PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

Tel +613 9589 1802

Tel +61429176725

18 Anita Street

BEAUMARIS VIC 3193

 

info@prsa.org.au

www.prsa .org.au

2009-05-28

 

 

 

THE FIRST PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION ELECTION FOR VICTORIA'S UPPER HOUSE

 

The media in Victoria gave attention to the surprising provisional results of the Upper House elections, which were later altered to give a confirmed result that reduced the DLP from 2 seats to 1, and increased the Greens from 2 seats to 3 seats, as was reported on the Victorian Electoral Commission Web site.

 

GROUP VOTING TICKETS CRITICIZED:
Media mentions of PRSAV-T Inc's views on 14th December 2006, which re-inforced Tim Colebatch's acute article on the since-altered provisional results in The Age, and were supported in Leslie Cannold's article there on 16th December 2006, 'To vote in a bloc is to give your vote away', were:

  • Excellent article - 'Backroom preferences condemned'  - by Mathew Murphy, in The Age, Page 12,
  • Letter to the Editor from Dr Lee Naish, Vice-President, PRSAV-T Inc, in The Age, Page 20, and
  • a 5-minute interview with the PRSAV-T Inc. President on ABC Radio, Ballarat, at 8:45 a.m.

 

 

THE CASE FOR THE TASMANIAN AND A.C.T. HARE-CLARK SYSTEM, AND AGAINST ABOVE-THE-LINE VOTING:
The distortions produced by legislatively-prescribed stage-managed ballot-paper layouts, of which above-the-line voting, with Group Voting Tickets, is the epitome so far, are graphically illustrated near the end of an article by PRSA in The Canberra Times. The point of that might have been grasped some party members, but their machine operators would prefer their present powers to influence who gets favoured positions, even if that limits the party's overall success. At Tasmania's first poll with Robson Rotation, which is the solution to such distortions, the left-wing party machine's first and only attempt at issuing a how-to-vote card in State elections flopped spectacularly after Doug Lowe's ALP Government adopted the opposition private member's bill for Robson Rotation, to overcome regimentation of voters, and donkey voting, produced by Neil Robson, MHA for Bass.

 

The classic thorough expose on the damage major parties have facilitated being done to them by parties such as the DLP is a report "Voting - by Party Direction or Free Choice" by the late Dr George Howatt to the Tasmanian Parliament, which ended a move by some party hacks to introduce Group Voting Tickets there. Tasmania has been fortunate that how-to-vote cards have not been a feature of State elections, where parties urge voters to vote for their candidates "in the order of your choice". Scroll down through it to see the graphs that show why staged-managed regimentation (of which GVT is the epitome) allowed the election of the DLP's notorious Senator Vincent Gair, whereas the same party voting strengths counted by a Hare-Clark system would have not had him, or any DLP candidate, elected.

 

 

SEE BACKGROUND TO VICTORIA'S  NEW PR SYSTEM, AND PRSAV-T INC. PRESS ADVERTISEMENTS BELOW

 

 

PR Voting: Now as easy as 1 to 5

 

5

For the Legislative Council you now have a real choice.

2

Voting below-the-line gives you full control over your vote.

 

3

Party operators want you to vote above-the-line.

1

Voting below-the-line helps the party you prefer elect good candidates.

 

4

Do you know where their deals could take your vote?

 

Just five preferences are enough for a valid vote.

 

* At the last Victorian election, in 2002, the Government party won less than 48% of first preference votes in each House, yet it disproportionately obtained 70.5% of Lower House seats, and 77.3% of the half of the Upper House seats for which elections were held.

 

* The Government’s changes to the electoral law will make the 2006 Upper House outcome much fairer.

 

* See the seats won at each of the last four Upper House polls on the former winner-take-all system, and how much fairer PR would have been.

 

* Article in PRSA Newsletter “Quota Notes reports on the historic introduction of proportional representation for the Legislative Council of Victoria.

 

ABOVE-THE-LINE VOTERS DISILLUSIONED!

 

At the last Senate election, many Victorian voters marked a party box, but later felt hoodwinked. Later preferences on ALP and Democrat ticket votes led to a Family First candidate being elected instead of the Greens candidate most supporters would have expected (click on the diagram of the distribution of Senate preferences revealed at that link to enlarge it). Those voters might have felt they had little choice but to trust party officials - given that the below-the-line option had the quite unreasonable requirement to mark nearly all the boxes.

 

BELOW-THE-LINE VOTING IS NOW MUCH EASIER

 

The new proportional representation system for Victoria’s Legislative Council differs from the Senate system. You need to mark only 5 preference boxes for a below-the-line vote. That means voters for a party may, but do not have to, mark later boxes for other party’s candidates. You can now easily and safely choose - in the order you want - as few as 5 candidates, rather than marking above-the-line. No errors, gaps or repetitions of numbers above those 5 can invalidate a vote.

 

Will you let party officials program your vote, or will you decide it?