Category Archives: election

What if there was a Double Dissolutions?

I ended my previously post with the possibility that Rudd could call a Double Dissolutions election in his first term. I decided to do the numbers, based on the incomplete counts from the recent senate election I calculated the outcome had it been a full senate election:

ALP Lib/Nat Greens X FF CCC
NSW 5 5 1 0 0 1
Vic 5 5 2 0 0 0
QLD 5 5 1 0 1 0
SA 4 4 1 2 1 0
WA 5 6 1 0 0 0
Tas 5 5 2 0 0 0
ACT 1 1 0 0 0 0
NT 1 1 0 0 0 0
Total 31 32 8 2 2 1

After I did this calculations did I discover that Senator Andrew Bartlett also did the same calculations. We agreed on the outcome which was a relief as I had made a number of assumptions in my calculations.

After June ’08 the Senate numbers will be 32-37-5-1-1-0 (ALP-Lib/Nat-Greens-X-FF) if we compare this to the numbers above from the hypothetical Double Dissolutions 31-32-8-2-2-1 we see that the ALP would lose a seat, Lib/Nats lose 5 seats and the Greens gain 3. Even though the ALP loss one seat this would be a more friendly Senate for them, as they would only need the support of the Greens, rather than the Greens, Nick Xenophon and Family First, to pass legislation.

Of course if a Double Dissolutions were held the numbers would not exactly match these, but it seems that they would be more ALP friendly than the post June ’08. This is unless the act of the ALP calling a Double Dissolutions was very unpopular and they loss a significant percentage of the vote. At a Double Dissolutions it would seen almost certain the the Greens would increase their number of seat, winning one in every mainland state, two in Tasmania and may be a second seat in one or two mainland state or even the ACT.

Some other thoughts and comments

  • Without a Double Dissolution, Family First will lose their seat at the ’10 election.
  • At a Double Dissolution the Christian Democratic Party may win a seat. On my calculation they came close to winning the 12th seat in WA and NSW (at the expense of the Climate Change Coalition).
  • A Double Dissolution is the only way I can see Andrew Bartlett’s party, the Australian Democrats, being in the Senate again any time soon.

.. and now it is time to turn out attention to the Senate

The ALP has a majority in the new House of Representatives, so Kevin Rudd is the new PM of Australia, but what about the Australia’s upper house, the Senate. For people on the left of Australian politics the Senate results are not nearly as good as the House of Representatives results.

The ABC is feeding the progressive Senate numbers into Antony Green’s Senate Calculator. Based on the calculations the numbers after Jul ’08 will be:

ALP

Lib/Nat

Greens

Other

NSW

3

3

0

0

Vic

3

3

0

0

QLD

3

3

0

0

SA

2

2

1

1#

WA

2

3

1

0

Tas

3

2

1

0

ACT

1

1

0

0

NT

1

1

0

0

Total

18

18

3

1

cont.

14

19

2

1*

after Jul ’08

32

37

5

2

# Nick Xenophon  * Family First

To get legislation passed the Senate the Rudd government will require the support of all the Greens, Nick Xenophon and Family First (or a Lib/Nat Senator must cross the floor, may be Barnaby Joyce)

Could we see Double Dissolutions?

Australia has a new Government

After more than 11 year of the Howard government, the Howard era is over. Even better it seems that Howard has lost his seat of Bennelong.

Bob Brown on Rove

Rove: Who would you turn straight for?

Bob: … Missy Higgins.

video on youtube

Election Odds

We are only 7 days out from the Australian federal election and I have been wasting spending a significant amount of time reading election related websites/blogs including:

In 168 hours the polls will be closed and then the election night fun begins.

Clarke & Dawe

via Pia Waugh’s blog

Selected episodes Clarke & Dawe’s political interviews are available on John Clarke’s site. In light of the fact that we are quite possibly witnessing the final days of Howard’s “leadership” I would recommend Deja vu 1995.

Why I will vote below the line in the Senate

On election day I will be numbering 79 boxes with with the numbers 1 to 79. Like 3-5% of the Australian population I will vote below the line in the Senate.
The Australian Senate is elected with a preferential proportional representation voting system. This is an extremely complex, and I would argue general extremely fair and democratic, system. The system requires the voter to indicate their order of preference of all the candidates standing in their state. The voter has the choice of two ways of how to do this: they can vote above the line by placing a 1 in the box for the party of their choice or below the line, by numbering all the boxes for all the candidate. If the voter votes above the line for a party, their preferences are distributed how that party specifies according to the Group Voting Tickets, not necessarily how that voter would have voted if they had voted below the line.

All parties have lodged their Group Voting Tickets with AEC, these show what an above the line vote is equivalent to below the line. The Group Voting Tickets are published on the AEC website as PDFs, on the ABC website in easier to follow HTML. Looking at these you can see where your vote will actually go when you vote for a particular party. It is very interesting to study where each party directs their perferences, in some cases it is based on ideologies, environmental preferencing environmental, left wing preferencing left wing etc, but in other cases it seems to be based purely on deals, two parties who do not share political ideas swap preference just to increase their chance of election. The problem I have with the latter is that people’s can end up electing a candidate who they disapprove of. Some people may say this is a problem of having a preferential voting system, would disagree in the extreme. I am extremely proud to live in a county with a preferential system, as I believe it is the fairest type of system. I think that the issues are: that the political parties decide the preferences not you the voter when you vote above the line and that with 70+ candidate it is difficult to vote below the line, that is why only 3-5% people do it. Greens leader Bob Brown has suggested a new system:

“Have people number the parties for the Senate in the order of their choice above the line, that’s a simple prescription,” he said.

“I will be putting that to the next government, we Greens will be moving for that, so that people make up their own minds.”

abc

I agree with him, but at this election I want MY VOTE to goto who I choose, so I will be filling in all 79 boxes on election day.