Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We wish QANTAS a not so merry Christmas and an even worst New Year

The uncompassionate Australian

Thanks for stealing my FF Points...

I gave you loyalty, that was misplaced. I saved and saved and saved some more and was only a few points off my dream holiday when they took away my 100,000 points.

The service sucked and they sucked me in.

I will never fly QANTAS Again.

QANTAS Service has significantly declined under the current management. It's Safety record no longer merits a Rain Man quotation and soon the Federal Government will remove the 51% barrier.

I am in two minds on this issue. One side says that QANTAS should remain Australian and not go the way Vegemite has. The other says sell it. After 13 years of loyalty I now think QANTAS sucks and it is not worth saving. They can stick their red Kangaroo where its fits and I hope that the FF staff find themselves redundant because I could not give a rats about QANTAS anymore. I have a good mind to take them to the Consumer Affairs and complain about the poor quality of service and the fact that they have not delivered on past promises and service undertakings. So I guess I will vote against which ever way the QANTAS Board recommends.

They are no longer the Compassionate Australian.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Strike while the iron is hot

Peter Clarke pushes for electoral reform

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has moved a motion to kick start voter reform for the City of Melbourne in the wake of Melbourne's non-spectacular flop of an election last month.

Whilst electoral reform review is long overdue and should have been canvassed by the previous Council the proposal put forward by Clarke is half backed and falls short of community expectations.

The current system of representation has failed to deliver good governance and the newly elected council shows little sign of improvement more of a back slide into a council of ridicule and rip-off. Missing in Clarke's proposal is a review of the City of Melbourne's external boundaries and the need to consider a Greater Melbourne option.

The Clarke proposal failed to mention a review of the direct election of Lord Mayor and the leadership team structure.

The motion put forward by Clarke needs further review,consideration and direction.

For example: Who is going to conduct this review? Will it be the City Council itself or the morally corrupt and incompetent Victorian Electoral Commission? Neither body is capable of delivering the level of review and independence that the city requires.

Without a well spelt out, all encompassing ,terms of reference we can not expect any review to deliver on expectations.

You can not resolve the problems facing the City of Melbourne in isolation.

In the end it is the State Government that must take responsibility for any review. The Council needs to call on the State Government to show leadership and governance (something that has been remiss when it comes to the City of Melbourne).

The City Council needs to outline in more detail its proposed terms of reference and call on the State Government to commit to a wide review that involves all Melbourne's inner City municipalities. The Council needs seek a commitment for the State Government to a time frame and method of a review and in doing so needs to make sure that the review addresses all the real issues and is not just window dressing.

The other issue of concern is Clarke's proposed reintroduction of exhaustive preferential ballots. This must be rejected outright as it is undemocratic and a back slide into the past where 50%+1 elected three or more Councillors. If we are to re-embrace multi-member wards then it must be on the basis of proportional representation.

Clarke's motion , whilst a small step in the right direction, needs more work and serious consideration not just quick fix ideas, a slap them up, half baked proposal dreamt up between Christmas cocktails and celebratory drinks, designed to fill the blank pages of the council's agenda.

Agenda Item 6.2 - 16 December 2008


1. That the City of Melbourne request the Minister for Local Government to immediately
commence a review of the provisions of the City of Melbourne Electoral Act, including
but not limited to:
1.1. governance processes;
1.2. voting system (is exhaustive preferential and proportional);
1.3. the number of Councillors and possible re-introduction of wards; and
1.4. other matters the community may wish to consider.
2. The previous Council agreed to a review post the 2008 election. During the 2008 election
campaign, all elected councillors agreed to support a review of the current system.
3. The community via CORBA – Coalition of Resident and Business Associations – has
pressed the urgency of the need for an electoral review. We must respond and act
decisively whilst the election is fresh in our consciousness.

Moved: Cr Clarke

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Queensland Senate Count

Wrong candidates elected

An international team of experts have confirmed that the Queensland Senate Count had elected the wrong persons. The fault lies in the system used to determine the proportional results. Analysis performed by the OpenSTV project team has indicated that Greens Candidate, Larisa Walters, should have been elected to the Senate instead of ALP's third candidate. The OpenSTV count confirms the early analysis we had performed using a reiterative counting system such as Wright or Meek.

The Australian Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) is currently considering issues surrounding the method of counting proportional votes in Australia to make it more accurate.

The Australian Electoral Commission was asked by the JSCEM to report back to the committee to confirm the different outcome in the Queensland Results.

Whilst the AEC had the facilities and contacts to undertake detailed analysis they failed to provide the committee with the information requested. Instead the AEC provided a lame excuse to do nothing claiming that the system proposed has not been tried before and that all systems in use can provide a different outcome.

