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Kevin Bonham
29-08-2004, 03:30 PM
Who do you think will win the federal election? (To be more specific, the poll question asks which party (if any) you think will hold the majority in the House of Reps, and how many more seats it will have than all the others combined. IIIRC Howard's current majority is 14 seats.)

I will post some more illuminating comments here later hopefully, for now just wanted to get the poll started.

Garvinator
29-08-2004, 03:34 PM
i am a greens voter but i dont smoke bongs, so who can i vote for then, i dont like any of the options :P

Rincewind
29-08-2004, 04:29 PM
i am a greens voter but i dont smoke bongs, so who can i vote for then, i dont like any of the options :P

Greens are ratbags. But the point of the poll is not who you would vote for, but who do you think will win. Except for very optimistic, this is not the same thing.

Garvinator
29-08-2004, 04:33 PM
Greens are ratbags.
a deeply insightful comment there ;) :lol:

Rincewind
29-08-2004, 04:46 PM
a deeply insightful comment there ;) :lol:

It is spoken with some authority. My federal member is a Green. There aren't too many people in Australia who can say that! ;)

Alan Shore
29-08-2004, 06:48 PM
I wanted to say Al Qaeda... but it's not a government party, you should have put Taliban, hehe. I would have voted for them. ;)

Thunderspirit
07-09-2004, 08:14 AM
I have to politely disagree with Barry Cox view of the Greens. While we all have images of them hugging trees, or harrassing shipping vessels they are playing a more important role in Australian politics. After the self destruction of the Democrats, the Greens offer a path to the left for Australian voters.

The Greens will do very well this election and will gain more influence in the senate.


Lee Forace (Liberaci)

Forace's Legacy: Swap off when you're down

Trent Parker
07-09-2004, 08:27 AM
I think perhaps Labor might get in narrrowly perhaps on Green preferences.

I myself am normally a Liberal voter but i'm not aware of what my MP has done for his electorate in the past term. However i know that there will not be a change because this area is a safe liberal seat.

Rincewind
07-09-2004, 08:31 AM
I have to politely disagree with Barry Cox view of the Greens. While we all have images of them hugging trees, or harrassing shipping vessels they are playing a more important role in Australian politics. After the self destruction of the Democrats, the Greens offer a path to the left for Australian voters.

The Greens will do very well this election and will gain more influence in the senate.

I thought it was Green Peace which is doing the grass roots activities you describe above, not the Greens. However I do agree that the Greens will probably do well at this election simply due to a lack of other serious options.

However, minor party politics is a blight on out legislative system and I would urge all voters to abandon them and vote for one of the two major parties. Our constitution never intended the lower house to be held to ransom by a small cartel of unrepresentitive swill and it makes our system less democratic then it would otherwise be.

One just has to look at the pandering to Sen. Harradine and thoroughly useless amendments that have been made to bills at his whim for examples of a system which is not working. Similar examples can be found where Greens and Democrats have flexed their muscle in the Senate and wielded a politic power far beyond their representation at the expense of the majority of Australians who did not vote for them.

I say, restore the two party system. Dare I say, "time for the clowns to leave the circus"?

PHAT
07-09-2004, 03:13 PM
I would like to reverse my prediction of a narrow Labour win, to a narrow liberal win. Reason? Because I was predicting with my heart - my head says it will be The Rodent by a twitching nose.

PHAT
07-09-2004, 03:25 PM
I say, restore the two party system. Dare I say, "time for the clowns to leave the circus"?

As much as I am a bit radical, I do concede that it is stability (not to be confused with conservetism) of western governments generally that have facilitated our wealth and safty.

I know of no study that has found any correlation between the number of politicians/houses/parties/terms et cetera, and wealth/progess. KB should know if there is one.

A few years back I read of a paper that found there was no difference between economy's growth and the government's nominal left-right status. That's food for thought.

For these reasons, I no longer get too hot under the collar over our system of governence.

arosar
07-09-2004, 03:26 PM
. . . it will be The Rodent by a twitching nose.

I tend to agree with you. The Libs' scaremongering over interest rates last week really worked. And the fact that this PM is a lying bastard doesn't appear to be a crucial issue in terms of voting intentions.

Funny though, anyone notice Bush giving Howard a helping hand last week at the RNC? When Bush thanked his wise foreign counsellors, Howard's name came first. Normally, it's Blair's name.

AR

Bill Gletsos
07-09-2004, 03:28 PM
I tend to agree with you. The Libs' scaremongering over interest rates last week really worked. And the fact that this PM is a lying bastard doesn't appear to be a crucial issue in terms of voting intentions.

Funny though, anyone notice Bush giving Howard a helping hand last week at the RNC? When Bush thanked his wise foreign counsellors, Howard's name came first. Normally, it's Blair's name.

AR
Bliar isnt currently up for re-election. ;)

Cat
07-09-2004, 04:07 PM
I tend to agree with you. The Libs' scaremongering over interest rates last week really worked. And the fact that this PM is a lying bastard doesn't appear to be a crucial issue in terms of voting intentions.

Funny though, anyone notice Bush giving Howard a helping hand last week at the RNC? When Bush thanked his wise foreign counsellors, Howard's name came first. Normally, it's Blair's name.

AR

Blair was recently invited to the USA to recieve recognition and honours for his part in the war. He declined - I think because he has finally realised how dangerous the Holy Bush is, partly because it's a Republican Party publiticity stunt.

JGB
07-09-2004, 04:29 PM
I wanted to say Al Qaeda... but it's not a government party, you should have put Taliban, hehe. I would have voted for them. ;)

everything ok sonny boy? :hmm:

Seriously I can't even joke about terrorists any more.

arosar
07-09-2004, 04:32 PM
Seriously I can't even joke about terrorists any more.

Why not? You angry with Chechen rebels?

Anyway, I've been meaning to ask you mate. Where in DE are you again? What do you do there, if you don't mind me asking?

AR

JGB
07-09-2004, 04:45 PM
Why not? You angry with Chechen rebels?

Anyway, I've been meaning to ask you mate. Where in DE are you again? What do you do there, if you don't mind me asking?

AR

naah mate I don't mind you asking. Just north of Lake Constance (Baden-Wuerttemberg) near Ravensburg, 30 minutes from Switzerland and Austria. Stuck here until next year when the fiancee' finished uni mate, and the Visa's come though so were planning on being back in Aus in January.
At the moment im working in dispatch (It is illegal for me to work in my chosen profession here) and writing this Book about the best 100 games of Aussie Chess.

Yeah I think the Chechen scenario pushed me over the edge, what happened last week; a completely new ball game. Half of the terrorist were staright out of the middle east and had nothing to do with the Chechen cause, they just helped fund it.

Kevin Bonham
07-09-2004, 05:04 PM
One just has to look at the pandering to Sen. Harradine and thoroughly useless amendments that have been made to bills at his whim for examples of a system which is not working.

That is as much a Senate malapportionment problem as a minor party issue. Harradine would not be in the Senate except for Tasmania having insisted on getting the same number of Senate seats as other states at federation (when its share of the national population was rather larger than it is now.) I don't think an independent with a cult following like him would have much chance in any other state. Fortunately he's retiring at this election.


Similar examples can be found where Greens and Democrats have flexed their muscle in the Senate and wielded a politic power far beyond their representation at the expense of the majority of Australians who did not vote for them.

However this would not have occurred if the major parties had not insisted on opposing each other. When this occurs there are two possibilities:

(i) The major parties are opposing each other in a way that reflects the concerns of their supporters. In this case neither side represents a majority of community sentiment and it makes sense that the views of those not supporting either major party are considered in breaking the deadlock.

(ii) The major parties are opposing each other for show. In this case it is their fault that they get held to ransom.

I am personally a fan of the concept of third (and fourth) parties and the concept of government being done on the floor of parliament rather than behind Cabinet doors. Unfortunately, in Australia the third parties we have are generally idealistic, extreme and politically immature. In Tas we have twice had the Greens as minor parties maintaining a government, and both times the Greens did considerable economic harm and effectively forced the government to an election before it had run its term. Some of the European parliaments, where majority government is unheard of and everybody knows how to operate stable coalitions, give an example of how it can be done and can work without economic disaster. (Italy is an example of how not to do it.)

Rincewind
07-09-2004, 05:26 PM
(ii) The major parties are opposing each other for show. In this case it is their fault that they get held to ransom.

Yes political nay-saying is another problem. But I was dealing with the problems of the minor parties, not the majors.

Don't forget the conservatives are a coalition which has operated mostly successfully for so long people consider them the one party. I think because of this coalition policy debate is a little more in the public eye than with Labour who like to keep things very much behind closed doors.

jay_vee
07-09-2004, 09:26 PM
naah mate I don't mind you asking. Just north of Lake Constance (Baden-Wuerttemberg) near Ravensburg, 30 minutes from Switzerland and Austria.

My next door neighbour, so to speak :-). Greetings from Bonn, Germany.


Stuck here until next year when the fiancee' finished uni mate, and the Visa's come though so were planning on being back in Aus in January.

On that, you are a few years ahead of me. You make it sound as if getting a visa for your fiancee was rather more complicated that what the gov't says in that brochure of their's. Where are the hidden catches, just so I know ahead of time :-)?


Yeah I think the Chechen scenario pushed me over the edge, what happened last week; a completely new ball game. Half of the terrorist were staright out of the middle east and had nothing to do with the Chechen cause, they just helped fund it.

Actually, at the moment the commonly-held opinion is that this "middle-eastern connection" has been made up by the russian gov't to detract attention from their own homegrown terrorist problem.

JGB
07-09-2004, 10:39 PM
My next door neighbour, so to speak :-). Greetings from Bonn, Germany.
On that, you are a few years ahead of me. You make it sound as if getting a visa for your fiancee was rather more complicated that what the gov't says in that brochure of their's. Where are the hidden catches, just so I know ahead of time :-)?

Actually, at the moment the commonly-held opinion is that this "middle-eastern connection" has been made up by the russian gov't to detract attention from their own homegrown terrorist problem.

Greetings, I have not seen the govt broucher, but I know pretty much how it works. We dont have the visa yet, were still waiting (already over 2 months!) although weve sent all the *B-S* in to be processed, done the medicals, payed the fees etc. It is probably just easier to go into Berlin and get it done on the day, which is possible if you have the time. Crap paperwork, they can do it in a few hours if you go to Berlin, but if you send it, they need months?? figure that!

arosar
09-09-2004, 04:32 PM
A bomb just hit the Aus embassy in Jakarta. Will this help Howard?

AR

Garvinator
09-09-2004, 04:35 PM
A bomb just hit the Aus embassy in Jakarta. Will this help Howard?

AR
it will help howard cause the focus will now be back on security, rather than latham's family and tax package. I dont understand this attack from a terrorist point of view. It is not in the terrorist's interests to have John Howard in power and this attack can only help Howard, in my opinion.

Rincewind
09-09-2004, 04:54 PM
it will help howard cause the focus will now be back on security, rather than latham's family and tax package. I dont understand this attack from a terrorist point of view. It is not in the terrorist's interests to have John Howard in power and this attack can only help Howard, in my opinion.

Well Howard got the runs on the board with a khaki election last time around. Timing could be better for Howard to run the same thing this time around.

Very poor timing for the seven people killed and nearly 100 wounded.

