Monday, 13 September 2010

Slipping back to the past. - Optional Voting under review

If we adopt optional preferential voting we will by default be reintroducing a First-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system.  A backward step in my view.

First-past-the-post is an outdated and undemocratic voting system. It needs to be relegated to the history books and kept in a museum along with a stone tablet, a type writer and a PDP11.

Australia's preferential voting system is one of the best in the world.,

Both the UK and Canada have been debating scraping FPTP voting and adopting a preferential voting system. The UK is expected to do so sooner rather then later.

Under a FPTP or Optional Preferential voting system a candidate can be elected in a single member electorate with less then 50% support, They can be elected with as little as 34% of the vote.

Preferential voting is by far preferable to the other alternatives.

First-past-the-post voting is used in many European counties such as France and Ukraine to elect their head of state, however to prevent the head of state being elected by the minority they have adopted a two-round voting system. The two round voting system simulates what we have here in Australia but costs twice as much as two rounds of voting is required. 

If they adopted our preferential voting system they could save 100s of Millions of Dollars by only holding one round and they would achieve the same result.

Australia is the envy of the democratic world.  We should be proud of our preferential voting system and resist calls to water it down or make it ineffective.Yes it has problems but Optional preferential is not the solution. Education and maintaining an open and transparent and accurate voting system is the way forward

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