the ACT), means that reforms are needed.

If the majority of the voting public actually want ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ they will get in with a majority, so what is your problem with this? It’s only when the majority of the voting public don’t all want ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ that ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ might have to work with others who are not members of ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ parties. It’s called democracy. Take away, in effect, this right to vote for a minor party/representative and democracy is reduced and many people in effect will feel disenfranchised. If say 10%, 25%, etc want certain representation, why shouldn’t they get 10%, 25%, etc representation? That percentage only reflects the community wants, and unless the bigger ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ parties agree with them, they won’t get far, but they will be there to represent and speak up for the section of the community who put them there, and that’s democratic. People who rail against proportional representation, are in effect against true democracy. It can be noticed that the big ‘Tweeledum or Tweedledee’ parties and their members tend to display this anti-democracy, because electorally it suits them to do so. But if it didn’t they would be the first to complain.

rubaiyat 3:45 pm 30 Apr 15

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

Here is who exercises far too much power power:

Labor and Liberals both with only 38.9% of the vote but each with 47% of the seats.

Neither deserve to have government in their own right

The Greens got 10.7% of the votes to only get one seat and they get to be voted down by Labor on most issues.

Where did you get those numbers from? They aren’t accurate.

The coalition had roughly 46% of all votes in the House of Reps. In each electorate they won, they received the largest share of the votes. Since government is formed by the team that wins the most electorates, it makes perfect sense that they became the government. The Greens actually received *less* than 9% of all the votes (down on previous year, in fact). Less than 1/10 people in every electorate (except Melbourne) wanted to be represented by the Greens. Why should they have won any more than a single seat?

Minorities get the seats they win fair and square. They just don’t win many seats. That’s not a flaw of the electoral system, it’s a flaw of the minority parties.

Just noticed, you seem to have the wrong end of the stick.

This discussion is about the ACT.

You’re absolutely right! I was wondering how those numbers got to be.

Thanks.

If you ever get the chance volunteer for booth duty!

One of the best things I’ve ever done and I tend to volunteer a lot.

Mysteryman 2:49 pm 30 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

Here is who exercises far too much power power:

Labor and Liberals both with only 38.9% of the vote but each with 47% of the seats.

Neither deserve to have government in their own right

The Greens got 10.7% of the votes to only get one seat and they get to be voted down by Labor on most issues.

Where did you get those numbers from? They aren’t accurate.

The coalition had roughly 46% of all votes in the House of Reps. In each electorate they won, they received the largest share of the votes. Since government is formed by the team that wins the most electorates, it makes perfect sense that they became the government. The Greens actually received *less* than 9% of all the votes (down on previous year, in fact). Less than 1/10 people in every electorate (except Melbourne) wanted to be represented by the Greens. Why should they have won any more than a single seat?

Minorities get the seats they win fair and square. They just don’t win many seats. That’s not a flaw of the electoral system, it’s a flaw of the minority parties.

Just noticed, you seem to have the wrong end of the stick.

This discussion is about the ACT.

You’re absolutely right! I was wondering how those numbers got to be.

Thanks.

rubaiyat 2:34 pm 30 Apr 15

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

Here is who exercises far too much power power:

Labor and Liberals both with only 38.9% of the vote but each with 47% of the seats.

Neither deserve to have government in their own right

The Greens got 10.7% of the votes to only get one seat and they get to be voted down by Labor on most issues.

Where did you get those numbers from? They aren’t accurate.

The coalition had roughly 46% of all votes in the House of Reps. In each electorate they won, they received the largest share of the votes. Since government is formed by the team that wins the most electorates, it makes perfect sense that they became the government. The Greens actually received *less* than 9% of all the votes (down on previous year, in fact). Less than 1/10 people in every electorate (except Melbourne) wanted to be represented by the Greens. Why should they have won any more than a single seat?

Minorities get the seats they win fair and square. They just don’t win many seats. That’s not a flaw of the electoral system, it’s a flaw of the minority parties.

