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Keep voting compulsory

Compulsory voting – or the removal of it – has been in the news a bit lately. I’m not surprised. Nick Minchin had his fingers all over the issue a couple of months ago so it was only going to be a matter of time before something else surfaced. If Nick Minchin is against compulsory voting I can only assume that he does so because voluntary voting would be in the best interests of the Coalition. His recent foray into the issue came after an Adelaide man who lost a Supreme Court challenge against Australia’s compulsory voting system announced plans to take his legal fight to the High Court. Anders Holmdahl argued that voting at federal and state elections is a right, not a duty. Minchin attended the Adelaide hearing to lend support to the legal challenge, adding:

“I’ve always said that compulsory voting is an infringement of the democratic rights of Australians, so I’m delighted this case was brought to court,” he said.

“I’m sorry that the matter has been dismissed at this level, but I hope it will be taken to the High Court.

“I think the Commonwealth Electoral Act’s requirement on Australians to vote, whether they want to or not, is wrong and I think it should be tested in the High Court.”

Yes, you read that correctly; one of the founding fathers of the draconian WorkChoices and the vocal advocate of a harsher WorkChoices Mach II is concerned about an infringement on the democratic rights of Australians.

He has been calling for voluntary voting for many years now and way back in 2005 he speculated that an election victory to Howard (in 2007) may well have seen his desired amendments to the Electoral Act, though back then his call for voluntary voting was not based on any infringement of the democratic rights of Australians, but that:

. . . voluntary voting’s a very important barometer of the health of a political system, which compulsion can disguise. That’s one of my main complaints about compulsory voting.

That sounds about as unconvincing as his concern for the democratic rights of Australians.

Howard himself had fiddled with the Act prior to the 2007 election when he removed the seven day period after the issue of the election writs during which voters could enrol or update their enrolment. This was a sneaky move. With the opinion polls showing strong support for Labor from 18-21 year olds, Howard wanted to exclude as many of that cohort group from voting and removal of the seven day enrolment period was a dastardly means at his disposal.

I have my suspicions that Minchin’s motives are no different to Howard’s, particularly when we consider some of the crucial attributes of compulsory voting:

  • Higher sample of public opinion with higher voter turnout
  • Legitimacy of government is more accepted by a high voter turnout
  • Equalises participation and removes bias from less-privileged citizens
  • Increases citizen interest in politics and government
  • Forces the silent majority to think about elections which safeguards from extremism

And more importantly, this:

Compulsory voting reduces power of lobbying groups. A benefit of compulsory voting is that it makes it more difficult for special interest groups to vote themselves into power. Under a non-compulsory voting system, if fewer people vote then it is easier for smaller sectional interests and lobby groups to control the outcome of the political process. The outcome of the election reflects less the will of the people (Who do I want to lead the country?) but instead reflects who was logistically more organized and more able to convince people to take time out of their day to cast a vote.

That has the smell of Minchin all over it.

In a parting shot as he retired from politics he appealed to his party not to drift into populism.

It would be far more easier to avoid drifting into populism and pandering to lobby groups with the removal of compulsory voting (referring to the dot points above).

That extreme Liberal Party think tank, Menzies House offered some very radical opinions that leave the reader convinced that the removal of compulsory voting would damage the Labor Party.

  • Under voluntary voting leaders must empower the electorate, which means they must promote freedom. They must sell freedom. They must defend and protect freedom.
  • Voluntary voting will reverse our slide towards totalitarianism.
  • Australians don’t like compulsory voting. Not really. Australians like to see evidence of high voter participation and they think high voter turnouts indicate this. The government has deceived the Australian people for far too long.
  • Until the Australian government stops lying, Australia will continue to deceive the world into thinking that freedom is bad for democracy.
  • Could it be that compulsory voting favours a particular type of voter? Could their deception be politically motivated? Julia Gillard supports compulsory voting.

In my opinion everything revolves around that one question: “Could it be that compulsory voting favours a particular type of voter?” Yes, it does:

. . . compulsory voting supposedly favours political representation of the educationally and economically disadvantaged and marginalised – predominantly Labor supporters.

There we have it in a nutshell. Forget Minchin’s concern on the infringement of the democratic rights of Australians. Forget his argument too that voluntary voting’s a very important barometer of the health of a political system. Replace it with voluntary voting’s a very important barometer of the health of a political party: the Liberal Party.

