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The Forum > Article Comments > In praise of preferential voting > Comments

In praise of preferential voting : Comments

By Helen Pringle, published 28/3/2011

Voting pests who vote below the line shouldn't be allowed to cloud the arguments on voting method.

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Hi Helen, The title of your article should be: In praise of simplicity and uniformity of voting systems in Australia. Your own liking for preferential systems reflects a very, very small minority. I am a great opponent of preferential voting. Let us examine real meaningful reform. It is amazing how Australian political scientists writing about this move in a vicious circle apparently unable to look beyond the customary discourse and the fundamental problems. Now this nonsense looks like being exported to the UK. God help them. It'll be the end of the LibDems. I have written to them and warned Nick Clegg directly and on Facebook. It would be a BIG mistake in terms if what they hope to achieve with it. It is quite unbelievable really as they have all the European PR systems to look at, including Ireland! How insular they still are!

The current Australian electoral system, at federal level is a disgrace. The combination the 1918 and 1924 acts totally ensures that the system is dominated by two major parties. The redeeming factor of a perverted PR (hare-Clark) system in the Senate is also overshadowed by the dominance of the major parties, indeed a two-party tyranny, in the House of representatives and also nationally, including the states.

As a feminist you need to take a good look of what P. R.( Open Party List System) has done for women! Surely you must be aware of that.

With ONE vote, for a listed party and a particular candidate diversity and democracy is achieved. The choice is in the plurality of parties participating. An entirely different political culture is the result. Simplicity and uniformity delivered. Read on below.

Dr. Klaas Woldring
A/Prof Southern Cross University (ret)

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/voters-power-is-immense-so-lets-use-it-20100818-12epf.html?comments=28

http://www.facebook.com/notes/klaas-woldring/a-big-mistake-to-adopt-the-australian-vote/188184951222435

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11751

_________________________________________
Proportional representation is the key to all political reform:
http://www.republicnow.org/proportional-representation/
Posted by klaas, Monday, 28 March 2011 8:37:18 AM
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<< So here's my modest proposal: we should work to bring the requirements for a formal vote into close alignment throughout Australia, so that the same group of voters is not faced with conflicting requirements in different elections.>>

I absolutely support that, Helen. It is just ludicrous that we canít have one system that everyone understands, for every federal, state and local government election.

<< My additional proposal, as a joyful 'below the line' voter, is to do away with 'optional preferential' voting. >>

Eeegh, Iíve got to very strongly disagree. Optional preferential voting is the ONLY system with merit.

First past the post is oversimplistic and works against minor parties/candidates, by suggesting to the voter that a vote for a minor candidate is a wasted vote that will effectively not count for anything if that candidate has no real chance of winning, whereas with a preferential system, such a vote will count for a major candidate after the allocation of preferences.

This makes preferential voting MUCH more democratic and realistic that FPTP in terms of how a voter wishes to vote.

Optional preferential voting, that is. NOT compulsory preferential voting.

Compulsory preferential voting is a COMPLETE AND UTTER AFFRONT TO DEMOCRACY! It compels the voter to mark every square. Consequently, a vote can trickle down and end up counting where the voter has no intention of it counting! The very concept of compulsory preferences is just oxymoronical!! It is completely bizarre to me that anyone in the know cannot outrightly condemn CPV.

Again, optional preferential voting, where the voter can just mark one square or allocate preferences if they wish and to the extent that they wish, is the OBVIOUS system that we should be using.Ö and the only really democratically correct system.
Posted by Ludwig, Monday, 28 March 2011 1:51:42 PM
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k and h - the lib-dems have had it in the united kingdom, whatever system of voting is used (so long as it's democratic!). there will be huge transfers of 'lib-dem' votes to other parties after their departure from ethics, principle, etc etc through linking themselves with the conservatives for the sake of gaining access to those great white cars ... signed: a cynic! every good wish, jas
Posted by jocelynne, Monday, 28 March 2011 2:47:57 PM
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My gripe with the Australian system is not that it is preferential Ė I support that Ė but the requirement to number every name if voting below the line. This provides a strong incentive to vote for a party ticket, which hands control of the voterís supposed preferences to party hacks and their deal-making, and can deliver into office candidates that almost nobody wanted. If we could number as many or as few boxes as we wanted when voting below the line, then the so-called preferential system might actual deliver a candidate preferred by voters.
Posted by Rhian, Monday, 28 March 2011 3:44:43 PM
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Like your style, I also number every square, and start from the least favoured, and work backwards.
Posted by JamesH, Monday, 28 March 2011 3:49:32 PM
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Should have also added, that consecutive numbers never appear for the same party, but are randomly spread.
Posted by JamesH, Monday, 28 March 2011 3:52:12 PM
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