Garvinator
09-09-2004, 05:12 PM
Very poor timing for the seven people killed and nearly 100 wounded. it would always be bad timing for all the ppl killed, injured and the families and friends of these ppl :cry:

A bushism from John Howard though in one of his press conferences- when asked a question on death, injuries- his response- Apart from a few minor injuries, there have been no death or injuries :lol: :lol:

JGB
09-09-2004, 06:00 PM
I really doubt that the terrorist group is thinking about influencing political choice in Australia. This group are against us, and will do whatever they can to harm our interests regardless of who the PM of Australia is. This will definetly help turn more people in Indonesia against this terrorist group as it has only killed Indonesian people, and Australian citizens were seen in the hospitals helping the wounded locals. This was really a poorly calculated attack today.

Trizza
09-09-2004, 08:29 PM
I think the coalition will win easily. I don't think many swinging voters know enough about Latham to have the confidence to vote for him. Also Simon Crean lurks in the background as shadow treasurer, which can't help Labor's cause.

I agree with Garvin about how the terrorist attack today will allow Howard to once again emphasise national security, just after Latham's tax policy was finally delivered.

Would be unusual if there was a hung Parliament. This happened in the Tassie state parliament once.

Kevin you said there was malapportionment in the Senate. Are you suggesting this should be changed? There is also malapportionment in the House of Reps - each state gets a minimum of 5 members regardless of population. Also there is effective malapportionment because of the significant differences in population for different electorates.

Kevin Bonham
09-09-2004, 09:37 PM
Would be unusual if there was a hung Parliament. This happened in the Tassie state parliament once.

It's quite common here actually because of our voting system. Has happened at least three times, once in about the 50s-60s with a single Independent holding it, then from 1989-1992 with five Greens supporting an ALP minority, then from 1996-98 with four Greens supporting a Liberal minority. In both the latter cases the party governing in minority was thrashed at the next election.

Hung parliaments are also not uncommon at State level. Victoria had one when Bracks first won, Beattie ruled with 44/89 seats in Qld for a while, I think SA still has one with a renegade Liberal holding the Speaker's chair, ACT has had several.


Kevin you said there was malapportionment in the Senate. Are you suggesting this should be changed?

In theory yes but there is no realistic chance of it ever happening - the small states would never surrender their constitutional power (not that they make much use of it anyway.)


There is also malapportionment in the House of Reps - each state gets a minimum of 5 members regardless of population. Also there is effective malapportionment because of the significant differences in population for different electorates.

The only real malapportionment in the Reps is that Tasmania gets 5 seats when on population it is only barely entitled to four. Apart from that there are strict controls so that redistributions are conducted to keep electorates within 10% of the median population size for their state.

samspade
10-09-2004, 10:52 PM
I'm going for Labor, but it looks like Howard and Costello are celebrating already... who can come up with the best caption?

Garvinator
10-09-2004, 11:06 PM
could they be having a premature celebration :P

Trizza
10-09-2004, 11:12 PM
In theory yes but there is no realistic chance of it ever happening - the small states would never surrender their constitutional power (not that they make much use of it anyway.)

The only real malapportionment in the Reps is that Tasmania gets 5 seats when on population it is only barely entitled to four. Apart from that there are strict controls so that redistributions are conducted to keep electorates within 10% of the median population size for their state.

Of course. I'd be amazed if a majority of voters in a state voted to reduce its representation. The states were unhappy enough when ACT and NT got two voting senators each in the 70s (though that wasn't put to referendum).

Sorry you are right, there are controls to ensure 'one vote one value' with a 10% tolerance level under the Commonwealth Electoral Act. I was getting confused with WA state parliament where there is greater malapportionment which favours the coalition.

However, the Federal controls are not expressly in the Commonwealth Constitution (there was a failed referendum in 1988). I suppose the Electoral Act could still be amended, though this is also unlikely.

Garvinator
03-10-2004, 01:24 PM
Mark Latham is taking a big gamble about honesty with his refusal to rule out tax/levy rises under a Labor government. I think he is gambling that the australian electorate has had a gutful of being lied to. He also realises that in almost every election campaign, propsective governments promise not to raise taxes and as soon as they get into government, they raise taxes.

A big gamble by Latham, perhaps this gamble will show whether he is a real astute politician or not.

Kevin Bonham
03-10-2004, 01:47 PM
Hmmm, the Coalition will have a lot of fun playing their usual scare tactics with that one.

I have had a look at a range of seat-by-seat data trying to get a feel for the likely outcome but it is still far too close to say. Labor is picking up big swings in some states but may not be getting them in enough seats that matter yet. They seem on track to gain five or six overall at the moment, which would be a very narrow Coalition victory. However stuff happening in the last week of the campaign could easily swing all that by a dozen seats or more so it's still up in the air.

Some of the Senate races are very interesting - particularly those where there's a chance of unusual minor parties like Family First getting up on preferences. Family First and the Greens have been having a big slanging match here each trying to outdo the other with claims of extremism.

Garvinator
03-10-2004, 01:57 PM
Hmmm, the Coalition will have a lot of fun playing their usual scare tactics with that one.
I would suspect that Mark Latham is backing that the Coalition wont be able to make much ground on this issue, cause Mark will just keep repeating the 'never ever' gst and 'core and non core' promises. Those are two areas that the Coalition would rather the electorate forgot about.

Garvinator
03-10-2004, 02:10 PM
I have had a look at a range of seat-by-seat data trying to get a feel for the likely outcome but it is still far too close to say. Labor is picking up big swings in some states but may not be getting them in enough seats that matter yet. They seem on track to gain five or six overall at the moment, which would be a very narrow Coalition victory. However stuff happening in the last week of the campaign could easily swing all that by a dozen seats or more so it's still up in the air.

One thing about the polling data everyone sees in the news bulletins is that they are generally meaningless, unless it shows the individual data of each seat.

Labor has been given a big free kick by the re-distribution of boundaries in the seat of gippsland in eastern victoria. Formally a safe liberal seat, now it is a liberal held seat with a margin of just 2%. Also there is the seat of Eden Monero in south eastern nsw, held by liberal Gary Nairn. Since 1972 i believe, the party that has won eden monero, has won government. If that stays true, no pressure on those candidates :uhoh:

Also the liberals will be struggling in the seat of Parramatta, held by confessed adulterer Ross Cameron, who won the seat last time with a margin of just 1%.

Also in sa, there is trish draper. that seat could be won by Labor.

Up here in qld, four seats could be decided on one issue- the ipswich motorway, with state and federal governments blaming each other for its disgraceful state, even though it is a national highway. Many voters have had a gutful of buck passing, but who do they protest vote for?


Some of the Senate races are very interesting - particularly those where there's a chance of unusual minor parties like Family First getting up on preferences. Family First and the Greens have been having a big slanging match here each trying to outdo the other with claims of extremism.

Not much mention up here from what i have seen of the family first party. They are running candidates, but the papers dont mention them much.
More talk of Pauline Hanson instead. I am a greens voter, so i hope they get seats. Queensland has six seats, the papers say that basically Labor will get two seats, Liberals will get two seats and the last two seats are too close to decide.

With every major party preferencing away from hanson, she needs about 14% primary vote to have a chance. I would like to see the Greens and hanson get the final two seats, but i dont see hanson getting home. So that leaves the final seat to be fought out between nationals, family first, greens, democrats and independants.

Kevin Bonham
03-10-2004, 02:44 PM
One thing about the polling data everyone sees in the news bulletins is that they are generally meaningless, unless it shows the individual data of each seat.

Correct. For instance a 51-49 national result could give a party anything from a 30-seat win to a 20-seat loss.


Labor has been given a big free kick by the re-distribution of boundaries in the seat of gippsland in eastern victoria. Formally a safe liberal seat, now it is a liberal held seat with a margin of just 2%.

Coalition are still favourite to hold that one but it's very close.


Also there is the seat of Eden Monero in south eastern nsw, held by liberal Gary Nairn. Since 1972 i believe, the party that has won eden monero, has won government. If that stays true, no pressure on those candidates :uhoh:

That "litmus seat" thing always seems a bit like post hoc reasoning to me.


Also the liberals will be struggling in the seat of Parramatta, held by confessed adulterer Ross Cameron, who won the seat last time with a margin of just 1%.

Also in sa, there is trish draper. that seat could be won by Labor.

Parramatta is strongly expected to go. Makin I have not seen any odds or polling on - she does have a 3.7% margin but whether she survives the travel rorts bizzo remains to be seen. Hope not.


Not much mention up here from what i have seen of the family first party. They are running candidates, but the papers dont mention them much.
More talk of Pauline Hanson instead. I am a greens voter, so i hope they get seats. Queensland has six seats, the papers say that basically Labor will get two seats, Liberals will get two seats and the last two seats are too close to decide.

The Greens are on track to win a bucketload of Senate seats nationwide. Most likely five or six though eight is not out of the question. As well as good chances of one in every state they have chances of one in the ACT and two in Tasmania. Their campaigning here has been extremely well done apart from Bob Brown saying a few remarkably stupid things in the Family First row. They've been polling between 18% and 26% for the Tasmanian Senate - a vote in the low 20s would likely give them two.


With every major party preferencing away from hanson, she needs about 14% primary vote to have a chance. I would like to see the Greens and hanson get the final two seats, but i dont see hanson getting home. So that leaves the final seat to be fought out between nationals, family first, greens, democrats and independants.

I don't see Hanson winning either, although it's not impossible - hard to tell with no accurate polling where Hanson is listed as one of many options. Family First are not a serious threat in Qld due to unfavourable preferences. The most likely result is the Greens and the Nationals getting the last two. Is Hetty Johnson being considered a serious chance up there still? One would think the events of the last week with all the child pornography arrests would have played right into her hands.

Garvinator
03-10-2004, 02:57 PM
That "litmus seat" thing always seems a bit like post hoc reasoning to me. i know that in reality is it irrelevant and just one of those co-incidences that are amazing to realise after the event.




Parramatta is strongly expected to go. Makin I have not seen any odds or polling on - she does have a 3.7% margin but whether she survives the travel rorts bizzo remains to be seen. Hope not.agree, but if all politicians who travel rorted and were voted out, the parliament would look very different:whistle:


The Greens are on track to win a bucketload of Senate seats nationwide. Most likely five or six though eight is not out of the question. As well as good chances of one in every state they have chances of one in the ACT and two in Tasmania. Their campaigning here has been extremely well done apart from Bob Brown saying a few remarkably stupid things in the Family First row. They've been polling between 18% and 26% for the Tasmanian Senate - a vote in the low 20s would likely give them two. i expected the greens to poll well in tasmania, because of the amount of old growth forests.


Is Hetty Johnson being considered a serious chance up there still? One would think the events of the last week with all the child pornography arrests would have played right into her hands.
not that i have seen. Hetty hasnt been on the news at all that i have seen since the child pornography arrests. Which with her an election candidate is surprising.

In my opinion, Hetty has no chance of getting a seat anyways. The voting system is against her to start with. To vote for her, you have to number all the boxes under the line. Not many ppl want to do that, so they are less likely to vote for her.

Kevin Bonham
03-10-2004, 07:01 PM
agree, but if all politicians who travel rorted and were voted out, the parliament would look very different:whistle:

Indeed, but Draper is a special case because she also contradicted her family values views in the process.


not that i have seen. Hetty hasnt been on the news at all that i have seen since the child pornography arrests. Which with her an election candidate is surprising.

She was on Ten News tonight here - first sign I've seen of her.


In my opinion, Hetty has no chance of getting a seat anyways. The voting system is against her to start with. To vote for her, you have to number all the boxes under the line. Not many ppl want to do that, so they are less likely to vote for her.

That's not true - she can be voted for above the line as Group O. However the lack of a party name above her name will be some disadvantage. Pauline Hanson (Group K) has the same problem.