Quite simply, Minchin wanted whatever will eliminate a few Labor voters thus enhancing the opportunity to fulfill the expectations of big money, big business and big media. And if Nick Minchin raises an issue – it will never go away.

While researching this post I came across many pages that have put forward the pros and cons of compulsory voting, however each argument overlooked one crucial point: if some members of the far right are so vehemently opposed to it, than it must be to their political advantage to remove it.

For that reason alone, let’s keep voting compulsory.

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44 comments

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  1. Iain Hall

    I tend to agree that our system of compulsory voting is a good one and that any idea of abandoning it for a system of voluntary voting would be bad for a our democracy.

  2. Cuppa

    One thing is certain. The right-wing extremists wouldn’t propose such a radical change unless they thought it would serve their partisan interests.

  3. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    The very idea that sets our democracy ahead of the rest of the world and underpins the egalitarian society we enjoy is under threat. This “discussion paper” includes reversing the limits on political donations. Newman see’s himself as the bother boy of neo conservative ideology and this act confirms he is out of control stopping at nothing including a treasonous, treacherous plot to destroy our democracy in favor of a controllable American model where democracy is just a word.

  4. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Turnbull tweeted this link praising Barnaby Joyce’s condemnation of the idea. He thinks its crazy and lets face it Barneby is an authority on crazy. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3664063.htm

  5. lukechircop @blogicalvoice

    Regardless of whose political advantage it is to, compulsory voting gets young people to the ballot box. Every demographic in society should have a say in how their country is run. And governments willing to do good by citizens should do everything in their power to make voting EASIER (or more likely).

  6. Catching up

    Ricky, I think for once Hall just gave an opinion. That is fair enough,

    Not sure if there is evidence to back his claim. I do know that many not interested in politics have similar views, I believe they are wrong.

    I believe this, as I am of the opinion, democracy can only work if all take a role. Turning up to voting Centre is not that hard impost.

    After all the real enemy is apathy.

  7. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Iain again another baseless claim unsupported by fact, f*ck off and do your homework your inane comments are becoming a bore… 🙄
    http://tinyurl.com/b5psyol

  8. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    For once? 🙄

  9. Catching up

    Well Ricky, we should give him the benefit of the doubt. No harm in doing so. I am willing to do what is necessary, if it means we get away from the personal name calling.

    One can only hope.

  10. Alex Schlotzer

    The issue of non-compulsory/compulsory voting is a great distraction from the bigger issues at play. The Queensland Government needs something, anything, to distract Queenslanders from the horrible job Newman and his cronies are doing. For what it’s worth I’m all for compulsory voting.

  11. Min

    Iain, can you provide a link for that. To my knowledge only the right has wanted to change Australia’s system. Also, could you add why the left would want to do so, what would be the benefits for them.

  12. Min

    As per Migs’ topic, the advantage clearly is to eliminate as far as possible the younger demographic..which of course was the aim in Howard’s changes to electoral laws. Basically, compulsory voting encourages people to vote, whereas non-compulsory does not. Not everyone has an interest in voting and perhaps never discuss politics at all except for this one time – when they have to go and vote.

  13. 2353

    Alex Scholtzer – you are right, any distraction is a good distraction. Apparently the voluntary voting idea is buried in a 60 page report – so why has it been singled out?

  14. Min

    Iain and,

    However Dr Lever finds that the case for compulsory voting is flawed: ‘The supposed benefits are more speculative and uncertain than proponents believe’, she says ‘and compulsion threatens people’s freedom and equality in ways they have overlooked.’

    Honestly, what a complete load of twaddle. Quote: Compulsion threatens people’s freedom and equality. Sounds ok in theory doesn’t it, but let us look at practical application. The compulsory wearing of seat belts, that a person is not allowed to engage in sexual relations with minors..oh deary me, how are “freedoms” are threatened..let me count the ways.

    Let me suggest that the “compulsion” and the threatening of our freedom by being permitted to have a say in our great democracy should be one of the least of our worries.

    That the next time that someone whines and complains about their “freedom being threatened” by having to get out of bed or off the lounge chair to go and vote, shall we just remind them that there are countries where because of their race, social status or gender that they would never have this privilege.

  15. Iain Hall

    Min
    I clearly get the arguments for compulsory voting in this country, In fact I think that it is a damn good thing for our democracy however you surely have to concede now that it is not just those of the right who argue against compelling citizens to vote.

  16. Catching up

    Would like to say, nearly a century of compulsory voting in this country has not led to any obvious lost of freedom

    Suggest that much of the research cited is just pure bunkum.