Just noticed, you seem to have the wrong end of the stick.

This discussion is about the ACT.

The House of Reps (Federal) does not use a proportional voting system.

The ACT has an extremely sophisticated modified Hare Clarke system which uses a Multi-Seat Electorate system, combining the best of representational and proportional voting with ingenius modifications to make it fairer.

Strictly speaking it is not proportional, although the result is somewhat similar.

Preferential voting and a rotated candidate list on the ballot paper prevents Parties pushing a particular candidate over others.

I also love that Parties are banned from handing out How-to-Vote material or loitering within 100 metres of polling stations.

Doesn’t stop the Parties doing their damnedest to cheat or manipulate the system to their own advantage, just slows them down.

I was a polling captain at one election and helped people who had to cast votes in all sorts of exceptional circumstances. We had observers from 4 other countries and I was so proud that they got to witness just how impartial and civilly it is handled in this country. If only we could get the UK and USA to observe, it would be a real eye opener.

Looks like quite a few Australians would benefit as well.

“You never know what you had till its gone” – Joni Mitchell

rubaiyat 2:14 pm 30 Apr 15

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

Here is who exercises far too much power power:

Labor and Liberals both with only 38.9% of the vote but each with 47% of the seats.

Neither deserve to have government in their own right

The Greens got 10.7% of the votes to only get one seat and they get to be voted down by Labor on most issues.

Where did you get those numbers from? They aren’t accurate.

The coalition had roughly 46% of all votes in the House of Reps. In each electorate they won, they received the largest share of the votes. Since government is formed by the team that wins the most electorates, it makes perfect sense that they became the government. The Greens actually received *less* than 9% of all the votes (down on previous year, in fact). Less than 1/10 people in every electorate (except Melbourne) wanted to be represented by the Greens. Why should they have won any more than a single seat?

Minorities get the seats they win fair and square. They just don’t win many seats. That’s not a flaw of the electoral system, it’s a flaw of the minority parties.

chttp://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/past_act_legislative_assembly_elections/2012_act_legislative_assembly_election/2012_election_results2

Liberal 86,032 38.9%
Labor 85,991 38.9%
Greens 23,773 10.7%
Australian Motorist Party 9,179 4.2%
Bullet Train for Canberra 8,864 4.0%
Independent 4,053 1.8%
Liberal Democratic Party 2,340 1.1%
Marion Lê Social Justice 940 0.4%
Total 221,172

I wasn’t disputing the results, just pointing out that the claim that the Greens had a disproportionate power/representation was obviously not true.

Mysteryman 1:35 pm 30 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

Here is who exercises far too much power power:

Labor and Liberals both with only 38.9% of the vote but each with 47% of the seats.

Neither deserve to have government in their own right

The Greens got 10.7% of the votes to only get one seat and they get to be voted down by Labor on most issues.

Where did you get those numbers from? They aren’t accurate.

The coalition had roughly 46% of all votes in the House of Reps. In each electorate they won, they received the largest share of the votes. Since government is formed by the team that wins the most electorates, it makes perfect sense that they became the government. The Greens actually received *less* than 9% of all the votes (down on previous year, in fact). Less than 1/10 people in every electorate (except Melbourne) wanted to be represented by the Greens. Why should they have won any more than a single seat?

Minorities get the seats they win fair and square. They just don’t win many seats. That’s not a flaw of the electoral system, it’s a flaw of the minority parties.

rubaiyat 9:13 am 30 Apr 15

watto23 said :

Grail said :

It is Democracy itself, not any particular voting system, which is the Xanadu fantasy based on the delusion that all voters are informed, can make a rational decision, and care enough to do so.

Yes Democracy itself is a flawed system, but also what is ideal for someone, is a nightmare for others. Its based on compromise, something many politicians forget.

