Friday, December 10, 2010

Antony Green's bias of denial

Antony Green says there is no bias yet he continually does not publish comments that differ from his own or he makes statements that are one sided (or bias).

First, an early election does not have to be a double dissolution, although that is the most likely option.

The above the line voting system was introduced to assist in the counting of the vote as well as limit informality, It has also artificially inflated the number of candidates running, as those who seek to influence the outcome of the election have realised that they can do so more effectively by forming a group as opposed to running as individuals.

Rather than impose an artificial threshold to prevent minor candidates from leapfrogging on the back of other minor candidates. A better alternative would be to maintain the option of grouping candidates on the ballot paper and increase the required nomination deposit to say $5,000 or more for each candidate and only refund the deposit for every 4% of the vote the group receives per candidate nominated (IE If a group nominates two candidates and only poll 5% they would get one deposit refunded not two)

When faced with losing a higher deposit we will see a significant reduction in the number of candidates nominating and we would no longer have the need to maintain or provide an above the line voting system.

A higher deposit would also reduce the number of candidates running that know they can not be elected.

In addition it would reduce the number of feeder groups that are only there to direct preferences to other groups or candidates which above the line voting encourages. Instead of having eight groups of to to five candidates each we will have eight individual candidates/group members without the need to impose an artificial representation threshold.

Antony Green suggest adopting an optional preferential voting along the lines of Victoria minimum of five preferences to limit the risk of informality. There is no logic in having a minimum of five you might as well make it one or if you follw the logic of optional preferential make voting optional altogether.

The allocation of preferences is an important aspect of the Australian electoral system.  it means that every vote counts\if the candidate of your first choice is not elected your vot6e is not discard and can be transferred to a candidate of your next choosing. a higher nomination deposit would have tegh effect of reducing the number of candidates to those that are serious and have reasonable prospects of being elected. If parties only nominate the number of candidates they can expect to win plus one other then ranking in order of preference the candidate of your choice is is  not ownerus.  If the voter makes a mistake double up or leaves a number out of sequence then the vote can still be considered up to that point.  Your vote counts more if all preferences are allocated.

Green rightly points out the situation were under current rules with optional preferential voting a candidate could be elected with less than a quota.  This is correct but the problem can readily be address by introducing a reiterative count here the count is reset and restarted on each exclusion, the quota being adjusted in the process  taking into consideration those votes that do not express a preference for a continuing candidate.

Both the Wright System and Meek method seek to address this problem.  They also address other issues such as the distortion in the result of the election that arise from the segmentation of the ballot, skipping candidates that are already elected and attributing a voteat a higher value to a lower ranked candidate and the flaw in the method used to calculate the surplus transfer value. Each vote should be equal in value and treated in the same manner.  If a candidate is excluded from the count then the ballot paper should be reallocated as if the excluded candiate had not stood. The same rules should apply to single member electorates as they do multi-member elelctorates.

A freer more informative discussion on the ABC election blog instead of bias censorship and one-sided bebate would be more helpful. If Green wants to prevent discusion and limit contibutions then publish his blog in the private sector.

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