  17. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    · ·

    Many countries do have compulsory voting – including Australia, Belgium and Greece. But although Dr Lever accepts that compulsion might be necessary at times of national stress or to protect the powerless, she concludes that forcing people to vote is no necessary part of a stable democracy: ‘People must have rights to limit their participation in politics and to abstain. Such rights are necessary for people to decide what they are entitled to do, what they have a duty to do and best to act on their respective rights and duties.’

    I don’t buy Dr Levers premise whatsoever. The article is broad and not specific. “Research shows”..what research? There is plenty of research that supports the opposite. The line of reasoning is based on the idea that abstaining from voting should carry as much weight as a candidate has. So a vote of no vote to represent us with nothing doesn’t protect our rite to vote for nothing? Hence nothing should be as representative of something. Sheer brilliant logic 🙄

    Secondly, it goes against the common-sense rule that in any aspect of life, compulsion should only ever be done as a last resort. Other measures, such as making election days national holidays (or moving them to the weekends), reforming party finance rules to widen the playing field, or adopting more proportional electoral systems, have not yet been tried at all. It is stupid to pick the most desperate option when none of the more moderate ones have even been attempted.

    Is this a reason? Compulsion goes against common sense, English Labor has lost its way and doesn’t speak to working class. What absolute bullshit.

    Those who want to see the suggestion from Queensland as some kind of done deal or grand conspiracy to disenfranchise people bay the evil forces of the right are at the very least engaging in hyperbole and exaggeration.

    2353 January 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm • •
    Alex Scholtzer – you are right, any distraction is a good distraction. Apparently the voluntary voting idea is buried in a 60 page report – so why has it been singled out?

    See this is the problem. Why discuss this in the first place. Is it broken? Is democracy under threat? The current system worked pretty well for Newman. This is the problem with Liberals, the devils is in the detail on Page 60 or buried in the by-line of a paper on page 60. It is being singled out as like the Ashby case, Liberals prefer to try to use the courts and subterfuge to gain power rather than due process. Why? Nobody in their right mind would trust Newman.

    I have done a good sweep of media and cannot fine one left wing blog, union, commentator, faction or political party, think tank or entity that supports the notion. I’m happy to be shown otherwise. A couple of articles in blogs without detail pertaining to the UK, which is infinitely different political dynamic than Australia is less than credible. Search for information in Australia, its NON existent.

  18. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Here you go getting all hot and bothered about this issue when no one is seriously suggesting any such change to the way that we vote in this country, it’s just one small part of a discussion paper but the way that you are hyperventilating is just not….

    No problem Iian put it to a referendum. Considering everything that Newman has done in QLD, I would be insane to treat anything that he does with the utmost suspicion. My comment reflects the outrage of that majority of people in this country who by broad consensus reject the notion as an outrageous affront to subvert democracy. Hyperventilating? Such contradictory hypocrisy!!, especially from a man who rings the praises of an opposition that is saying No at every turn. Please explain to me all these “interested parties” that want to have this discussed. What part of our democracy do they want to streamline/fix/discuss? What is the motivation? Public sentiment? voter outrage? Because it eludes me.  Most of the LNP is running from this proposition faster than Abbott at a press conference to discuss policy detail.
    Seem to me they have far more important things they should be discussing in Qld than voting reform. So excuse my extream cynicism and profound suspicion…he’s got form guvna..

  19. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Iain Hall January 6, 2013 at 12:22 am • • Rciky
    No problem Iian put it to a referendum.
    I it were a serious proposition I might even agree with that, as it is not a serious proposition well that’s just a pointless suggestion.

    Well why is the Qld Attorney General proposing it? Why is this open for debate? I think your asleep in your own state when people from other states are more aware of proposed changes to the political process in your own state than you who aspires to know all of media and politics. There’s a bushfire in your own backyard of which your bilsfully ignorant prefering to sit in the ashes and read about in the paper. Maybe your waiting for Bolt to disaprove so your being caucious. Speaks volumes.

    How would you as a New South Welshman have any understanding of the politics of Queensland? I can see a whole swag of your prejudices and ignorance evident in that one sentence.

    Well exuse me for being a little ahead of the resident Queenslander in the information department. I, unlike you don’t limit my understanding to the state border. That comment is very typical of the “Joe like mentality” of backward Queenslanders that has been resurrected with the Newman Government. Your statement above rings like foghorn of arrogant condescension that you know better because you live there. What would I know? Well obviously more than you factless troll as I unlike you took the trouble to actually download and read the “40” page document. Your ignorant factless condescension is evident in one sentence.