Garvinator
03-10-2004, 07:16 PM
That's not true - she can be voted for above the line as Group O. However the lack of a party name above her name will be some disadvantage. Pauline Hanson (Group K) has the same problem.
oh ok, my mistake, i could have sworn that the papers were saying what i said :eek: but a media article would never be wrong would it ;)

Garvinator
03-10-2004, 07:17 PM
She was on Ten News tonight here - first sign I've seen of her.
same up here. Still she didnt mention anything about being a politicial candidate, just was mentioning her role as a child advocate.

arosar
05-10-2004, 01:18 PM
Greg Sheridan, of The Aussie, must be the single most unqualified person to comment on Australian politics and international relations. What a dumb piece he wrote last Saturday!

AR

Kevin Bonham
07-10-2004, 01:09 AM
Barring anything very unusual or any new movement in the polls between now and election day, my prediction is Coalition by 10 seats (eg 80/67/3).

Garvinator
07-10-2004, 01:18 AM
Barring anything very unusual or any new movement in the polls between now and election day, my prediction is Coalition by 10 seats (eg 80/67/3).
dont say this, it will just confirm that the average australian voter likes to be lied to and is sending their tacit approval to be lied too :doh: :wall:

My prediction is for a very small Labor win ie less than 5, with the greens to win a couple of lower house seats.

Kevin Bonham
07-10-2004, 01:35 AM
My prediction is for a very small Labor win ie less than 5, with the greens to win a couple of lower house seats.

I think it is extremely unlikely the Greens will win two seats and not especially likely that they will even hold the one they win now. But Barry lives in that electorate - maybe he could tell us whether the local pundits give Michael Organ any real show of being returned.

Goughfather
07-10-2004, 01:49 AM
Like Kevin, I'm expected the Coalition to be returned, albeit with a slightly reduced majority. I expect the Independents, Windsor, Andren and Katter to retain their seats. I'll also go out on a limb and pick Peter King to win the Eastern Suburbs seat of Wentworth on the back of Labor preferences against Turnbull.

I have a feeling that the ALP will potentially pick up Parramatta, Robertson on the NSW Central Coast and Eden-Monaro. Kevin would be a better judge than me on this one, but I think they might have trouble holding all of their Tasmanian seats. I'm not really sure about the state of play in South Australia, so I won't hazard a comment.

Thus, though I would like to be proved wrong, my pick is the Coaltion to win by 6 seats (78-68-4)

Kevin Bonham
07-10-2004, 03:16 AM
Like Kevin, I'm expected the Coalition to be returned, albeit with a slightly reduced majority. I expect the Independents, Windsor, Andren and Katter to retain their seats. I'll also go out on a limb and pick Peter King to win the Eastern Suburbs seat of Wentworth on the back of Labor preferences against Turnbull.

That is a rather tempting limb. Centrebet now has King second favourite behind Turnbull at $3.50, in from $6.00 last week.


Kevin would be a better judge than me on this one, but I think they might have trouble holding all of their Tasmanian seats.

Bass was widely considered to be gone even before the Latham and Howard forest policy announcements. Braddon requires a 6% swing and probably won't quite fall although it could be close and the Libs were just ahead in two small polls.

Lyons is very interesting - an 8% swing needed but an electorate with a lot of timber and mining industry. The sitting member, Dick Adams, was totally furious with Latham's policy and actually said that if he personally holds the balance of power he will force Latham to either change policy or else resign over the issue. There is some speculation that he might be booted from the party if Labor lose narrowly and he keeps his seat.

Certainly he was a very stressed figure on radio today trying to find a way to attack the Coalition's policy as too conservation-biased even though the Coalition had secured the endorsement of the Forest Industries Association and Timber Communities Australia.

I'm expecting that the ALP will lose Bass and one in WA and pick up about five scattered around the country. Hard to say exactly which ones because there are a lot of half-chances.

arosar
07-10-2004, 07:49 AM
That is a rather tempting limb. Centrebet now has King second favourite behind Turnbull at $3.50, in from $6.00 last week.

FMD! Pretty soon we'll all be relying on Centrebet and TAB to 'predict' elections. Bye-bye polls!

AR

Rincewind
07-10-2004, 08:49 AM
FMD! Pretty soon we'll all be relying on Centrebet and TAB to 'predict' elections. Bye-bye polls!

Are they any worse than Morgan-Gallop style pollsters?

Garvinator
07-10-2004, 12:30 PM
FMD! Pretty soon we'll all be relying on Centrebet and TAB to 'predict' elections. Bye-bye polls!

AR
the betting prices would be more likely to be accurate cause ppl actually have to spend their own money.

Kevin Bonham
07-10-2004, 03:46 PM
FMD! Pretty soon we'll all be relying on Centrebet and TAB to 'predict' elections. Bye-bye polls!

The difficulty with polls is interpreting them, since they very rarely ask the right questions in the right way. For instance a Newspoll out at the moment predicts a hung parliament with 74/73/3. But the problem with that is that it assumes that the state swings will fall uniformly in the seats in each state, when in fact Howard has porkbarrelled the marginals like you wouldn't believe and the swing in the marginals should therefore be much less. What polling of marginals has been done generally supports this.

Betting odds are currently held to be reasonably reliable because many of the bets are placed by campaign insiders who have good reason to know if they will win or lose. At the last poll Centrebet correctly predicted 43/47 marginals canvassed, which is extremely impressive. However as election betting becomes more popular this effect will diminish. Also there are some quirks to keep in mind. For instance Labor was down to $2.75 just after Medicare Gold, but by yesterday had blown out to $4.70. Then there was a massive plunge that brought it back to $3.50 or so, but that wasn't because people suddenly thought Labor would win - it was probably big punters who had backed the Coalition at $1.60 or so getting some insurance so they would win either way.

Rincewind
07-10-2004, 03:54 PM
The difficulty with polls is interpreting them, since they very rarely ask the right questions in the right way. For instance a Newspoll out at the moment predicts a hung parliament with 74/73/3. But the problem with that is that it assumes that the state swings will fall uniformly in the seats in each state, when in fact Howard has porkbarrelled the marginals like you wouldn't believe and the swing in the marginals should therefore be much less. What polling of marginals has been done generally supports this.

Hence my theory that the best thing to do is always vote against the incumbent. You want to turn your electorate into a swinging seat so that you see the benefit of some of that porkbarrelling. :)

Rincewind
09-10-2004, 09:47 AM
Don't forget to have your say today.

Assuming you are of voting age of course, and an Aussie, or have some exception allowing you to vote or otherwise, etc.

(I wish I just stopped after the first line.)

Kevin Bonham
09-10-2004, 10:17 PM
Result was significantly worse for Labor than I expected but at least I still have one over all the journalists who predicted very close Liberal wins. Looks like 20-30 seat majority and I'm about 8 seats out on each major party's total, which is rather mediocre after being only 2 seats out last time. :confused:

The most significant results could be in the Senate. I haven't tried doing the preference flows yet but the Coalition will be very close to a majority. A Family First balance of power is possible, and I thought the Greens would be bad. :eek: *very afraid*

Labor's forest strategy was an absolute flop, that'll learn 'em and they won't do that again in a hurrry.

Ah well. At least Ross Cameron lost.

Rincewind
09-10-2004, 10:44 PM
Ah well. At least Ross Cameron lost.

As did little Mickey Organ. But who is this Sharon bird?

Bill Gletsos
10-10-2004, 12:06 AM
Ah well. At least Ross Cameron lost.
Is that a given?

Garvinator
10-10-2004, 12:07 AM
Is that a given?
no, too close to all the networks are saying for parramatta.

Kevin Bonham
10-10-2004, 12:24 AM
no, too close to all the networks are saying for parramatta.

ABC has him at 49.6% on 2PP even after adjustment is made for incumbent advantage in postal voting, and lists the seat as ALP GAIN (although I don't entirely trust its computer's calls.) Also worth bearing in mind that at the start of the campaign he was given no hope and only close to polling day did he pick up and that there was probably some swing in public opinion to the government in the last week or so of the campaign. He'll start 800-odd behind on postals ... OK it's not one I would call just yet if I was either side's scrutineer but it's looking extremely grim for him.

arosar
11-10-2004, 09:36 AM
I'm too friggin' depressed. Almost can't bloody believe it. I avoided TV, radio, the papers . . . just so I don't get reminded of this tragedy and heartache. So to salve my frustration, I switched on my computer and played Hitman 2. I just killed every bad guy in sight.

Now I reckon we'll see much the same thing happening in USA elections. These morons just get themselves re-elected.

AR

ursogr8
11-10-2004, 09:48 AM
I'm too friggin' depressed. Almost can't bloody believe it. I avoided TV, radio, the papers . . .
AR

Yeh Amiel
I get like this too.
You know how it is, ....I video-tape say the FA Cup Final and then don't listen to news bulletins so that I don't know the result.
In the morning I settle down to watch the tape. Then somehow someone lets me know the result before I have watched the game.

Btw Amiel, which of the Pundit Commentaries have you video-taped? Channel 2? Channel 9? Tell me if it is riveting. (Although I do know the outcome now).

good morning to you,


starter

arosar
11-10-2004, 09:56 AM
Channel 9?

The Liberals can do us a big favour. They should pass a Bill to forcibly retire Ray Martin.

AR

Libby
11-10-2004, 12:24 PM
I'm too friggin' depressed. Almost can't bloody believe it. I avoided TV, radio, the papers . . . just so I don't get reminded of this tragedy and heartache. So to salve my frustration, I switched on my computer and played Hitman 2. I just killed every bad guy in sight.

Now I reckon we'll see much the same thing happening in USA elections. These morons just get themselves re-elected.

AR

I had to stand in a voting queue sandwiched between two couples clutching their Libs how-to-vote cards and discussing the fabulous "honest John". It was a long queue and I really want to shake the lot of them but was too depressed by the sense of doom which hovered in the final days of the campaign ... :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

rob
11-10-2004, 03:20 PM
I had to stand in a voting queue sandwiched between two couples clutching their Libs how-to-vote cards and discussing the fabulous "honest John". It was a long queue and I really want to shake the lot of them but was too depressed by the sense of doom which hovered in the final days of the campaign ... :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
Surely you didn't want a return to the bad old days of Labour power. Labour currently sux and hence the ppl chose the Coalition despite the historical likelihood of the incumbent party being kicked out. I reckon that the Greens would get even more votes if they weren't so pro-Labour. Some Labour ppl are great whingers complaining about how ppl voted inferring that many ppl were stupidly gullible and fooled by the Coalition (showing no respect for the intelligence of the Aussie population). There are some bad losers around.

In my electorate of Moore Labour got well and truly stuffed: the Lib MP increased his vote by 6.7% whilst Labour went down. :clap:

Johnnie Howard's Aussie Army!! :owned:

Garvinator
11-10-2004, 05:57 PM
But who is this Sharon bird?
your new parliament representative so i have heard ;)

Garvinator
11-10-2004, 06:04 PM
ok time for some small analysis: why did Labor lose this election?

The first area i think they lost it was on interest rates/financial management, not so much in whether interest rates will rise under either government, but in who Labor had to speak about financial management. It was clear from when Simon Crean was leader that ppl wouldnt vote for him, so he couldnt be used to speak on behalf of labor on financial management even though he is shadow treasurer. This then left the coalition with a free rein on this topic.

Added to this i think it was a massive mistake for Mark Latham to have Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating etc at his election speeches. All that did was re inforce the past and give the voters a blatant reminder of what has come before. What Mark Latham was saying about the future and what the voters were seeing about the past didnt match.

