PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

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2016-05-23

 

Mirror of the Nationís Mind

Australia's Electoral Experiments

J.F.H.Wright


Click on the Order Form for the above 160-page A5 paperback book, post-free in Australia. Price and other details are on the Order Form.

'... it is for us to provide machinery that may make the legislature, with at times some inevitable defects of focus, the mirror of the nation's mind.'

Hon. Patrick McMahon Glynn MHR, Minister for Home and Territories, introducing into the House of Representatives the Commonwealth Electoral Bill 1918, which began the system of preferential voting for Australia's House of Representatives (Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates 1918, Page 6682). That excerpt is at the end of that page.

 

 

Contents

Table of Illustrations Page 9

Acknowledgements Page 11

Foreword Page 13

1 TAKING PART IN GOVERNMENT Page 17

2 PEBBLES TO SECRET BALLOTS AND BEYOND Page 21

3 THE RULES OF THE GAME Page 33

Methods used in single-member districts Page 33

Methods used in multi-member districts Page 42

List proportional methods Page 47

Quota-preferential proportional methods Page 47

4 HORSE AND BUGGY  Page 51

5 BRAVE EXPERIMENTS Page 57

Queensland Page 58

Western Australia Page 61

Victoria Page 63

New South Wales Page 64

South Australia Page 66

The House of Representatives Page 68

A fair distribution Page 72

Voters or people? Page 77

Marking of preferences Page 79

Voters'choice Page 82

Disappointing record Page 83

6 NO SAFETY IN NUMBERS Page 85

Block-vote method Page 85

Majority-preferential method in multi-member districts  Page 87

New South Wales local-government elections Page 91

7 FREELYCHOSEN REPRESENTATIVES Page 93

Party-list method Page 94

Quota-preferential methods Page 95

Tasmania Page 98

The Senate Page 110

New South Wales Legislative Assembly Page 121

New South Wales Legislative Council Page 127

New South Wales local-government elections Page 131

Australian Capital Territory Assembly Page 133

8 FINDING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE Page 135

Multi-member-district methods Page 139

Quota-preferential methods Page 141

The critics answered Page 145

The optimum arrangement Page 148

Bibliography Page 152

Index Page 155

Table of Illustrations

Frontispiece: Election night outside the Argus office, Melbourne (Australian Sketcher, 9 June 1877, National Library)

A voting machine proposed in 1906: Page 25

William Westgarth: Page 25

William Nicholson: Page 25

Early ballot boxes: Page 26

Ballot paper from Murrumbidgee district, 1875 (below): Page 56

Ballot paper for House of Representatives election, December 1977 (above): Page 56

Results in single-member districts, Queensland Legislative Assembly elections, 1893-1902: Page 60

Results in Queensland Legislative Assembly elections, 1932-1941: Page 60

Elections and governments in Victoria, 1909-1955: Page 62

Patrick McMahon Glynn: Page 69

Percentages of votes received and seats won by parties in House of Representatives election,

December 1977: Page 75

Percentages of votes received and seats won by parties in Victorian Legislative Assembly elections, June 1964 and April 1967, before and after redistribution: Page 75

A typical 'how-to-vote' ticket: Page 80

Percentages of votes received and seats won by Labor and others in Senate elections

with the multi-member majority-preferential method, 1919-1946 88

Catherine Helen Spence: Page 97

Andrew Inglis Clark: Page 97

Professor E. J. Nanson: Page 109

Ballot paper for Senate election May 1974 showing 73 candidates in New South Wales: Page 119

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