A pro-independence blog by James Kelly - voted one of Scotland's top 10 political websites.
Oz senate system in chaos.The voting system in the senate in Oz is not optional. 98% vote "1" above the line instead of numbering all the boxes below the line. As about 100 boxes to fill in, in some states it makes sense.There is confusion with the Liberal Democrats standing in Oz, as non anoraks assumed they were the Liberals, but they are a gun toting group with limited support. They did not advertise, relying on confusion.Sadly in NSW they got the first spot on the ticket, the premium position for donkey vote and those with no knowledge, so almost 9% voted for them instead of Liberals thinking they were voting liberal. they got elected!Almost as bad, parties with no support got elected on preferences. the Motoring enthusiasts party, with just 0.52% of the vote, picked up a seat after preferences from 30 plus parties to them. Newly formed before election, they hold balance of power, and main policy is to be able to drive 4wd's through national parks.In Perth, WA, a sporting party got all the preferences and amazingly got a seat, they stand for everyone doing exercise.The main parties who had all the votes were not preferenced by each other and lost out.The balance of power is held by people who nobody voted for. So a change to the system is needed at some stage, not that the newbies in the Senate will vote for change as it would remove them next time!The real liberals just scraped a seat after preferences against them in NSW and ACT, with no Liberal Democrat votes these would have been a formality. Had those 2 seats not been won then Greens/Labour would have controlled senate and stopped the governments new legislation!Democracy in action, but copying the Oz system where everyone is forced to vote and the position on a ballot is crucial is not to be recommended.
"There is confusion with the Liberal Democrats standing in Oz, as non anoraks assumed they were the Liberals, but they are a gun toting group with limited support. They did not advertise, relying on confusion."Sounds a bit like the "Literal Democrat" chap who got thousands of votes in the 1994 European election. I don't think anyone in their right mind would copy the Australian senate system - it's STV, but with most of the virtues of STV stripped out!