The voters could see that Gough Whitlam was going to have a big influence on Labor policy. The coalition had been saying in their ads that Gough was one of the Labor leaders who had driven up interest rates. Therefore the voters made the connection that Gough equals high interest rates.

Libby
11-10-2004, 06:46 PM
In my electorate of Moore Labour got well and truly stuffed: the Lib MP increased his vote by 6.7% whilst Labour went down. :clap:

Johnnie Howard's Aussie Army!! :owned:

Sigh :( have we any room to debate the merits of voting Lib/Lab? Unfortunately (for me at the moment) I count myself amongst the "true believers" and i suspect that leaves me little chance when faced with the politics of pre-emptive strikes from Johnny's Army :P

arosar
11-10-2004, 06:59 PM
Added to this i think it was a massive mistake for Mark Latham to have Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating etc at his election speeches. All that did was re inforce the past and give the voters a blatant reminder of what has come before. What Mark Latham was saying about the future and what the voters were seeing about the past didnt match.

The voters could see that Gough Whitlam was going to have a big influence on Labor policy. The coalition had been saying in their ads that Gough was one of the Labor leaders who had driven up interest rates. Therefore the voters made the connection that Gough equals high interest rates.

gray, I doubt very much if most voters' decision-making was that savvy. I think much of it was instinctive. We voted for the familiar guy on the familiar and simple issues: viz., interest rates, economy, jobs. This explains why, for instance, the lies on the war on terror or that two of our fellow citizens are left at the mercy of another power hardly ever rated a mention. All that stuff about are way too esoteric.

AR

Garvinator
11-10-2004, 07:06 PM
gray, I doubt very much if most voters' decision-making was that savvy. I think much of it was instinctive. We voted for the familiar guy on the familiar and simple issues: viz., interest rates, economy, jobs. This explains why, for instance, the lies on the war on terror or that two of our fellow citizens are left at the mercy of another power hardly ever rated a mention. All that stuff about are way too esoteric.

AR
being instinctive was part of my point. most voters see gough on in the ads, you see gough at the election rallies and so the conclusion is obvious. Also there was very little discussion from the labor side about interest rates.

Goughfather
11-10-2004, 07:56 PM
Surely you didn't want a return to the bad old days of Labour power. Labour currently sux and hence the ppl chose the Coalition despite the historical likelihood of the incumbent party being kicked out. I reckon that the Greens would get even more votes if they weren't so pro-Labour. Some Labour ppl are great whingers complaining about how ppl voted inferring that many ppl were stupidly gullible and fooled by the Coalition (showing no respect for the intelligence of the Aussie population). There are some bad losers around.

Reading this response, I can't for the life of me work out why I ever questioned the intelligence of the Australian population. Perhaps our dear friend Rob is simply being satirical ...

Garvinator
11-10-2004, 07:57 PM
Reading this response, I can't for the life of me work out why I ever questioned the intelligence of the Australian population. Perhaps our dear friend Rob is simply being satirical ...
i regularly question the intelligence of the general australian population.

Rincewind
11-10-2004, 08:37 PM
Reading this response, I can't for the life of me work out why I ever questioned the intelligence of the Australian population. Perhaps our dear friend Rob is simply being satirical ...

In politics as in chess there are winners and losers and cycles of the same. I tend to agree that the present labour team lacked credibility and the reasons why this is so and what might need to be done to address are open for debate. Aus Labour probably needs a Tony Blair to lead it out of a public persception of irrelevance. Regretably Mark Latham is not Aus Labour's Tony Blair.

So we have another three years of "sound economic management" when what we need is visionary governance. With (in all likelyhood) a stronger hold on the Upper House it will probably be the nightmare scenario of unfettered sound economic management. :eek:

Hang on to your seats, we're in for a bumpy ride.

ursogr8
11-10-2004, 09:18 PM
In politics as in chess there are winners and losers and cycles of the same. I tend to agree that the present labour team lacked credibility and the reasons why this is so and what might need to be done to address are open for debate. Aus Labour probably needs a Tony Blair to lead it out of a public persception of irrelevance. Regretably Mark Latham is not Aus Labour's Tony Blair.

So we have another three years of "sound economic management" when what we need is visionary governance. With (in all likelyhood) a stronger hold on the Upper House it will probably be the nightmare scenario of unfettered sound economic management. :eek:

Hang on to your seats, we're in for a bumpy ride.

hi Baz
I tend to agree that ....an odd phrase for you to use. Usually you are so definite, but this time....a tendency. Am I reading too much into it; perhaps the tend to was just a filler; like a few umms and errs in speech?

Anyhow, that is not the key point....
Tony Blair..what are you looking for there mate
....an articulator who can make the message resonate and consistent and appealing
...or charismatic...like Gough; tall, booming, imperious, with-a-programme or like Bob; knock-about consensus, but stands for not much.
Which did you have in mind?

starter

Rincewind
11-10-2004, 09:32 PM
Anyhow, that is not the key point....
Tony Blair..what are you looking for there mate
....an articulator who can make the message resonate and consistent and appealing
...or charismatic...like Gough; tall, booming, imperious, with-a-programme or like Bob; knock-about consensus, but stands for not much.
Which did you have in mind?

Any of the three would be OK. Or perhaps a Jack Lang type?

Spiny Norman
11-10-2004, 09:41 PM
ok time for some small analysis: why did Labor lose this election?

Simple: Labour didn't lose it. The opposition doesn't "lose" anything.

Its governments that lose elections, not oppositions. The Coalition didn't lose it!

The Coalition haven't stuffed the economy up badly enough to make the "average punter" decide on retribution at the ballot box.

All the rest is window dressing IMO.

I can't believe all the hand-wringing that's going on. There's plenty of us who recall the Cain/Kirner years when we KNEW that all was not as it seemed and that things would eventually be dragged out into the open and turn nasty ... and eventually they did ... and Labor was banished to the wilderness to serve a couple of life sentences (4-year terms on the back bench).

Eventually the wheel will turn. Governments eventually get turfed out and someone else will get a chance.

Just get over it and get on with our lives I say. Thank goodness its only once every three years. Imagine if they put us through it every year!

Kevin Bonham
11-10-2004, 09:46 PM
ok time for some small analysis: why did Labor lose this election?

The first area i think they lost it was on interest rates/financial management, not so much in whether interest rates will rise under either government, but in who Labor had to speak about financial management.

Or in simply not talking about it enough. I actually said this in a few places about a week out - that what Labor had to do next was put out wall-to-wall advertising shooting down the Coalition's rubbish about interest rates going up any more under Labor than they would have done under the Coalition. It should have been really in-yer-face stuff - "this is what they're saying ... this is why it's crap ... this is what they don't want you to think about" etc. I also predicted that they would not do it.

It probably only swung 4-5 seats but I also think Labor's handling of the Tassie forestry issue was a shambles. They went too far to the Green side - they would have been better taking the dry position and letting Howard go the green side if he wanted to. Howard outmaneuvered them effortlessly by saying there would be no more enquiries, locking up almost as much land as Labor wanted to, and getting the industry onside in the process. It must have seemed like an impossible miracle to many, but here's the trick: all the old-growth about to be locked up by Howard won't be available to logging until 2017 and everyone here knows old-growth logging in Tassie will be phased out by then, so all he was doing was saving land that was already likely to be saved. The Wilderness Society were too dopey to make this point effectively and Latham ended up unable to speak out without looking too close to the Greens. Net result: the Greens (whose result I thought was fairly poor on the whole) lost votes to Labor, and Labor lost votes to the Coalition.

It looks like it is going to be 38 Coalition and 1 Family First in the Senate. Of course the Coalition will not have to do deals with FF; any time FF are too left-wing for them economically there will still be Democrats to talk to as well. There will probably be more Greens than Democrats but they will be totally irrelevant.

Rincewind
11-10-2004, 10:28 PM
Simple: Labour didn't lose it. The opposition doesn't "lose" anything.

Its governments that lose elections, not oppositions. The Coalition didn't lose it!

The Coalition haven't stuffed the economy up badly enough to make the "average punter" decide on retribution at the ballot box.

Call me starry-eyed if you like but I think leaders win or lose elections. The Hewson election was a case in point. Keating should have lost that election, but Hewson couldn't win it. I think it is not unreasonable for labour to have had a leader come forward who is Howard's match and could have won this one. I contend Latham was not that man. I don't believe he had the credibility of the people nor does he wield enough power within the party room.

It's hard for Labour as Crean is also obviously not that leader either. Nor is Beasley. Although of the three, the big man from WA is probably the closest they've had for a while.

Garvinator
11-10-2004, 10:30 PM
It's hard for Labour as Crean is also obviously not that leader either. Nor is Beasley. Although of the three, the big man from WA is probably the closest they've had for a while.
who says it has to be any of those three, maybe julia gillard :uhoh:

Rincewind
11-10-2004, 10:33 PM
who says it has to be any of those three, maybe julia gillard :uhoh:

I was just going back over old ground, not tilling new soil. There doesn't seem to be anyone on the Labour leader political horizon at this stage, but a week is a long time.

Garvinator
11-10-2004, 10:34 PM
new soil.
im sure Ms Gillard would be impressed as being in the class of new soil ;)

Goughfather
12-10-2004, 01:02 AM
Personally, although I think Kevin Rudd would make a good leader, especially after the large swing directed towards him in his QLD seat of Griffith, the ALP would do well to stick with Latham until at least after the next election. Historically, the ALP tends to retain its leaders for the long haul, and I don't expect this election defeat to change that.

Whether the ALP is indeed two elections away from being in a winning position is a matter of considerable conjecture. It may just be that with effective control in the Senate and a leader who certainly can't have more than three years left in him (though many said that at the last election), the Coalition may just do enough to hang themselves. Howard wants to leave his mark on the nation, and may well do this through a full-sale of Telstra and sweeping changes to industrial relations legislation. This could possibly be the straw that breaks the camel's back for the Australian electorate.

Garvinator
12-10-2004, 01:14 AM
Personally, although I think Kevin Rudd would make a good leader, especially after the large swing directed towards him in his QLD seat of Griffith, the ALP would do well to stick with Latham until at least after the next election. Historically, the ALP tends to retain its leaders for the long haul, and I don't expect this election defeat to change that.

Whether the ALP is indeed two elections away from being in a winning position is a matter of considerable conjecture. It may just be that with effective control in the Senate and a leader who certainly can't have more than three years left in him (though many said that at the last election), the Coalition may just do enough to hang themselves. Howard wants to leave his mark on the nation, and may well do this through a full-sale of Telstra and sweeping changes to industrial relations legislation. This could possibly be the straw that breaks the camel's back for the Australian electorate.

actually i think that the changes to ir laws will be a big winner for the coalition cause the coalition will spin it that way. They will concentrate on how business is doing so much better and how the unions have become all but irrelevant. They wont mention the amount of ppl who get shafted as employees by the changes, or how workers rights will be degraded and sent back to the 50's by the changes.

I have been just so completely amazed at how the general electorate have chosen a few extra dollars in their pocket instead of being told the truth. I am still to be convinced that our country is better off having a government that spends money only to buy votes and doesnt truly spend on infrastructure. I guess the general electorate can be bribed, cause that is what has happened.

To add to this, i am just waiting for the amount of so called undecided voters who voted for the coalition to say 'what have i done, why did i vote for them'.

Goughfather
12-10-2004, 01:54 AM
Could it be that the so-called "aspirationals" cost Latham the election?

