Thursday, 19 August 2010

Preferential treatment

Despite my previous claim that most people in the electorate of Boothby can probably manage the preferences for the Lower House on Saturday, I was a bit shocked to arrive at our "Town Hall Meeting" at the local Uniting Church and find we actually have 9....yes 9!!! !!....candidates. So some will find it hard.
However I do still claim that it is the Senate that frustrates most people and there appears to be in excess of 40 candidates.
Faced with this most people will give in to the temptation to vote "above the line".
This means ( and the only way of validly voting above the line) they will have to put a 1 against only one group....the preferences will then be allocated as that one group have decided. in other words if you vote above the line you allow a party machine to decide where your preferences will go.
Thus (if you are really lazy...and in my opinion particularly silly....) and donkey vote in SA...and place your 1 against the first party. You will vote for the Climate Sceptics.
If you look at the group voting tickets (here page ii) you will note that there second preference will go to One Nation. Assuming that the Sceptics will be eliminated fairly early on and probably ahead of One have actually given your vote to One Nation!
You may be a Climate Sceptic but do you really want to vote for One Nation?
More complex is a vote for the DLP or the CDP...both of whom preference Family First before the Liberals before the ALP before the Greens....given the reality that thy will be the 4 left standing at the have probably given your vote to the Liberals.
My solution
We should be allowed to vote preferentially above the line. That is we don't have to vote for each individual but we could vote for each group. It, of course, suits the big parties to have us vote 1...they can then wheel and deal with our preferences. But I am perfectly capable of allocating my own preferences...and so are you

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