ERA News

Occam’s Razor: some reactions to the submissions to the JSCEM interim report 2014 and why we need an independent White Paper

By Stephen Lesslie (President, Electoral Reform Australia)

Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora [It is futile to do with more things that which can be done with fewer] – William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347)

There is no perfect electoral system, but in reforming the Senate voting system we should keep Occam’s Razor in mind.
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JSCEM interim report on Inquiry into 2013 election – response from Electoral Reform Australia

Stephen Lesslie (President, Electoral Reform Australia) and Susan Gregory (Vice President, Electoral Reform Australia)

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (‘JSCEM’) brought down its interim report on the conduct of the 2013 federal election, with a focus on Senate elections, on 9 May 2014.1

What a disappointment it was!

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Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting was held at 74 Thompson Street, Drummoyne on Wednesday 28 May 2014.

Click here to read the President’s Report.

Thanks to the outgoing committee, and welcome to the new committee:

President: Stephen Lesslie
Vice President: Susan Gregory
Vice President: Mark Rodowicz
Secretary/Treasurer: Patrick Lesslie
Committee member: John Baglin
Committee member: John Alexander
Committee member: Peter Palethorpe
Committee member: Alan Kennedy
Returning Officer: Marian Lesslie

Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings. For details, email

PRSA NSW Green paper submission

The Australian Government has recently released two green papers on electoral reform:

The second paper, Electoral Reform Green Paper – Strengthening Australia’s Democracy, was released on 23 September 2009. Submissions on the paper were invited by 27 November 2009 and an online discussion forum was held on the paper from 9-27 November 2009.

The first paper, Electoral Reform Green Paper – Donations, Funding and Expenditure, was released on 17 December 2008.

The PRSA NSW Branch has made a submission. It can be downloaded here: PRSA-NSW-Green_paper_submission (PDF 110K)

Second Green Paper on Electoral Reform released

On 23 September 2009, Special Minister of State, Senator Joe Ludwig, released the second part of the Rudd Government’s consultation process on electoral reform.

A media release about the Green Paper can be found at:,

and the paper itself is available at:

Public comments have been invited and the closing date for such submissions is 27 November 2009.

An online discussion forum will also be open from Monday 9 November to Friday 13 November.

AGM 13th July 2009

Malcolm Mackerras

Malcolm Mackerras

The Branch’s AGM was held on Monday 13 July, at 74 Thompson Street, Drummoyne at 7.30 pm. Thanks very much to psephologist and academic, Malcolm Mackerras, who kindly consented to be our Guest Speaker.

Mr Mackerras was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in January 2006 for advocating reforms to the country’s electoral system and encouraging political debate.

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