Spiny Norman
12-10-2004, 07:00 AM
I have been just so completely amazed at how the general electorate have chosen a few extra dollars in their pocket instead of being told the truth. I am still to be convinced that our country is better off having a government that spends money only to buy votes and doesnt truly spend on infrastructure. I guess the general electorate can be bribed, cause that is what has happened.

That's how Labor pitched their campaign (e.g. Johnny is a liar). The Coalition took a different tack (e.g. This election is about TRUST - remember Day 1 of the campaign?).

We can all see the result.

If Labor want to compete they need to stop playing the man (e.g. targeting Costello ... that did absolutely NOTHING for their campaign ... they tried it three years ago too and it didn't help them then either) and start playing the game.

Elections are about people's hip pocket. I reckon the last campaign that was about anything more than that would have been the Whitlam one back in the early 70s ("its time"). Elections are a sales job. Sales people know that people basically want to know "What's in it for me".

There are those of us who can see through all the posturing, bluster, vote buying, etc ... people on this board are probably over-represented in those terms ... but the vast majority wouldn't have a clue, so they look at their circumstances and pick the one that promises to deliver them the most benefits.

The Coalition's interest rates campaign tactic was incredibly effective IMO.

I thought Latham's concession speech was pretty good, EXCEPT for the bit where he said "we ran a positive campaign". Rubbish. Calling people a liar isn't being positive and I think most of the electorate saw through that (except for Labor diehards, and Labor already had their vote). Both parties ran their fair share of negatives.

Labor were just out-campaigned by a wily old fox.

arosar
12-10-2004, 09:39 AM
It should have been really in-yer-face stuff - "this is what they're saying ... this is why it's crap ... this is what they don't want you to think about" etc.

I doubt if it would have sunk in. Most people haven't done Econ 101.

Say, just a thought, aren't political ads subject to the same standards of 'truth' imposed upon other ads? For the Libs to continually say, 'interest rates will rise under labour' was an outright lie.

AR

arosar
12-10-2004, 09:48 AM
. . . I think Kevin Rudd would make a good leader . . . .

I agree. He's educated and articulate. He just needs to raise his profile a little beyond those who stay up late to watch Lateline. Rudd just looks too polished to me. Know what I mean? He might make it hard to connect with the so called Aussie battler.

Or how about dragging either Beatty or Carr to Fed Parliament? That could work. I think I read it mentioned sometime earlier that Carr is the most 'popular' polie in Australia.

But why are we talking only about men? I reckon it's time to have a chick for a leader. I think the electorate is ready.

AR

arosar
12-10-2004, 09:50 AM
They wont mention the amount of ppl who get shafted as employees by the changes, or how workers rights will be degraded and sent back to the 50's by the changes.

Have you been reading the ILO's country profile on Australia gray? I read the most recent one. Not good!

AR

Garvinator
12-10-2004, 11:35 AM
Have you been reading the ILO's country profile on Australia gray? I read the most recent one. Not good!

AR
ilo? i am not familiar with this abbreviation?

Garvinator
12-10-2004, 11:36 AM
But why are we talking only about men? I reckon it's time to have a chick for a leader. I think the electorate is ready.

AR
as i said, julia gillard :uhoh:

Garvinator
12-10-2004, 11:40 AM
If Labor want to compete they need to stop playing the man (e.g. targeting Costello ... that did absolutely NOTHING for their campaign ... they tried it three years ago too and it didn't help them then either) and start playing the game. i agree that targetting costello wasnt effective at all. For those already thinking of voting for John Howard, they thought John would be around for the three years, for those wanting costello, then the ads just gave them more reason to vote for the coalition.


Elections are about people's hip pocket. I reckon the last campaign that was about anything more than that would have been the Whitlam one back in the early 70s ("its time"). Elections are a sales job. Sales people know that people basically want to know "What's in it for me".
The point i have been trying to make is that i think ppl will be worse off financially under the coalition.


There are those of us who can see through all the posturing, bluster, vote buying, etc ... people on this board are probably over-represented in those terms ... but the vast majority wouldn't have a clue, so they look at their circumstances and pick the one that promises to deliver them the most benefits. this is true as we are used to trying to make a debate and support some kind of position with more than just rhetoric.

arosar
12-10-2004, 04:14 PM
What's the story with this Family First party? I hear they're connected with the AOG church or something rather.

AR

Kevin Bonham
12-10-2004, 04:47 PM
Say, just a thought, aren't political ads subject to the same standards of 'truth' imposed upon other ads? For the Libs to continually say, 'interest rates will rise under labour' was an outright lie.

No, there's no laws specifically covering misleading material in election ads except that it is an electoral offence to mislead an elector in relation to the casting of their vote. Some people get confused by that and think it means you can't use any misleading material but what it actually means is that you can't mislead about the formalities of the voting system and the polling times, places, etc. It is also illegal to advocate an informal vote.

Goughfather - I agree. When the Coalition first got in I thought they would shake the place up for three years and then get voted out but I didn't anticipate how much the Senate would water them down. I think we're about to see their really radical term now and there's every chance they'll still lose at the end of it.

I think the defeat was more the fault of the usual hacks behind the scenes than Latham who I generally thought campaigned quite well. I don't think they should be looking for new leaders in a hurry.


What's the story with this Family First party? I hear they're connected with the AOG church or something rather.

That's basically it, they're an AOG front pushing a religious-reactionary social agenda, but not otherwise obviously right-wing.

Kevin Bonham
12-10-2004, 05:13 PM
Congratulations to the two people who have voted for "Coalition, easily" on the poll on this thread since the election finished.

Also congratulations to the two who actually got it right, whoever you were.

Spiny Norman
12-10-2004, 06:50 PM
What's the story with this Family First party? I hear they're connected with the AOG church or something rather.

Not correct .... at least, not in any official way whatsoever.

Refer: Media Release: The Truth About Family First (http://www.familyfirst.org.au/mr/ffptruth250904.pdf)

My credentials to answer that question are that I work for the AOG church (I'm the National IT Manager). My wife also works for the AOG church (she's an administrative assistant in the National Office). I personally know the National Business Manager, the National Secretary and a few others of note (but not the President - he's based in NSW). We have all discussed Family First in the context of the recent election.

It is true that it was founded by a guy (Ashley Evans?) who used to be a pastor of a large AOG church in Adelaide ... but you can't make people "guilty by association". To use that argument, you could say that the Liberal Party is associated with the AOG church (because I'm a current member of both the former and the latter).

It is also true that a lot of church-going people have an association with Family First ... but there's plenty of church-going people with an association to the Liberal Party, the Labour Party and the Greens too. Church-going people tend to align themselves with "family values" (whatever that means in today's society).

Kevin Bonham
12-10-2004, 11:36 PM
Not correct .... at least, not in any official way whatsoever.

Well, would anyone setting up a party of this kind be stupid enough to have it declared as officially the arm of a given church? Of course not, it would be electoral suicide, especially in terms of the preference deals FF depends on.

Nonetheless:the AoG is a significant source of FF candidates (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/24/1095961858738.html),
and this one gives more of the same (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/24/1095961859541.html)

I also understand that FF campaign workers are sourced primarily from the AOG, and during the campaign I saw at least three different reports of AOG sermons including "vote for Family First" type material in the election lead-up.


It is true that it was founded by a guy (Ashley Evans?)

Andrew.


who used to be a pastor of a large AOG church in Adelaide ... but you can't make people "guilty by association". To use that argument, you could say that the Liberal Party is associated with the AOG church (because I'm a current member of both the former and the latter).

Yet only a very small minority of AOGers would be involved with the Liberal Party and vice versa. One would assume that any attempt by AOG leadership to influence Liberal Party policy would therefore not succeed solely because of who they were. However if a party is disproportionately one faith (or vice versa) then a link should be strongly suspected, especially if some staff of that faith are also staff of the party. It is a straightforward conflict of interest issue and is not the same thing as the kind of low-level incidental membership you're talking about.


Church-going people tend to align themselves with "family values" (whatever that means in today's society).

Actually, those who are outspoken on the subject tend more to align themselves with whatever "family values" means to them and their faith, irrespective of what it means to others either in today's society or sociologically.

Spiny Norman
13-10-2004, 07:48 AM
Nonetheless:the AoG is a significant source of FF candidates (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/24/1095961858738.html),
and this one gives more of the same (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/24/1095961859541.html)

I also understand that FF campaign workers are sourced primarily from the AOG, and during the campaign I saw at least three different reports of AOG sermons including "vote for Family First" type material in the election lead-up.


Good links. Even those of us "on the inside" of the church organisation can't really keep up with all the information that is out there.

Re: campaign workers ... I only met a few (3) and none of them were from AOG churches. Too small a sample to be at all meaningful in the wider context of a discussion.

Re: sermons ... I didn't see that stuff. On the Sunday before the election my pastor led the congregation in prayer that the outcome would be the right outcome for the nation, no matter who won. He mentioned Family First, but certainly didn't give any direction to vote in any particular way (in fact, he was quite strongly directing people to vote according to their conscience).

I also saw a letter sent out to all the AOG churches from the National President. He also did not direct people to vote a particular way, but simply encouraged all the Christian candidates for whatever party (I believe that in his church there was a Liberal party candidate, and possibly a sitting member).

In respect of what happens "out there in the AOG churches" ... well, I can't possibly know. There's more than 1000 of them. Everybody knows too that the media love a good story and seek out the exceptional items of interest, not necessarily the balanced story. I do know some of what happens at the national level.

For the record: I have massive reservations about mixing church and politics (or even being seen as mixing church and politics, regardless of whether one is actually doing that or not). Sometimes this makes me unpopular amongst my peers. Make of that what you will. :eek:

arosar
13-10-2004, 10:07 AM
Is the FFP running on purely religious dogma?

AR

Goughfather
13-10-2004, 03:36 PM
Interestingly enough, I've discussed this issue at another site. The link is www.studentlife.org.au/home/forums/philboard_read.asp?id=592 (http://). For the benefit of those who are simply interested in my perspective on the issue, here it is:

"I too disagree with the emerging trend of "Christian Politics", particularly in the Senate with the likelihood that "Family First" may gain a vital Senate Seat. I fear that there are some serious merging of Church and State issues, an arrangement which always serves to undermine both parties.

I believe that there are several problems with Christian political parties:

1) Many Christian parties claim to represent Christianity as a whole, but rarely do that. Instead, they tend to represent only a fringe of Christians on the right of the political spectrum. The biggest problem with this is that when non-Christians see these Christian parties, and what they represent, they see this as the definitive Christian position. Most people fail to realise that Christianity in Australia (and indeed throughout the world) is not a monolithic entity and doesn't hold a standard ideological position.

2) One can legislate upon morality all they like, but this does not equate to faith, or even virtue. When I think about the legislation proposed by the Family First party, my mind goes back to the moral reforms of South Africa during Apartheid. For virtue to be virtue, it must be chosen, rather than enforced. If God gives us a choice about whether to live for Him or not, should we not extend that same courtesy to those who do not share our religious beliefs?

3) Running for election on a Christian ticket seems to me to be rather opportunistic. It seems a lot like using one's faith as leverage simply because it is expedient to do so. "Vote for me, simply because I'm a Christian" seems to be an abhorrent abuse of one's faith. And many people will indeed vote for Christian parties upon this rationale, thinking that a Christian party will represent them as Christians. I'm sure that if the Christian Democratic Party referred to themselves as "Right-Wing Christians With A Regressive Regime Party", they would certainly receive fewer votes than they currently do."

