Friday, August 01, 2008

One Vote One Value

Implementing Change that Counts

Now where had I heard this story before...

Antony Green, ABC Election WHIZ kid, has just confirmed what we have been saying for years.

To top it up he has also done a detailed analysis based on our hypothetical situation designed to highlight and demonstrate the serious flaw in the way in which the Government counts elections.

Using the 2007 Victorian Senate Election results and the "what if" scenario of One Nation preferencing the Liberal Party before the ALP and then the Greens. Under the Government's flawed system the Greens would have received an added vote bonus of around 7,000 votes. Affirmative Action for minor parties. This is 7,000 additional votes that the Greens did not win but the system gave them. The Greens Candidate would have been elected in Victoria unfairly instead of the ALP's David Feeney.

Using a correct proportionally weighted system, as we have been advocating, David Feeney's election would have been secured.

Clearly there is need for change in the way we count the votes

The problem we identified is exponentially magnified when the system is applied to smaller electorates, such as Victoria's Local Government Elections. For those municipalities that do not have "Above the line" voting the potential of being disenfranchised by the system is even greater.

Last week we made a plea to the State Parliament to address this issue and implement change before the November Poll.

Western Australia has done it now it is Victoria's turn.

Rather then just fix the problem with the way in which they calculate the Proportional Surplus Transfer Value were are also advocating a fix for the flawed "Segmentation system". The system in use was designed for larger electorates (Such as the Senate) and was implemented to assist with a manual count. With the advent and use of computer based technology now is the time for change.

We are advocating the "Wright System" a system using a reiterative counting process where the count is reset and restarted following every exclusion, so there is a top down flow of preferences and not a bottom up bias distibution. The Wright System uses a weighted value of the vote based Surplus Transfer formula and addresses the serious inbuilt shortcomings that Steve Tully and the VEC have ignored. (Prefering to play "Shadow Pupperts" using the EMC's projector to fixing potential problems)

Extract from Antony Greens submission to the Federal Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

One Nation had lodged a preference ticket that had Labor ahead of the Liberal Party, with the Greens last. If One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor on the ticket, then when Family First was excluded, Labor's David Feeney would not have reached a quota and the preferences of the Liberal Party's surplus to quota votes would have been distributed.

What is even more remarkable is that if One Nation had put the Liberal Party ahead of Labor, then the Greens' Richard Di Natale would have won the final vacancy, not Labor's David Feeney.

This would have occurred due to the formula used by the AEC to weight votes when determining the preferences of surplus to quota votes. There are different methods in which preferences can be weighted. The purpose of this discussion is to look at the different ways in which votes could be weighted and the impact this can have on a Senate Count.

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