    My comment reflects the outrage of that majority of people in this country who by broad consensus reject the notion as an outrageous affront to subvert democracy.

    That is utter nonsense Rciky I live in Queensland and there is no outrage about thsi issue up here. In fact I would suggest that the only people who are concerned about this at all are lefty Mexicans like you who have an axe to grind with there being a conservative government in any jurisdiction anywhere.

    “No outrage here move along its all those lefty mexicans” Well that is evident in the fact that you and your redneck parochial cheer squad of ignorance have not even read the document. I know what will happen it will be “left” to the academics to give the submissions and they will be attacked as interstate communists by braindead lazy people like yourself.

    I have already said that I endorse the current system of compulsory voting,but more importantly There is nothing here for me to endorse

    Of course their isn’t, you haven’t read it.

    Unlike you I don’t see discussion about any aspect of our democracy as being any kind of threat to it.

    I am all for discussion as opposed to you who are all for opinion.
    I’m in favour of section 1: , 2:1 most of 4
    Absolutely opposed to section 5, 7

    I am not advocating for any change here so you should direct this question to some one who is instead of expecting me to argue for something I don’t endorse.

    So we both agree no change..OK Got it. You said the Left has to gain and posted some totally irrelevant stuff from the UK. I cant find anyone from the left or even the radical left who supports the proposition. So I will consider your factless opinion as an obstinate untruth swathed in your ignorant simplistic political bias.

    What is the motivation? Public sentiment? voter outrage? Because it eludes me,,
    Maybe some wag in a back office thought it would be a good way give the Rabid lefties like you heart attacks Rciky

    No its you Attorney General in Major Camp Bells little empire with Nick Minchins grubby paws all over it.

    It’s not party policy so why on earth would you expect that any one in the LNP would be putting the case for voluntary voting?

    Your Atouney General and Nick Minchin are doing just that…Oh sorry, it’s a..”discussion Paper” 🙄

    True enough we should be discussing the Bligh legacy and the fact that the nurses pay system still has problems, the way that Labor sold off a shit load of state assets for bugger all and how Newman has as a massive Black hole to deal with as a result of the state spending like drunken sailors for the last decade.

    Sell off the state assets? I knew you are a socialist at heart 🙄 How are all those mining projects going, would the floods have had just a little bearing on the budget you think? Furthermore was that the budget audited by Cock tell all?

    How the f*ck would you know Rciky?

    Because unlike you lazy troll, I’m well read from source documents pertaining to your own state that you don’t have the research skills or aptitude to understand little own acquire, preferring a biased regurgitated version from lazy media.

  20. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Firstly you factless condescending f*wit. I was born two years before you started living there.

    Secondly, How do you even remotely begin to assume what I know, such arrogance coupled with ignorance supports what all thinks of you in here, know it all troll.

    Hatred? So everyone that disagrees with you mind numbingly simplistic stupidity that is nothing but fact resistant opinion is a Hater?
    Yep I’ve met many just like you in Qld, My 80 yo Aunt call them gullible galahs.
    Yeah that’s me.
    You hate I pointed out you did not read the source document.

    I hate to have to point out you’re a compulsive know it all bull artist.

    I hate your opinion, I hate the fact that you looked for facts to support an absurd assertion ( I doubt you would know where to look without google and in fact are too lazy) and can’t find any, so you post bull from the UK.

    I hate that you have a smug superiority by using swanky language to hide the fact that you are actually politically ignorantly biased.

    I just hate the fact that you waste my time in a blog I love and add nothing, nada, zilch to debate.

    Give you credit for what? Not reading the source document? (you still don’t have it do you, ignoramus 🙄 )
    Show me some evidence that any party, organisation, union, think tank or loby group from the left in AUSTRALIA support the notion that the left benefits or just shut up.

    I am not surprised that there is less than a ripple in your little world there is no water cooler where you work.

    You are a factless obstinate troll, it’s a wonder you are not a member of one nation.
    Go and do your homework troll.

  21. Catching up

    Iain, living elsewhere does not make it impossible to Iain it is not impossible to know what goes ion another state. That is stupid. Why are you once again making a mountain out of a molehill.

  22. Catching up

    Hall and you have to reply.

    No, as usual, you started it. It is your game.

    What pleasure you get out of it, is beyond me.

    Your replies say more about you, than anyone else.

