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Micro party coalition to control the Senate

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Bushman, Sep 9, 2013.

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  1. Bushman

    Bushman

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    I was listening to the new force in Australian politics on the radio before, namely the Australian Sport Party!

    This is an apolitical party that is mainly interested in raising sporting participation rates. A noble ideal in this age of obesity but should this really be a member of the 'micro alliance' that will be shaping policy in Australia?

    No democratic system is perfect, but the ASP is likely to receive a senate seat (in WA) with less than 0.25% of the vote.

    Other likely members of the Alliance:
    1. Family First (SA)
    2. Nick Xenophon (SA)
    3. The Motorist Party (Vic)
    4. PUP x2.
    5. The Liberal Democrats (NSW)

    Good lords, this will be like herding cats!

    The Lib/Dems seem to be in power as they were listed first above the line on the Senate ballot in NSW. As for the rest, it is the result of a plethora of 'back door' preference deals.

    Double dissolution on the cards?

    PS, thanks to Queensland, the likely third force in Australian politics will be Clive Palmer .... ha ha.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Whoops, did not realise there was already a 'micro party' thread .... pls move if deemed appropriate.

    Very important topic though and this result hopefully yields a movement to reform the way we elect our Senate!
     
  2. Knobby22

    Knobby22 Mmmmmm 2nd breakfast

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    Democracy at work. There is also the Greens and Labor who can approve bills.

    The Libs will need to convince them. Maybe we might see a senate that actually really debates rather than trades insults. That is how parliament used to work.

    If the story is good I am sure most of these independent senators will pass the legislation.
     
  3. Bushman

    Bushman

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    The problem is the vested interests that will need to be met to get legislation through. In the WA example (Sports Party), these vested interests only represent 0.25% of the primary vote in WA. Yet the trade-off for say the Carbon Tax being repealed might well be funding of some WA sporting project or complex. I am not sure if that is equitable.

    But at least there will be a number of different voices in the Senate. My view is that there is no way that Abbott's Paid Parental Leave will get up in its current form. Also, there will be a blend of Direct Action and a lower Carbon Tax rate.

    Interesting times ahead.
     
  4. MrBurns

    MrBurns

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-09/nsw-sends-liberal-democrat-to-senate/4945080

    The senate will be a sick joke on the public who have suffered enough.
    The Electoral Commission was told on many occasions to fix things but just didn't , we may have to go back to the polls over this.
     
  5. Judd

    Judd

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    I understand the Electoral Commission applies the legislation as passed by Parliament, so I wouldn't be blaming the EC but our politicians. Not disagreeing with the nonsense but simply saying the finger of blame should possibly be pointed elsewhere.
     
  6. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    Bushman, your title suggests a 'coalition of micro parties'. Perhaps it will ultimately be that, but at present it's looking more like the government having to negotiate individually with all these disparate individuals. Just crazy having people elected with such a tiny proportion of the vote and with such a minority interest.

    And if PUP is indeed going to end up with four representatives across both houses, it's a pretty sad reflection on the powers of discernment of the electorate if they have simply believed the rubbish spouted in Palmer's massive advertising.
     
  7. nioka

    nioka

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    The major parties would like to eliminate all others from having a say. It would be like only having Coles and Woolworths controlling all the retail business and dominating all the retail sales. (We have almost reached this point too). The libs, particularly, need a senate to control and oversee the legislation.
     
  8. Bushman

    Bushman

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    Hi Julia,

    My expectation is that they will unify under Xenophon (or god help us, Palmer) due to a lack of political experience and funding. However, this will be a fraught 'coalition' at best. They will probably figure out that they will be more powerful as a voting block.

    Can you imagine what their success will do next time around? There will be an explosion of micro parties more so even than this election. Something will need to be done as 0.25% of the vote makes Family First's 2% Senator of a few years back seem like a landslide!
     
  9. McLovin

    McLovin

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    Someone described it as like trying to herd cats, which seems rather apt. I doubt the DLP and LDP will be unifying under Xenophon. The senate has become a farce and needs the electoral process in the senate needs to be changed pronto.
     
  10. tinhat

    tinhat Pocket Calculator Operator

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    The new senate does sit until July 2014. The current senate with The Greens in balance of power will sit until then.

    There could well be a double dissolution before the new senate sits.
     
  11. Knobby22

    Knobby22 Mmmmmm 2nd breakfast

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    The rules were changed for Senate by a Labor Liberal coalition to reduce the effect of small parties but they have had the opposite effect.

    Many people vote the smaller parties first. I see nothing wrong with this as I am pro democracy.

    Also, note the Greens were losers in this election and James Diaz actually got a swing against him. People are engaged and vote accordingly and calling them fools just reflects on the speaker. it is obvious, people wanted the Liberals to win government but wanted fail safes. The Greens just block so lost votes and others were sought. People still remember Howards last term.
     
