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PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

Tel +613 9589 1802

Tel +61429176725

info@prsa.org.au

www.prsa.org.au

 



2015-07-07

 

 
Discontinuing above-the-line voting and full preferential voting is the right response to
the manifest faults of Group Voting Tickets - imposing exclusionary thresholds is not.
   
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Interim Report of the Federal Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters fortunately recommends discontinuing mandatory full preferential voting, and Group Voting Tickets, and it does not support thresholds; but unfortunately it proposes NSW-style optional preferencing of above-the-line boxes.

* Group Voting Tickets distort the Single Transferable Vote form of proportional representation, and should be discontinued, but not replaced with NSW-style above-the-line box marking. Mandatory full preferential voting discourages voters from explicitly marking individual candidates' boxes, diverting them to GVTs.

* Exclusionary thresholds are unfair, and inconsistent with direct election and the Single Transferable Vote.

* Robson Rotation should apply to the order of candidates' names in columns, and of party positions.

* Victoria's Liberal Party State Council - risking an accusation of self-interest - voted in 2015 to support an exclusionary threshold of 5% of first preference votes to be applied by a change to the electoral law, to prevent the election of any candidate in a group on a Group Voting Ticket whose candidates collectively gained less than 5% of first preference votes, even though that candidate had gained a quota of votes.

* At Victoria's 2014 Upper House polls, 74% of the 19 MLCs (19 is one short of half the House) elected with below 5% of first preference votes depended on a major party ticket for election. The lowest-polling MLC, James Purcell, of the other 26% of those - all from small parties - gained 5,501 first preference votes, which was 4.8 times the first preference vote of Damian Drum, the highest-polling MLC of that 74%, each of whom was elected with below 1,150 first preference votes.



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