The Branch’s AGM was held on Monday 16th April, at 74 Thompson Street, Drummoyne at 7.30 pm. Thanks very much to all those who attended, and especially to Bogee Musidlak, who we were delighted to have as our Guest Speaker.
The following committee members were elected:
|Vice President||Stephen Lesslie|
|Vice President||Mark Rodowicz|
|Committee Member||Marian Lesslie|
|Committee Member||John Baglin|
|Committee Member||Peter Palethorpe|
|Committee Member||John Webber|
|Committee Member||John Alexander|
President’s Report – 2011
At the last AGM I reported on the aims I had set for PRSA (NSW) for 2010. There were 3 ongoing aims –
- to adopt a public campaign to abolish above-the-line voting and the associated group voting tickets in federal, state and local government elections;
- to take action against the persistence of 2-member wards particularly in Botany Bay and Ku-ring-gai Councils; and
- to campaign for the adoption of a genuine PR electoral system for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.
These have become long term objectives – things don’t move quickly in the world of PR.
Our approaches to the now defeated NSW Labor Government to reform the local government voting procedures, especially with regard to the 2-member wards elected by block preferential voting, and the undemocratic nature of votes for Mayoral candidates being counted twice, was unsuccessful. In fact our letters did not even merit a considered response. We will continue this campaign with the new Minister in the hope of more success.
Little progress has been achieved with the campaign to abolish above-the-line voting at the Federal level. We opposed Senator Bob Brown’s proposal to replace registered group voting tickets with perhaps an even worse proposal. We publicised the issue in The largest remainder and in a general e-mailout and I had a letter published in the Sydney morning herald in August 2010 on the matter.
The problem of candidates being elected after only achieving a minuscule percentage of the vote remains. Senator Fielding, elected with only 1.88% of the vote, was defeated at the last election but a DLP senator was elected with only 2.33% of the vote. Last month two parties had members elected to the NSW Legislative Council despite failing to achieve the 4.55% required for a quota, and Pauline Hanson with only 2.41% of the vote, or just over half a quota, came within a couple of thousand votes of winning a seat. We really need to step up this campaign.
Since my last report we have sent out three issues of The largest remainder to members and supporters. The next issue ( No. 12) will be devoted to a PR analysis of both the Federal election and the recent NSW election, with a detailed examination of necessary reforms for the election of the Senate and the NSW Legislative Council.
This year we plan to substantially upgrade our website www.electoralreformaustralia.org I would like to see more basic information about PR on the website – we need to be more evangelical. We will need to canvass for members and donations to make this work possible.
The timing of this AGM brings us into phase with our Constitution.
16 April 2011