I continued in a later post to state:

"I'm less concerned about a party being named "Family First" than the "Christian Democratic Party", since this suggests there is no explicit link between Christianity and politics. However, when you view their policies and they state that they wish for Australia to once again become the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit, alarm bells start ringing. How exactly does one make that a reality through the political process, especially when God's kingdom "is not of this world"?

It would be interesting to see if Family First place qualifications upon their membership, and from there, their heirarchy. If one is prohibited from joining "Family First" and seeking political representation through this channel because they are not Christians, then not only are there some considerable philosophical dilemmas about this position, but the issue then becomes explicitly constitutional, possibly infringing upon the criteria as set forth in Section 116 of the Australian Constition.

Perhaps I should reiterate that I am a Christian that is also involved heavily in the political process. However, I am a politically active individual who also happens to be a Christian, rather than an active political Christian, if you understand the distinction. This is not to say that my Christian worldview does not mediate my understanding of social or economic policy and the direction in which I would like to see this country travel - it most certainly does. I would not have the fervent disapproval of Howard's complete disregard for social justice were it not for the key tenets of my faith which demand that justice is done for the underprivileged and oppressed (Micah 6:8). This is to say however that my political activity is never done with the intention of advancing the interests of my sect, or faith generally, or with the intention of giving my church group a "political voice"."

Maybe Frosty might be able to help us out here. Is being a non-Christian a barrier, actually or effectively to being a member of Family First, or even running on a winnable position on a Senate ticket?

Kevin Bonham
13-10-2004, 03:37 PM
Is the FFP running on purely religious dogma?

I don't think so, I think it tones it down quite a deal for political palatability. For instance FF opposes gay marriage but supports the legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships on a par with heterosexual partnerships.

arosar
13-10-2004, 03:52 PM
I don't think so, I think it tones it down quite a deal for political palatability. For instance FF opposes gay marriage but supports the legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships on a par with heterosexual partnerships.

Aaahh....OK then. This is like one of my pet hates man: friggin' Christians or whatever religious group finding their way into Parliament and telling us all how to live our lives.

I hope we will never be like USA where this moron, Bush, waves about the Bible to demonstrate that that's where his policy ideas come from. Scary bas.tard. You know he even leads prayer meetings in the Oval Office? FMD!

AR

Kevin Bonham
13-10-2004, 04:21 PM
Aaahh....OK then. This is like one of my pet hates man: friggin' Christians or whatever religious group finding their way into Parliament and telling us all how to live our lives.

It's one of my pet hates too. I have no objection to a candidate being Christian but as soon as a party starts wanting to maintain or put religiously-inspired limits on people's legal rights it sinks like a stone to the bottom of my ballot paper.

Spiny Norman
13-10-2004, 07:08 PM
It would be interesting to see if Family First place qualifications upon their membership, and from there, their heirarchy. If one is prohibited from joining "Family First" and seeking political representation through this channel because they are not Christians, then not only are there some considerable philosophical dilemmas about this position, but the issue then becomes explicitly constitutional, possibly infringing upon the criteria as set forth in Section 116 of the Australian Constition.

Perhaps I should reiterate that I am a Christian that is also involved heavily in the political process. However, I am a politically active individual who also happens to be a Christian, rather than an active political Christian, if you understand the distinction. This is not to say that my Christian worldview does not mediate my understanding of social or economic policy and the direction in which I would like to see this country travel - it most certainly does. I would not have the fervent disapproval of Howard's complete disregard for social justice were it not for the key tenets of my faith which demand that justice is done for the underprivileged and oppressed (Micah 6:8). This is to say however that my political activity is never done with the intention of advancing the interests of my sect, or faith generally, or with the intention of giving my church group a "political voice"."

Maybe Frosty might be able to help us out here. Is being a non-Christian a barrier, actually or effectively to being a member of Family First, or even running on a winnable position on a Senate ticket?

Howdy,

Regarding the question of whether a non-Christian could get a position on the Senate ticket for Family First, or be pre-selected as a candidate for a House of Representatives seat ... I honestly don't know.

Theoretically, I expect that answer is "Yes, we [Family First] don't discriminate".

In practice? :hmm: My fears (perhaps unfounded) are that it seems rather improbable given that most of the evidence presented thus far (via the media, not always the paragon of truth) is that candidates are retired pastors, wives of pastors, former pastors, senior people within well-known churches, etc.

Goughfather ... your comments regarding being a politically active person who happens to also be Christian closely reflects my own feelings. I cringe for example when I hear "Christian musician" (instead of just "musician"). To me its like the difference between sprinkling a little salt on your food to season it, compared with trying to make a meal out of salt with some other stuff thrown in to make it palatable.

BTW, on the Victorian front, the potential new senator Stephen Fielding does not attend an AOG church? Someone told me he attends a church in Melbourne called Waverley Christian Fellowship (large, independent church, not affiliated with a recognised denomination to my knowledge) and that he has a background in community politics with his local council.

Another person, position No. 4 on the Senate ticket in Victoria for Family First, was Pastor Alan Meyer from Mt Evelyn Christian Fellowship. Another big, independent church with very well regarded social programs (food, clothing, work for the dole, etc) in their local community. Again, not an AOG person, but certainly a recognised Christian individual.

Spiny Norman
13-10-2004, 07:16 PM
I hope we will never be like USA where this moron, Bush, waves about the Bible to demonstrate that that's where his policy ideas come from. Scary bas.tard. You know he even leads prayer meetings in the Oval Office? FMD!

There's some people in politics around the world who get their policy ideas from scarier sources than the Bible .... some of 'em are from the Shirley Maclean (spel?) school of guidance.

Now THAT's weird (from my perspective).

And then I wonder about those politicians who just "think stuff up" as they go along. Now we're at the mercy of random collections of electrons flying about in people's heads. :)

Rincewind
13-10-2004, 10:00 PM
I don't think so, I think it tones it down quite a deal for political palatability. For instance FF opposes gay marriage but supports the legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships on a par with heterosexual partnerships.

Wasn't there a minor furore with the casting of FF preferences where they were almost universally giving preferences to Liberal candidates except in Brisbane where the Lib candidate just happened to a woman who likes other women.

Kevin Bonham
13-10-2004, 10:10 PM
Wasn't there a minor furore with the casting of FF preferences where they were almost universally giving preferences to Liberal candidates except in Brisbane where the Lib candidate just happened to a woman who likes other women.

Yes.

Garvinator
13-10-2004, 11:58 PM
Wasn't there a minor furore with the casting of FF preferences where they were almost universally giving preferences to Liberal candidates except in Brisbane where the Lib candidate just happened to a woman who likes other women.
this is certainly the case as i live in the seat of Brisbane. FF preferences away from Ingrid Tall (Liberal Party) because she is gay and is in a relationship with another woman.

Rincewind
14-10-2004, 05:16 PM
this is certainly the case as i live in the seat of Brisbane. FF preferences away from Ingrid Tall (Liberal Party) because she is gay and is in a relationship with another woman.

So isn't this a case of implementing an overt anti-gay agenda? Sure a lesbian Lib is pretty safe from a gay marriage point of view. It's not like the Libs are ever going to take that as party policy.

So if they discriminated against a gay person in a way that has no impact on their heterosexual marriage policy, is that a case of faith dictating secular policy?

frogmogdog
14-10-2004, 05:39 PM
it's interesting that a party like family first - which is apparently "moralistic" - could preference john howard.

i wonder if family first and its god think that...

1. it's ok for howard to lie that refugees would drown their children.
2. it's ok for howard to help start a war, killing 10,000s of people, without fully examining the options.
3. it's ok for howard to persecute and demote public servants who try to tell him inconvenient facts about national security.
4. it's ok for a rich country to use short-term economic advantage as a reason for not taking steps to keep the world habitable for future families.

fundamentalist christians (although i'm not certain family first necessarily fit this category) are just as worrying as fundamentalist muslims, and perhaps worse because at least the muslims don't so routinely think trinkets and house size and needless consumption are a valid measure of status.

at this point of human history our leaders need a firm grip on reality, the small t truth. it's a shame there isn't another earth because i'd like to get my family off this one. the upcoming election to choose our president is even more important, and we don't get to vote.

Trizza
14-10-2004, 09:34 PM
Congratulations to the two people who have voted for "Coalition, easily" on the poll on this thread since the election finished.

Also congratulations to the two who actually got it right, whoever you were.

See my post #27, made over a month before the election. Now who else got it right?

Early prediction for the WA state election (most likely to be held in February 2005): change of government with a narrow Coalition win. This is a big call given Labor's lead, but the backlash against Labor was especially strong in WA and I think this will again be the case.

Sharryn Jackson, the Labor incumbent in my marginal seat (Hasluck), saw a swing of roughly 5% to the Liberal candidate Stuart Henry. Maybe his tactic of sending out letters falsely claiming he was the sitting member (one of which I received) was an effective one?

Kevin Bonham
14-10-2004, 09:48 PM
See my post #27, made over a month before the election. Now who else got it right?

You have done well.


Sharryn Jackson, the Labor incumbent in my marginal seat (Hasluck), saw a swing of roughly 5% to the Liberal candidate Stuart Henry. Maybe his tactic of sending out letters falsely claiming he was the sitting member (one of which I received) was an effective one?

That is remarkably dodgy. Never seen that trick before.

Trizza
14-10-2004, 09:59 PM
Labor made an offical complaint but the Australian Electoral Commission decided to take no action, on the grounds that it wouldn't have a significant effect on the result (or words to that effect). I'm not totally sure about that and I think some sort of penalty was warranted (perhaps a harsh public condemnation?).

Remarkably the incident was hardly reported at all in WA. Maybe that's because Hasluck, although it was marginal, is not a high profile seat (my uni friends often say I live in the middle of nowhere) :)

Kevin Bonham
14-10-2004, 10:31 PM
I don't know if that's actually illegal in any way. It's an electoral offence to misinform the public about the formal details of the voting process but I haven't heard of falsely claiming to be the sitting member being an offence. If you banned all false and misleading statements in electoral matter there would soon be hardly any politicians left.

My mother ran for the Legislative Council (Upper House) here a few years back and the incumbent in that election printed his brochure on paper backed with a prominent Electoral Office watermark then claimed it was an "accident". He got away with it.

Those following the Senate count might be interested to know that the final seat in Tas is now too close to call between the Greens and Family First. It will be a crushing blow for the Greens if they can't win this one (especially after claiming it and partying on election night ... oops.)

Trizza
15-10-2004, 12:37 PM
The 6th senate seat in WA is very close, although Green candidate Rachel Siewert is expected to win it ahead of the 4th Liberal candidate.

Two lower house WA seats remain undecided, with the Labor incumbents ahead in Cowan by 988 votes and in Swan by 5 (!!) votes. Counting will resume on Monday.

Garvinator
15-10-2004, 12:49 PM
in Swan by 5 (!!) votes.
are you saying this is a very reliable rating?? :lol: :lol:

Trizza
15-10-2004, 01:01 PM
are you saying this is a very reliable rating?? :lol: :lol:

Well done, getting a chess idea into a non-chess thread :)

Yes, this figure is very reliable, but at this stage the final result has to get a (??) rating ;)

Rhubarb
15-10-2004, 01:46 PM
Filling out the 1-78 preferences for the Senate, I happened upon the 'Liberals for Forests' party. I was so amused, I almost put them in the top 50.