Whilst this is true it is still no excuse for the AEC to not undertake a full analsysis and review of the system currently in place. It has opted to keep the JSCEM in the dark in order for it to not act to correct tthe mistakes in the system. If Australia waited for an alternative system to be used somewhere else Australia would not have adopted preferential voting in the first place or above the line voting. Innovation and professionalism is lacking in the top end of the AEC administration.

The current system used to elect Australia's Senate, Victoria's Upper House and Local Council elections is seriously flawed in that it does not reflect the voters intentions. The counting system thats currently in place was designed to facilitate a manual count, a system that was a trade off between accuracy and simplicity.

With the advent and use of computer based technology there is no longer an excuse to maintain the outdated flawed counting system.

The AEC should not wimp out and provide a feeble excuse to do nothing. Clearly the system is flawed and must be changed. Innovation not complacency is required.

The AEC is normally a very professional and responsive organisation but in this instance the AEC has failed in its duty to the Australian People.

The JSCEM must again request the AEC to do its job and report in detail the proposed alternatives that should be implemented.

Friday, December 05, 2008

New Clowns

Selected for new season performance

Melbourne City Council has elected the best of the best - new Clowns and some of our favorite clowns returned to office


Leadership Team
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle (2008-)
Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley (2001-2004, 2008-

Peter Clarke (2004-)
Carl Jetter (2004-)
Jennifer Kanis (2008-)
Kevin Louey (2008)
Cathy Oke (2008-)
Ken Ong (2008-)
Brian Shanahan (2004-)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Keeping State Secrets

VEC under review

The Victorian Electoral Commission has been the subject of intense reviews by VEXNEWS this week. The review follows on from a number of complaints and growing disillusionment of VEC management and the culture of avoidance, corruption and cover up.

Victoria's public elections are no longer open and transparent and the Chief Commissioner Steve Tully has gone to extraordinary steps to avoid accountability.

A large number of complaints have beeN received across the state that the Victorian Electoral Commission has refused to make available copies of the detailed election results record on computeR. Candidates' scrutineers have reported that they were denied access to copies of the preference data files which are used to determine the results of the election in spite the fact that this information is a public document and subject to FOI the Commission is refusing to publish the preference data files.

The returning officer for the City of Hume wrongfully informed one candidate that the information was not available. Without access to this data scrutineers are denied the opportunity to scrutinise the count of public elections, there is no reason why this information is not made public.

In 2006 Steve Tully came under criticism for a botch up computerised count where wrong data had been recorded and over 250 votes went missing between count A and Count B in the Western Metropolitan region. The results of the election changed bwteeen counts with a difference of less then 150 votes. Without a copy of the crucial preference data-files, independnet analysis and review of the data-entry quality can not be made.

Steve Tully when requested by the Victorian Parliament Electoral Matters review committee to provide copies of the data file for booths counts claimed that the crucial information for Count A had been destroyed and the data overwritten.

This has raised serious concern over the practices and security of data held by the VEC. Some think that Steve Tully has deliberately mislead the Parliament in an attention to cover-up what was clearly a botched election count.

Simon Hancock and Glenda Fraser are responsible for the VEC computer count and many IT professionals consider it unlikely that there were no backups of such an important data-entry exercise, costing Victoria millions of dollars. To not have in place risk management and backup of data would be considered negligent and leave the Commission open to allegations of fraudulent coverup of mistakes made during the count.

There are accusations that Steve Tully has compromised the professional standing of his senior staff by implying that the administration of the VEC IT system is shonky at best.

Steve Tully has engaged in a campaign of harassment and lies, designed to seek revenge and intimidation of witness to the parliamentary enquiry into the VEC botched elections processes.

His disgraceful false accusations against Labor Strategist Ray Collins late last week is a sign of a desperate man who will stop at nothing to avoid criticism and review.

Submission have been made to the State Parliament to have the Ombudsman empowered to review the administration of the Commission. The VEC is specifically excluded form the review under the current terms of the Ombudsman Act.

Monday, December 01, 2008

LM Poll Stats

Doyle versus the rest

Analysis of the 2008 City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Election showing a head to head competition Doyle versus all other comers.
Head to head statistical analysis of the Lord Mayor Vote

Fowles 26006 44.87% 31955 55.13%57961
Brandt 24911 42.98% 33050 57.02% 57961
Morgan2477042.74% 33191 57.26% 57961
Columb 21855 37.71% 36106 62.29% 57961
Roberts 19434 33.53% 38527 66.47% 57961
Crawford 19005 32.79% 38956 67.21% 57961

LM Poll Stats

Group Candidate tickets

Analysis: Lord Mayor HTV Ticket table

CandidatePapers % to Total VoteTicket votes% Ticket to Candidate