The real issues with democracy in Australia is:

1. Policies are based around who donates to your political party, regardless of the policy and whether its good for the country or the people. It is then “sold” to the public to gain approval. Fortunately we are not as bad as the USA with regards to this.

2. The voting system means that ultimately one of the 2 major parties often wins a seat. Now I understand why it is preferential. The goal being to find the preferred candidate from a majority. However how many people donkey vote to avoid voting, or don’t wish to give any preference to a party? I prefer exhaustive preferential system, whereby if i only want to preference 3 candidates then that is all I have to do without risk of my preference helping someone get elected.

3. The last few governments, the politics has been all negative. Pretty much every policy gets opposed. Some really did need to be opposed because what they were being “sold” to the public to do, had nothing to do with why they were being introduced. But others should have involved negotiation. I’m not sure the current government knows how to negotiate. they are very good at laying blame on everyone else though.

+1

watto23 8:55 am 30 Apr 15

Grail said :

It is Democracy itself, not any particular voting system, which is the Xanadu fantasy based on the delusion that all voters are informed, can make a rational decision, and care enough to do so.

Yes Democracy itself is a flawed system, but also what is ideal for someone, is a nightmare for others. Its based on compromise, something many politicians forget.

The real issues with democracy in Australia is:

1. Policies are based around who donates to your political party, regardless of the policy and whether its good for the country or the people. It is then “sold” to the public to gain approval. Fortunately we are not as bad as the USA with regards to this.

2. The voting system means that ultimately one of the 2 major parties often wins a seat. Now I understand why it is preferential. The goal being to find the preferred candidate from a majority. However how many people donkey vote to avoid voting, or don’t wish to give any preference to a party? I prefer exhaustive preferential system, whereby if i only want to preference 3 candidates then that is all I have to do without risk of my preference helping someone get elected.

3. The last few governments, the politics has been all negative. Pretty much every policy gets opposed. Some really did need to be opposed because what they were being “sold” to the public to do, had nothing to do with why they were being introduced. But others should have involved negotiation. I’m not sure the current government knows how to negotiate. they are very good at laying blame on everyone else though.

rubaiyat 10:44 pm 29 Apr 15

switch said :

I meant that your second preference etc. did NOT count as a full vote, which better reflects I didn’t vote them Number One.

Why not go for the Koranic system as well. Women’s vote is only half that of a man, and the infidel’s is zero.

Ignoring that there is no proportion of the vote that should not count. You simply couldn’t get first choice, so the next choice will have to do.

For people who can’t count and can’t get their heads around such a basically simple system, there is the French Presidential system, where you vote once, then if that doesn’t pan out you all go back and vote again another time, without the first round candidates that din’t get a high enough vote.

Apparently we Australians are a mixed bunch, some smart enough to create the more efficient method and the others not smart enough to get what is going on.

justin heywood 8:54 pm 29 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

In the USA, the UK and other so called “democracies” if you don’t vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee you are throwing away your vote and being disenfranchised.

Perhaps you could point us towards countries with ‘real’ democracies then?
Presumably in your world a real democracy is where minor parties with small percentages of the votes actually win elections? (And presumably where the minor party is YOUR party, of course)

rubaiyat said :

Labor and Liberals both with only 38.9% of the vote but each with 47% of the seats.

The Greens got 10.7% of the votes to only get one seat and they get to be voted down by Labor on most issues.

I think you need to take a breath and read what you wrote; ‘Tweedledum and Tweedledee’ received a total of 88% of the vote, your team got 11%, and for some reason you think your team should NOT be ‘voted down on most issues’?

What do you think SHOULD happen? Should they be allowed to make 11% of the decisions?

And If you vote for a team that lost, you are not ‘disenfranchised’ , you just voted for a team that lost. Someone has to.

I for one am glad that I live in a place where even self-righteous zealots who believe ‘their’ party has a moral right to tell everyone what to do, has to have face the voters every few years. The fact that the Greens hover around the 10% confirms my belief in the collective good sense of the electorate.

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