AGM 2012 & President’s Report

The Annual General Meeting of Electoral Reform Australia, held on 20 May 2012, was addressed this year by former Labor MLC Jan Burnswoods. Jan spoke on the impact of proportional representation on the selection of candidates for the NSW Upper House.

President’s Report 2012

PRSA (NSW) has had 3 ongoing aims –

  1. To adopt a public campaign to abolish above-the-line voting in federal, state and local government elections;
  2. To take action against the persistence of 2-member wards particularly in Botany Bay and Ku-ring-gai Councils; and
  3. To campaign for the adoption of a genuine STV electoral system for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, and for all state and federal houses.

These are long term objectives.

On the issue of above-the-line voting, I and other members have taken the opportunity, when it presents itself, to write to the press. We will continue this campaign.

Two-member wards in Botany Bay and Ku-ring-gai councils have received some notice recently with a private member’s bill from Greens MLC David Shoebridge. We contacted David to congratulate him and express our support for his actions- he’s here tonight! – and hope to be able to run a coordinated campaign with him to win basic democracy for the citizens of Botany Bay and Ku-ring-gai.

We have yet to hear back from the Minister for Local Government on the issue of “double counting” in local government areas with a popularly elected mayor. A reminder is probably due.
In the short term, we are attempting to provoke debate and discussion about STV, its merits, orthodoxies and heresies.

Since my last report we have sent out three issues of The largest remainder to members and supporters. The newsletters have canvassed a range of issues including the problems of countback and whether electorates can return an even number of members without the sky falling in. More feedback would be welcome.

This year we substantially upgraded our website

My thanks to the Committee for its ongoing support and especially to Patrick Lesslie for his sterling work.

Susan Gregory
16 April 2012