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The Forum > Article Comments > 'Education' for major party benefit? > Comments

'Education' for major party benefit? : Comments

By Klaas Woldring, published 11/12/2012

The AEC is running an election education campaign without offering proportional representation as a form of democratic government.

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Party list systems, whether open or closed, are inferior to the single transferable vote system that we have In Auustralia. The STV system allows people to choose individual candidates in any order they like within, or across parties. The fact that most people choose to vote above the line does not change this principle. STV is based on individual s reaching a quota and then being elected. We should keep it.
Posted by Chris C, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 9:15:40 AM
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In Senate voting, the tickabox mode was introduced in order to put extra power in the hands of party apparatchiks. The choice is either (1) to tick a box so that the apparatchiks get to choose all your preferences (they don't even have to tell you what they are), or (2) to plough through a forest of names below the line. If the purpose was BOTH to simplify the voting AND to retain the voter's ability to choose preferences then the voter could order the different party lists above the line according to preference.

But the reason why people are turning off elections is simply that representative government is not democracy. Democracy is government of the people by the people for the people. Representative government is government of the people by the political parties for whoever buys them. Democracy can be introduced by binding citizen-initiated referenda (BCIR) so that the people can vote on actual issues rather than having the decisions made by bought parties. And yes it COULD be done in Australia. California, with 1 1/2 times the population of Australia, manages.
Posted by EmperorJulian, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:52:03 PM
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Congratulations on this excellent article. So true!
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 6:20:53 PM
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The guidelines were about *school* elections, right?
I think in that situation, you are only voting for individual candidates, not groups.

For the political system proper, proportional representation is the best second choice, but the first is direct democracy.

In the computer age, there should be no reason to not hold direct ballots about political issues/policies/laws, and do away with "representation" altogether.

One impediment to either PR or DD is compulsory voting.
Yes, it hurts, not helps.

Since most people give little thought to political issues or what the parties' actual policies are, the majority will keep just voting for the "Tweedle" that seems the best fit for their identity.
This is why the Tweedles still control the system, even with declining memberships and funding.

Voluntary voting would make participation in direct democracy more desirable and more efficient.
Do we really want to poll *millions* of people, most of whom have no interest, in deciding *every* political question?

Voluntary voting leaves it up to the voter. If they care about the issue, they vote. If not, go to the beach.

PR may be a necessary stepping stone on the path to direct democracy though. Or we could just rip the band-aid straight off and make Canberra a ghost town overnight (except for the porn industry).
Posted by Shockadelic, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10:16:49 PM
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