by Stephen Lesslie
Australian Parliaments are being swamped, not by migrants, but by a tidal wave of opportunists. If this trend continues, it will likely destroy our parliamentary system and leave only a rabble of self-interested lobbyists pretending to be Members of Parliament and all pandering to the lowest common denominator in Australian society. Continue reading
Electoral Reform Australia predicts that the next Federal election will be an early election held in October/November 2018 for the House of Representatives and half the Senate – a full twelve months before the Constitutional deadline of October 2019 for a House of Representatives election. Continue reading
What hubris and arrogance has been displayed by four NSW Senate teams. The Liberal/National joint ticket, the Labor Party, The Greens, and the Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) (CDP) are each standing twelve candidates for the Senate. The Greens are also standing twelve Senate candidates in Victoria and Queensland. Continue reading
Hung parliaments are the norm in Australia and we need to accept that every future Federal Parliament will be a hung parliament. Continue reading
At the 2013 Federal election for the House of Representatives, 811,143 voters voted informally. Of these, 169,354 left the ballot paper completely blank and a further 117,564 indicated their displeasure by marking the ballot paper with slogans and scribbles. Continue reading
Stephen Lesslie, President, Electoral Reform Australia
As I write this report, I note that the Prime Minister has been granted a double dissolution by the Governor General. The 150 seats of the House of Representatives will be all single member electorates and, as in the past, most voters will not have any influence on the outcome of the election. Mr Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth and Mr Shorten’s seat of Maribyrnong will both return their sitting member, as will about a hundred other seats in the Australian Parliament. Voters in these ‘safe’ seats may vote with passion or indifference but the result will be the same. Continue reading
Congratulations to John Baglin on becoming an honorary life member of Electoral Reform Australia. John has worked tirelessly for many years promoting and campaigning for the single transferable vote to be adopted for our parliamentary institutions. His support for the cause and our committee has been invaluable.
[With a Federal election on 2 July 2016 we felt it appropriate to re-run an article that first appeared in the Largest Remainder in April 2011.]
Grief syndrome or bereavement syndrome is a little known hazard for politicians and political candidates.
A political candidate lives in an unreal world. With the pre-selection sometimes over twelve months before the election, a campaign can be long and arduous but it is also an exciting time for a candidate with campaign meetings, pamphlets and press releases to be drafted, letters to be written, doorknocking and public appearances, and the phone never stops. Continue reading
The following is an edited version of the address given to the Annual General Meeting of the Victoria-Tasmanian Branch of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia by Stephen Lesslie, President of Electoral Reform Australia.
We, Electoral Reform Australia, are looking for three things in any reform of an electoral system. They are:
- The complete abolition of any form of above the line voting.
- The rights of voters to have their vote counted.
- Equality for voters.
Simplicio, an Australian voter, is discussing with Electoral Reform Australia (ERA) its single transferable vote (STV) model for the Australian House of Representatives. This model advocates multi-member electorates of at least nine members to be elected without the use of above the line voting or associated group voting tickets. Candidates would be grouped in party columns and the candidates would be rotated within each group to ensure that each candidate had an equal chance of having the top position on the ballot paper. Fully optional preferential voting would apply and the vote would be counted using the Meek method of counting.