  12. pixel

    pixel DIY Trader

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    Be careful what you wish for.
    The micro parties are the electorate's answer to the two Big One's arrogance and taking their appeal for granted. What other opportunity did thinking voters have? Informal, a sad alternative, accomplishes nothing. A minute interest group will at least force representatives of bigger interest groups to explain their rationale for new policies. Of course, Abbott would love to hide as much as possible and then claim a mandate to do what he wants. Eliminating the discussion will eliminate that scrutiny and open the door to ever Bigger Government, if not even dictatorship.
     
  13. Knobby22

    Knobby22 Mmmmmm 2nd breakfast

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    Well said pixel.
     
  14. McLovin

    McLovin

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    Agree with most of what you're saying, Knobby. Although I think the senate voting has just become unwieldy. How many people who vote above the line actually know who ends up with their vote? Maybe partial pref voting above the line or some derivation of it is better than the current system which has become very opaque and decidely undemocratic.

    I have been impressed with the way people have voted. Hopefully it's sent a message that this wasn't an overwhelming endorsement of the LNP but rather a rejection of the ALP.
     
  15. sydboy007

    sydboy007

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    The issue I have is a DD may increase this problem since the micro parties would need half the votes for a senate seat than the last election.

    I'm not sure how we resolve this issue in a democratic way, especially when you factor in the number of votes for a senate seat in the smaller states is mockingly small.

    The fact we've had this results shows the disillusionment within the community over the major parties.

    I though Gillard had a hard time, but think Abbotts will be even harder. Lets hope he keeps the pork barrel to a minimum.
     
  16. Bushman

    Bushman

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    Receiving a seat in the Senate due to 'back door' preference deals when you have received a tiny fraction of the primary vote cannot be right.

    I believe that the correct system should be that everyone votes 'below the line' and only lists their top five preferences after their primary endorsement. Otherwise all we are doing is swapping the 'faceless men' of the ALP with the 'faceless preference dealmakers' of the Senate. Its not democratic. My system would have ample room to capture any protest vote due to a lack of trust in KRudd and Abbot.
     
  17. Whiskers

    Whiskers It's a small world

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    Agree with your sentiments, McLovin.

    It looks live a review of the qualification as a political party may be in order. In the context of a democracy, we must protect the right of people to form a new party, but maybe review the public funding to avoid people just profiteering from gaining above 4% of the vote.

    Similarly, it must make for better representation for people to fill out below the line rather than frustratingly just tick one box above. If the above review doesn't reduce the size of the ballot list, then surely some analysis must show once you get past a certain number of preferences, say 5 or 6, that there is little or no consequential effect... or at least any effect is mitigated by people not really knowing what the party preference is past first for second preference anyway.
     
  18. Knobby22

    Knobby22 Mmmmmm 2nd breakfast

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    Good points McLovin and Whiskers. it got a bit crazy when I got to my 97th preference.
     
  19. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Re: Micro party coalition to control the Senate ...

    I'm thinking that much of the Palmer vote would come down to:

    1. In the case of Clive Palmer personally, a perception that having a high profile party leader as the local member would be a good thing for that electorate.

    2. A general protest vote against the two major parties.

    Personally, this is the first election I've voted in without an underlying strong preference for either Labor or Liberal. Both have apparent downsides that I don't like and not enough good points to offset them.

    I suspect many feel much the same way. Labor no longer effectively represents the workers and the Liberals are simply conservative and this time around there's even been a hint of religious bias. If you're an employee with a reasonably progressive and non-religious view of the world then there is no major party you'd logically vote for. Labor, Liberal, Greens - none of them are offering much in that regard. So it's either pick the best of a bad bunch, or find someone else to vote for. Enter PUP as, in most electorates, the only significant alternative.

    I doubt that many voted PUP expecting or even wanting them to form government. More likely, they've just concluded that having someone outspoken in parliament who isn't from the major parties might just prompt some sensible debate on the issues. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but I suspect that's what people are hoping for - putting the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons who seem to have become overly complacent and uninteresting.

    Historically I expect that many have voted Green for the same reasons. Simply to spark debate and give the big two a bit of a stir. Hence the decline in the Green vote now that other non-big two alternatives have arisen.:2twocents
     
  20. tinhat

    tinhat Pocket Calculator Operator

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    Perhaps a partial preferential voting system either above or below the line. This is the easiest and most democratic solution I can think of. Partially preference the groups (above the line) or alternatively partially preference the individual candidates below the line. Let the voter distribute their preferences as far as they want to and do away with the party registered preference allocation system (which is only a fairly modern innovation). I can't remember exactly when above the line voting came in for the senate but it was not that long ago.

    Interestingly, I think I heard Anthony Green mention on the ABC that in the lower house there are a lot more informal votes in NSW because voters get confused about the preferential system because in the elections for the NSW parliament it is a partial preferential system whereas in the federal election you must allocate a preference to all candidates on the paper.
     
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