Garvinator
15-10-2004, 01:48 PM
Filling out the 1-78 preferences for the Senate, I happened upon the 'Liberals for Forests' party. I was so amused, I almost put them in the top 50.
ahh another below the line voter :D so many people i hadnt even heard of, but at least i only had 50 boxes to number ;)

Kevin Bonham
15-10-2004, 04:14 PM
The 6th senate seat in WA is very close, although Green candidate Rachel Siewert is expected to win it ahead of the 4th Liberal candidate.

Siewert is more or less certain to win. She'll go over a quota on Democrat and Labor preferences. For details see here (http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2004/results/sendWA.htm)


Filling out the 1-78 preferences for the Senate, I happened upon the 'Liberals for Forests' party. I was so amused, I almost put them in the top 50.

All credit to you for voting below the line in the NSW Senate. Everybody should vote below the line, it's fun and you get to make your own choices about who goes last.

Liberals for Forests is a preference-harvesting party that tries to get elected by swapping preferences with all the other little parties. In NSW this works so well that Liberals for Forests are actually going to finish seventh, miss the final seat, but choke off the preference supply to the Greens in the process and put them out of business. LFF also bumped their primary vote up in some areas by posing as Liberals, which the Liberals are very unhappy about. :eek:

arosar
15-10-2004, 04:33 PM
It's an electoral offence to misinform the public about the formal details of the voting process but I haven't heard of falsely claiming to be the sitting member being an offence.


LFF also bumped their primary vote up in some areas by posing as Liberals, which the Liberals are very unhappy about. :eek:

I simply cannot believe that these acts are not offences under some regulation. A vote is too important to be toyed with. This must be a problem in a country that's never tasted unfreedom.

AR

Rincewind
15-10-2004, 04:35 PM
I simply cannot believe that these acts are not offences under some regulation. A vote is too important to be toyed with. This must be a problem in a country that's never tasted unfreedom.

You have studied Australian history, right? ;)

arosar
15-10-2004, 04:50 PM
You have studied Australian history, right? ;)

What history is that?

AR

Rincewind
15-10-2004, 05:03 PM
What history is that?

Oh, just the part about a certain western country establishing penal colonies while simultaneously riding roughshod over the indiginous holders of the land.

arosar
15-10-2004, 05:10 PM
Oh, just the part about a certain western country establishing penal colonies while simultaneously riding roughshod over the indiginous holders of the land.

Aaah....yes, I see what you're getting at. I recognise it. But I was speaking in a general sense to the Australian polity as a whole, you see, not just the experiences of a sub-population.

But your phrase, 'indigenous holders of the land' is interesting.

AR

Lucena
15-10-2004, 07:24 PM
ilo? i am not familiar with this abbreviation?

http://www.ilo.org/

I just put it in google

Rincewind
16-10-2004, 08:49 PM
Aaah....yes, I see what you're getting at. I recognise it. But I was speaking in a general sense to the Australian polity as a whole, you see, not just the experiences of a sub-population.

But your phrase, 'indigenous holders of the land' is interesting.

Because it goes against the English claim of Terra Nulla?

For the record my post referred to two sub-populations. The indigenous and also the convicts (a disproportionate number of whom were Irish).

antichrist
17-10-2004, 03:43 PM
The important issue that was not answered in the election was

1) why did house prices rise so much such a short time
2) the fairness of 1)
3) the effects of 1)

At least one govt. policy, of cutting the rate of CGT, triggered the investment boom.
The share market crash contributed as well.
The large aging baby boomers buying up (a second house) with their supers, parent's wills and cheap loans.

A sizeable portion of the population is now locked out of the housing market. The most important market in their life for economical and social survival.
This is a discentive for young people to attempt to save for a house and some give up and "waste' their money on consumables.
This is a curse on future generations as well.
The federal government as shown calleousness to youth by not addressing the problem.
So much money tied up in housing is a distortion of the economy, also it has not gone into productive areas creating permanent employment and hope etc.
It probably has overloaden us with foreign debt and created a middle class with hyper interest-rate sensitivity and will vote accordingly at elections in spite of very important non-financial issues such as wars and HECS - another imposition on the young from ordinary families who are now discouraged from going to uni. and lifting their status.
For some people with houses it has created large rate and land tax bills, crippling them. You almost have to be rich to own land in a decent area.
I think also that there is GST on giving of property to children, this could easily be a small fortune to have to produce up front in cash.

So there are many social costs involved with the escalating house prices, but it was not a major issue.

Rincewind
17-10-2004, 11:46 PM
At least one govt. policy, of cutting the rate of CGT, triggered the investment boom.
The share market crash contributed as well.
The large aging baby boomers buying up (a second house) with their supers, parent's wills and cheap loans.

My analysis of the so-called cut of the CGT should be a disincentive to investment in medium to long term assets like residential housing.

While the CGT on assets held for more than 1 year was halved, the indexing which had been in place on CGT calculations was removed. Previously, all you needed was your capital growth to moderatly outperform CPI to make money. Now you have to make sure CPI does not accumulate to greater than 50% over the period you hold an asset. And in general the longer you hold an asset the close the acculated CPI will approach (if not pass) 50%.

In fact, to make the most of the 1/2 price CGT, one should dispose of assets as soon as possible after the 1 year period has passed. Of course, the decision to sell needs to be weighed up with other factors like the expected CPI rate and capital appreciation of the asset.

In any case, the CGT change always seemed to me to greatly favour stocks and derivatives investment, rather than property.


The other argument is, of course, that a buoyant property market actually leads to greater number of residential properties for rent. This in turn, leads to lower rents and therefore cheaper accomodation for those not wishing to buy, or unable to afford, their own home.

You argue quite emotively like it is every Australian's right to own their own home. However, I don't recall any such clause in the constitution. Perhaps we should hold a referendum.

Spiny Norman
18-10-2004, 07:54 AM
Perhaps we'll gradually drift towards the "generational ownership" concept of home ownership ... I start buying the home, my grandchildren finish the process. :(

antichrist
19-10-2004, 06:43 PM
... You argue quite emotively like it is every Australian's right to own their own home. However, I don't recall any such clause in the constitution. Perhaps we should hold a referendum.
Barry Cox
___________________________________________

I think everyone has the right to either free land or cheap land, i.e. land rights. This is socialistic of course. In China previously, housing was not an issue, when one was needed and one's work unit could afford it, you were allocated accommodation. Humble indeed, but what could one expect in a Third World country with a bulgeing population.

This I noticed was the major difference between them and Australians. They got out and enjoyed their lives whereas we had to scrimp and save, work overtime, sacrifice our youth, time with our young families etc. to avoid the poverty of renting. It is a distortion of life's priorities.

Garvinator
19-10-2004, 07:03 PM
I think everyone has the right to either free land or cheap land, i.e. land rights. This is socialistic of course. In China previously, housing was not an issue, when one was needed and one's work unit could afford it, you were allocated accommodation. Humble indeed, but what could one expect in a Third World country with a bulgeing population.

This I noticed was the major difference between them and Australians. They got out and enjoyed their lives whereas we had to scrimp and save, work overtime, sacrifice our youth, time with our young families etc. to avoid the poverty of renting. It is a distortion of life's priorities.
Australia currently does have a policy of similar nature, in qld it is called the department of housing. It is just that the major majority of the population choose to try and want to buy and have their own house/apartment etc.

Rincewind
20-10-2004, 07:53 AM
I think everyone has the right to either free land or cheap land, i.e. land rights.

Everyone can get cheap land. Just most people want to live in big cities. Also renting might not be as big of a poverty trap as you say - compared to say buying ni a capital city. Of course free land would be better, but not sure how one could justify this position without implementing broadbased socialism.

antichrist
21-10-2004, 04:50 PM
Australia currently does have a policy of similar nature, in qld it is called the department of housing. It is just that the major majority of the population choose to try and want to buy and have their own house/apartment etc.

In some cases people wait for a decade for a housing commission home, and that is only with a relatively small number of people applying. There is such a funding gap that I could never envisage it filling a broad based policy.

antichrist
21-10-2004, 04:53 PM
Everyone can get cheap land. Just most people want to live in big cities. Also renting might not be as big of a poverty trap as you say - compared to say buying ni a capital city. Of course free land would be better, but not sure how one could justify this position without implementing broadbased socialism.

I can't quickly see why broad based socialism would be necessary to implement "land rights". It is meekly attempted in parts of Asia where the land and wealth divide is much greater than Australia, i.e., a land of virtually no social security safety net.

arosar
25-10-2004, 04:42 PM
"In Australia we ask every new citizen to pledge that they share our democratic beliefs. How important are our democratic beliefs to the way we run federal elections? Principles generally accepted as basic to democracy are those of political equality and popular control of government. Flowing from the principle of political equality is the principle that political parties or Independents supported by citizens should be able to compete on a level playing field. This means that political parties’ access to finance and broadcasting time should relate to electoral support rather than business backing or the benefits of being in office." - Sawer, M.

http://www.econ.usyd.edu.au/drawingboard/digest/0409/sawer.html

AR

Garvinator
28-10-2004, 11:16 AM
It has just been reported that the coalition has achieved an outright majority in the senate with Barnaby Joyce (Nationals) taking the sixth senate seat in QLD from Drew Hutton (Greens).

eclectic
28-10-2004, 11:45 AM
It has just been reported that the coalition has achieved an outright majority in the senate with Barnaby Joyce (Nationals) taking the sixth senate seat in QLD from Drew Hutton (Greens).

oh dear :confused:

bring on all that divisive legislation come july 1 next year

:doh:

eclectic

Kevin Bonham
28-10-2004, 12:43 PM
I'm not sure whether to be concerned about the Coalition's massive power now or glad that Family First do not have the balance of power. Probably a lot of both.

The Family First representative could still be quite influential. He will be able to use his voice to introduce Private Member's bills and force the Coalition to take a stance on right-wing social issues such as internet filtering.

Garvinator
28-10-2004, 12:53 PM
I'm not sure whether to be concerned about the Coalition's massive power now or glad that Family First do not have the balance of power. Probably a lot of both.

The Family First representative could still be quite influential. He will be able to use his voice to introduce Private Member's bills and force the Coalition to take a stance on right-wing social issues such as internet filtering.
also with the nationals not so keen on certain issues, the liberals will look to family first to get the possible extra vote they might require, either as a bargaining chip or as a real vote.

I am 'pleased' that the coalition has a clear majority now, as this will mean that if they ram through unpopular and unwise policies, there are no excuses for them. But I have said this before and the coalition has still increased their majority :wall:

Lucena
28-10-2004, 01:26 PM
oh dear :confused:

bring on all that divisive legislation come july 1 next year

:doh:

eclectic
Forgive my ignorance but what happens July 1 next year?

Bill Gletsos
28-10-2004, 01:28 PM
Forgive my ignorance but what happens July 1 next year?
The new senators dont take their place in the senate until July 1st next year.
Hence the coalition dont have a majority until then.

Garvinator
28-10-2004, 01:37 PM
The new senators dont take their place in the senate until July 1st next year.
Hence the coalition dont have a majority until then.
this also means that the senators who will not be around after july 1 have no real reason to block any legislation. They dont have to fear any voter backlash ie Meg Lees etc.

Alan Shore
30-10-2004, 11:59 PM
I'm terribly upset the coalition made it in power.. especially regarding university funding... I only hope future governments place emphasis on universities as the future of Australia, giving adequate rewards for those who work hard to ensure a good and secure future for the nation.

Spiny Norman
31-10-2004, 06:35 PM
The Family First representative could still be quite influential. He will be able to use his voice to introduce Private Member's bills and force the Coalition to take a stance on right-wing social issues such as internet filtering.