  23. Catching up

    Hall, nothing new in your replies either.

    Will be interesting if there is one that pops up here to agree with you.

    I seem to have the numbers on my side, when it comes to you.

    Have you ever given any consideration to the fact, that the fault just might lay with you.

    That it is your replies that draw so much angst.

    One thing I am correct about, the replies have little to do with what is posted. It is all about attacking others.

    Now, pleased do not tell me I am wrong in that.

  24. Catching up

    Hall, why does everything have to become personal and about you.,

  25. Catching up

    So what it we engage in group think. Not against the law when I last looked. Mot against good manners either.

    Hall, what makes you think, only you have the answers.

    Doubly so, when you do not seem to do much reading or research.

    Is it an innate ability you were born with.

    Is not what we say, one would expect to find on a left wing site.

  26. Catching up

    Coalition splits on forced voting
    BY: MILANDA ROUT From: The Australian January 05, 2013 12:00AM
    Increase Text Size
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    DIVISIONS have erupted in the federal Coalition over compulsory voting, with senior figures slamming an idea aired by their Queensland colleagues to dump the 100-year-old practice and a backbencher supporting it.

    Senate Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull spoke out against a discussion paper released the Campbell Newman-led government that questions the need for compulsory voting…..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/politics-news/coalition-splits-on-forced-voting/story-fn59nqld-1226547859206

  27. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    I see the one man yawn fest has no evidence to back up his claim that the left gains. Inferiority? That is the one time this delusional self opinionated troll was actually funny. I will remain unrelenting as long as this minion of misrepresentation continues to state opinion unsupported by fact. Quite frankly he has gone beyond the local town loon we laugh at to an obsessed crusade of antagonistic sabotage. He never adds to debate , just throws unsubstantiated opinion like a grenade, then justify s it with little more than empty rhetorical. comment. He most definitely hates us, why else would he come in here and not debate? What a mealy mouthed little pin headed troll he is.
    Oh anyone here support the factless troll? anyone? Hello? anyone? thought not.

    Looks like that support has 20 20 + some of Xray vision to boot. Or maybe everyone has become tired of seeing through the inherent predictable transparency of yawnapaloosers factless opinion.

    Either way we are not your therapists loon , so why don’t you move on 🙄 You win no battles here, that delusion is for the water cooler with all your imaginary friends in your shed.

  28. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    CU why waist you words. He comes here for a fight and to state his opinion as obviously nobody else listens to him. Ask yourself how many debates he starts, what he brings to debate. Have you ever seen an issue Hall has commented with a revelation of substantiated fact and you thought , wow thanks for that.Even the fact that he agreed with the premise of this thread gave him the shits enough to post an unsubstantiated claim with no bearing on Australia.
    He is just pissed off that I have pointed out to him that he has all these opinions on a subject and unlike most in this great community, had not even bothered to read the sorce document.
    CU, an old engineer I worked with Jack, would always impart peals of wisdom upon me that have stayed with me.

    “Opinions are like assholes Ricky, everybody has one, some are tidy, well kept and the never aired in public. The ones that make the loudest noise are the most offensive and consistently full of shit.

  29. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Cu I follow Turnbull of twitter and his twitter feed is like a safety valve for his sanity. Turnbull was strait onto this. When Abbott was calling for the floposition to stop tweets (most of the Luddites in the No-olition only need two characters N and O) he tweets on regardless. I love the tweetasphere, it informs the blogashere with direct information.

  30. Catching up

    Hall, it is more like we can give back as much you can give.,

    Once again you lower yourself to pointing out typo errors, which by the way, you make many.

  31. Catching up

    Hall you are unbelievable and childish,

    You have never had a spell checker change the word.

    Even so, your comment proves nothing.

    It is the context that counts.

    At least we can understand what he is on about.

    I am afraid with much you write, I have no idea of what you are trying to say.

    .

  32. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Oh and before you post some inane comment highlighting inappropriate grammar or my un-synced spellcheckers , you may notice that I have used “eludes” instead of “elude”. I though I may point this out in advance so you have more time to research people from left who advocate the abolition of compulsory voting. Then if you have done your homework and provide a factual basis for you “opinion”, Min may duly consider your information and decide if it is worthy of her to “concede”

  33. Pingback: Keep voting compulsory | Integrity in Government, Australia | Scoop.it

  34. Catching up

    SENIOR Liberals are pushing for changes to electoral laws that they believe would damage Labor and the Greens at the ballot box.

