Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] More PG stuff (NMOC and actually OZ Politics by now)

Randy Van Vliet bigdaddyrv at yahoo.com
Mon May 3 09:28:01 MDT 2004

Just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly, in your 6 candidate example, if there is no majority (as is likely with 6 candidates) it is the candidate with the LEAST votes that get recounted first, in effect having the least popular vote getter determine the result.  That seems odd, not to mention subject to potential buying of second preference votes.
On a separate but related subject I think that I have heard that the party in power determines to some degree when to call elections?  Is that true, and if so, is there any framework or is it completely discretionary?  Coming from the US where we have fairly straightforward (if spectacularly flawed and subject to abuse) election rules this seems really odd.  

Jeff McLean <jeffm at jeack.com.au> wrote:
in a nutshell, it works like this.

in a seat, you have, say, 6 candidates.

when you vote, to make the card valid, you must vote your preference for 
all candidates, numbering them 1 to 6. if you don't do this, your vote 
is invalid - it's a donkey vote.

in the first ROUND of counting, all the ballot papers are "put in piles" 
based upon the voters #1 votes. the ballot papers of all the piles are 
added up. if someone has a majority of the vote (ie. over 50%, they are 
deemed to win the seat).

if there is no clear winner, the counters "pick up" the ballots in the 
littlest pile and then redistribute those papers to the other piles 
based on the #2 preferences of that pile. the votes of the remaining 5 
piles are counted, and if one candidate has over 50%, counting stops and 
the winner is announced. things continue in this manner until we have a 
winner for the seat.

that party which has the most seats in the country forms a government.

here endeth the lesson!

David Schultz wrote:

>To my Canadian ears, that sounds like a bizarre
>If I'm reading into this correctly, you're saying that
>there cannot be a winner, at least on a
>riding/constituency level, based on a plurality of the
>vote (ie. whoever simply has the most votes out of X
>number of candidates -your traditional
>first-past-the-post system), instead the winner needs
>an outright majority, based on coalitions if need be.
>Does a party decide where their vote will go before
>the election (that's the way it sounded by your
>description), or can they decide after?
>I'm also think I've read somewhere that in the Aussie
>system a certain number of seats are based on the
>results in ridings, while others are 'open' seats
>based on overall nationwide or perhaps statewide share
>of the vote (modified rep-by-pop).
>Sorry, I need details, I'm a political geek.
>--- David wrote:
>>G'day Beth,
>>I'm not 100% full bottle, but I'll try and explain
>>this before some
>>political nerd throws in their 2 cents.
>>Each political party states their "preference" as to
>>where their voter's
>>votes should be placed if they do not win the seat
>>in the election.
>>For example they say "If we do not have enough votes
>>to win, then our
>>preference is to have all the votes given to us,
>>added to Peter's (the
>>greens) total.
>>(Because that's who "our" (labor) voters would
>>prefer if we (labor)
>>don't get elected).
>>This is the same system and reason, the best man
>>didn't win our last
>>aussie election. Some sniveling little scumbag
>>ferret of a man won with
>>less votes than Big Kim did.
>>It's a great system until the redneck minority buddy
>>up with the fat
>>cats to overthrow the blue collar masses.
>>- let the flames and political nerding begin.
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