    Influential party figures want to move to optional preferential voting if they win this year’s election. They believe that if electors do not have to allocate preferences, old-school Labor true believers and many Greens supporters would simply put a “one” next to their preferred party, denying the other party the benefits of preference flows.

    Those pushing the plan say Howard government ministers blundered by calling for voluntary voting. Instead, they say optional preferential voting would be easy to sell as a more democratic halfway house between the current arrangements and voluntary voting, with electors still compelled to cast a ballot but not forced to pass preferences on to candidates they may not support.

    Opposition electoral affairs spokeswoman Bronwyn Bishop said she backed the move, calling it fairer than the compulsory preferential system, where voters are required to put a number next to every candidate to lodge a valid vote.

    ABC elections analyst Antony Green said the Coalition “probably” would have won the last federal election under such a system.

    But the push for optional preferential voting is likely to meet with fierce resistance from sections of the Nationals, with Senate leader Barnaby Joyce saying he supports the status quo………………….

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberals-push-voting-changes-as-bronwyn-bishop-supports-shift-to-optional-preferential-system/story-fn59niix-1226550754365

    Catching up
    JANUARY 10, 2013 @ 9:57 AM [EDIT]
    ……………….ABC elections analyst Antony Green said the Coalition “probably” would have won the last federal election under such a system.

    But the push for optional preferential voting is likely to meet with fierce resistance from sections of the Nationals, with Senate leader Barnaby Joyce saying he supports the status quo.

    News of the push comes just days after Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie flagged voluntary voting in a discussion paper on electoral reform.

    In the wake of its release, Julia Gillard accused the Liberal Party of trying to make democracy “the plaything of cashed-up interest groups”.

    Wayne Swan, a Queenslander, attacked the suggestion as a “Joh era-style proposal”, accusing the Liberal National Party state government of “trying to stop people from exercising their democratic rights”.

    Liberals believe the ALP could not mount a similar attack on optional preferential voting because Labor governments introduced the system for state elections in NSW in the 1980s and in Queensland the following decade……………

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberals-push-voting-changes-as-bronwyn-bishop-supports-shift-to-optional-preferential-system/story-fn59niix-1226550754365

    Was polled on these questions today. I do not know who for.

    In the last state election in Queensland, most did not mark preference. When one thinks about this, It literally becomes fist past the post, which is the most undemocratic of all.

    Labor was wrong, in my opinion to go down this track in the states.

    Catching up
    JANUARY 10, 2013 @ 10:02 AM [EDIT]
    For once this man is talking sense. What I would like to see change, is the number one has to give preference to, when there are huge numbers of names on the paper. Maybe the first ten is enough.

    ….Senator Joyce cautioned against changing the electoral system. The 2008 merger of the Liberals and Nationals in his home state of Queensland was sold to party members as a way to avoid damaging and distracting clashes between the Coalition members. Since then, a new challenge has emerged in what many former Nationals see as their turf from maverick Bob Katter’s Australian Party.

    “Optional preferential voting is something in the eye of the beholder,” Senator Joyce said. “Everybody loves it when they are the only party on their side of the political fence. Everybody hates it when they have to share the limelight with somebody else. I prefer compulsory preferential.”

    ….http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberals-push-voting-changes-as-bronwyn-bishop-supports-shift-to-optional-preferential-system/story-fn59niix-1226550754365

  35. Iain Hall

    Weak but predictable response Rciky

  36. Catching up

    None really. I believe you will find one. Just a warning that the Opposition still want to change rules.

  37. Iain Hall

    what is your point Florence?

  38. Iain Hall

    Like compulsory voting optional preferential voting has good arguments for and against , for it is the fact that it is more flexible and idiot proof against it is the fact that currently rely on preferences may do badly. Up here in Queensland it works well enough and we can thank the Labor Party for its introduction.

  39. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Yawn 🙄

  40. Tom of Melbourne

    The most obnoxious system of voting is compulsory preferential. In order to cast a valid vote people are ultimately forced to choose between the major parties.

    There are a range of well-informed people in the electorate (myself included) who don’t see any point in preferring one party in front of the other. So the best part of a decade I’ve turned up at the polling booth, and placed ALP and Liberal equal, near the bottom of the ballot paper.

    I’ve clearly indicated my preferences, but the current system does not count the vote.

    Optional preferential is democratic. Compulsory preferential is a crock.

  41. Catching up

    The most obnoxious system of voting is first past the post.

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