Lets hope they don't. Its just plain bad policy, completely unenforceable ... not without making Australia the equivalent of an Internet police state. Besides ... how're they going to block satellite broadcasts of content? Build a big roof over Australia and lock us all in at night??? :eek:


I am 'pleased' that the coalition has a clear majority now, as this will mean that if they ram through unpopular and unwise policies, there are no excuses for them.

Bit of a strange way of looking at it 'gg' ... if you see the legislation as bad then isn't it better from your view to block it? Or are you hoping that eventually, after another three years, enough people will come around to your point of view and vote someone else in? What about damage done (from your perspective) to people in the meantime???


But I have said this before and the coalition has still increased their majority :wall:

So I guess that means you're in the minority? ;)

Just as a matter of interest, what do you put that down to? Are those of us who voted differently ignorant of some essential facts? I take the view that, simply put, some things are more important to some people and other things are more important to others. I'm guessing that the "baby boomers" might be having an influence.

I have sometimes wondered whether the right to a vote ought to be tested in some way, just like the right to drive a car. A vote in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing ... :eek: ... so make people learn a few basic principles of democracy before we let them have a say. ;)

Don't worry, three years goes by quite quickly. I remember well enough the Cain/Kirner fiascos here in Victoria. To think I almost voted for them one year, but smelled a rat ... we eventually got rid of them, but the price of that was Jeffrey Kennett! :doh:

arosar
31-10-2004, 08:11 PM
I have sometimes wondered whether the right to a vote ought to be tested in some way, just like the right to drive a car. A vote in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing ... :eek: ... so make people learn a few basic principles of democracy before we let them have a say. ;)

Our democracy isn't so bad. Look at the US. Their so called democracy is a joke.

AR

Rincewind
31-10-2004, 08:45 PM
Our democracy isn't so bad. Look at the US. Their so called democracy is a joke.

Which aspect in particular do you find jocular? There have been undemocratic incidents, as we have had, but in general their system is not greatly dissimilar to ours.

Garvinator
31-10-2004, 09:15 PM
Which aspect in particular do you find jocular? There have been undemocratic incidents, as we have had, but in general their system is not greatly dissimilar to ours.
i disagree, for federal elections we have the australian electoral commission which runs the election and counting as far as i know. in usa each state runs their part of the federal election as they see fit. As you can imagine, this leads to differences and also to bias based on the ruling party on each state.

eclectic
31-10-2004, 09:38 PM
i disagree, for federal elections we have the australian electoral commission which runs the election and counting as far as i know. in usa each state runs their part of the federal election as they see fit. As you can imagine, this leads to differences and also to bias based on the ruling party on each state.

oh by the way,

re the poll heading this thread

can bill, kev, barry, or whoever please inform me as to whether Al Qaeda would be entitled to reimbursement from the ChessChat Electoral Commission for campaigning expenses

;)

eclectic

Kevin Bonham
31-10-2004, 09:42 PM
Serious fiascos in Australian voting and counting are rare these days - the ballot paper delivery mistakes in Qld are about as bad as it gets. There is a need for Senate reform to kill off the current above-the-line system before someone really ridiculous wins because of it. It's not so bad that FF got one because they did poll a couple of percent nationwide, but it is dodgy from a democratic viewpoint that liberals for forests preference-harvested in NSW and knocked the Greens out of the race.

On the whole though Australia is decades ahead of the US in electoral design and implementation.

This little bit of stirring (http://home.iprimus.com.au/ltuffin/bonhamgreen.HTML) I wrote about the Greens' not-entirely-fantastic results at this election seems to have been one of my more influential political rants lately. It was picked up by crikey.com.au and I have been getting all kinds of peculiar fanmail. ;)

Kevin Bonham
31-10-2004, 09:45 PM
can bill, kev, barry, or whoever please inform me as to whether Al Qaeda would be entitled to reimbursement from the ChessChat Electoral Commission for campaigning expenses

Yes, they polled above 4%, so I owe Osama eight bucks. He can collect it in person provided he doesn't bring any of his weapons or friends; alternatively I will pay it into his designated Australian bank account.

Rincewind
31-10-2004, 10:17 PM
On the whole though Australia is decades ahead of the US in electoral design and implementation.

This is not so much a system problem but one of implementation. The American electorial processes are straining somewhat under pressure from their population. Perhaps if there were 300M Australians our electoral system would need an overhaul too. :)

Not that I'm taking over the chair vacated by cl as USA cheerleader. But in terms of a democratic SYSTEM, the USA is not as bad as a lot of people might have you believe.

They have some things in their constitution which I like, and a couple of things I don't. But as far as democratic systems go, it is in reasonable shape.

Rincewind
31-10-2004, 10:19 PM
Yes, they polled above 4%, so I owe Osama eight bucks. He can collect it in person provided he doesn't bring any of his weapons or friends; alternatively I will pay it into his designated Australian bank account.

Careful! New anti-terrorism laws (soon to be passed through the senate retrospectively) could have you thrown into gaol for just thinking something like that. Double-plus ungood.

Goughfather
31-10-2004, 10:41 PM
Lets hope they don't. Its just plain bad policy, completely unenforceable ... not without making Australia the equivalent of an Internet police state. Besides ... how're they going to block satellite broadcasts of content? Build a big roof over Australia and lock us all in at night???

Well, one of Fuller's laws of procedural justice is that a particular piece of legislation must be remotely enforceable. This does not mean that it can, and will be enforced 100 percent of the time, but that, generally speaking it can be enforceable to some extent.

In a Western liberal democracy such as Australia, a principle of Millian tolerance should normally prevail. That is, as long as one's actions has no discernable impact upon another person, they should be able to partake in these actions. Accordingly, I have argued in other forums that legislation on moral grounds seems to be reminiscient of the policies adopted in apartheid South Africa. If people wish to engage in some activity that is roundly regarded as anti-social - then that's their perogative.

While I agree with your concern about internet censorship, I still feel that there should be controls placed upon the capacity of unconsenting adults and minors of being able to freely access such material. It is reasonable for those who wish to view such material to be entitled to do so, but there must be safeguards for those who don't consent. Of course, there are always limits on the content of material shown - arguably, child pornography should be censored, not only because of the content therein, but also because such material relies upon the exploitation of unconsenting children.


I have sometimes wondered whether the right to a vote ought to be tested in some way, just like the right to drive a car. A vote in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing ... ... so make people learn a few basic principles of democracy before we let them have a say.

I understand the fact that this comment was probably made in jest, but it actually reflects considerable nineteenth century sentiment. In fact, I believe that even Mill himself suggested that while everyone should be entitled to a vote, those who are more educated should be entitled to a plurality of votes - effectively their opinions should carry extra weight than the "unwashed masses". Apart from the obvious elitism inherent in such a comment, it denies the fundamental democratic principle that all citizens have a (formally) equal voice in determining how they will be governed.

The biggest problem, in such a view however is that the criteria for determining whether one is sufficiently enlightened or not is somewhat subjective, and open to abuse by the intellectual elite. What normative standards should we apply? Why is someone's concern for their mortgage less valid than someone's concern that Howard's refusal to sign Kyoto might have profound implications for the environment, on an existential level?

Kevin Bonham
31-10-2004, 10:47 PM
This is not so much a system problem but one of implementation. The American electorial processes are straining somewhat under pressure from their population. Perhaps if there were 300M Australians our electoral system would need an overhaul too. :)

Population size should really have nothing to do with it. Their main problem is a lack of federalism (and, in places, budget.)


Not that I'm taking over the chair vacated by cl as USA cheerleader. But in terms of a democratic SYSTEM, the USA is not as bad as a lot of people might have you believe.

I'm one of those people.

First-past-the-post voting is an abomination for starters.

Rincewind
31-10-2004, 11:36 PM
Population size should really have nothing to do with it.

I don't know about that. In theory everything is scalable but not to the same degree of efficiency.


First-past-the-post voting is an abomination for starters.

I don't know. Both systems have their pros and cons. I don't think you could argue either is more or less democratic.

Without getting to caught up in the electoral system, I was alluding to things like the freedom os speech and engage in peaceful protest. Neither of which we enjoy here in Australia.

Kevin Bonham
01-11-2004, 02:29 PM
I don't know. Both systems have their pros and cons. I don't think you could argue either is more or less democratic.

Comparing FPP with a single-member transferrable vote system, I don't see how anyone could argue that FPP is as democratic. Basically any preference a person has beyond their first gets completely ignored - this involves a loss of information. FPP frequently allows a candidate to get elected when more voters would prefer at least one of the opponents to win in situations where SMT avoids this. FPP discourages candidate diversity because one a candidate is fairly similar to another they destroy each other by taking votes away from each other. There are points that can be made against SMT too but I don't consider them nearly as strong.


Without getting to caught up in the electoral system, I was alluding to things like the freedom os speech and engage in peaceful protest. Neither of which we enjoy here in Australia.

Yes, I'd agree the US is stronger on the political liberty side of liberal democracy, even if I'm not at all impressed with how they deal with the voting and counting.

Rincewind
01-11-2004, 02:56 PM
Comparing FPP with a single-member transferrable vote system, I don't see how anyone could argue that FPP is as democratic. Basically any preference a person has beyond their first gets completely ignored - this involves a loss of information. FPP frequently allows a candidate to get elected when more voters would prefer at least one of the opponents to win in situations where SMT avoids this. FPP discourages candidate diversity because one a candidate is fairly similar to another they destroy each other by taking votes away from each other. There are points that can be made against SMT too but I don't consider them nearly as strong.

I think you are critiquing the FPP system from a preferences mindset. Information is only lost if it is collected, and if it is intended to be used. Yes the population might have a 2nd or 3rd preference but that is immaterial in a FPP poll.

The democratic principles of one vote per person and the candidate winning the majority of votes winning the poll are the same. The only difference is the way that "majority of votes" is determined.

In a FPP system the most popular candidate is most likely to be elected. In a preference system it is the same provided said candidate is not also hated by too many people.

So the question seems to boil down to: Is it more democratic for people who are not a popular win a poll simply because they are less despised than the most popular candidate?

That seems a hard sell to me. Provided everyone knows the system that will be employed in any poll they are participating in then it should not matter. It may change voting behaviour to some extent but not to the extent of either system being clearly more or less democratic.

eclectic
01-11-2004, 03:08 PM
i recall this discussion being covered in abc tv open learning years ago in the series "for all practical purposes" by sol garfunkel in behalf of COMAP under

"social choice: the impossible dream"
"weighted voting systems: how to measure power"
"fair division and apportionment"

note especially kenneth j arrow who in 1951 proved that finding an absolutely fair and decisive voting system is impossible

not sure though if the exhaustive preferential system, which australia purports to have, was considered in his deliberations ...

or even hare-clarke for that matter

eclectic

Kevin Bonham
01-11-2004, 07:49 PM
In a FPP system the most popular candidate is most likely to be elected.

Not necessarily. A voter could like more than one candidate, in which case more voters voting 1 for A than B does not necessarily mean that A is more popular in total than B - it just means A is the one who is the most popular with the largest single block of voters. In a three-cornered race the two candidates who are most similar to each other are hugely disadvantaged.

Or a voter could actually like none of the candidates, in which case A getting a number one vote only means that A was the voter's least non-preferred candidate, and says nothing about A's actual popularity. I have to say that this is the way I usually vote - great relish about who I am going to put last and discomfort about having to actually vote 1 for anyone at all.


So the question seems to boil down to: Is it more democratic for people who are not a popular win a poll simply because they are less despised than the most popular candidate?

I would say so, mainly because I see avoiding the bad as much more critical than ensuring the best in politics. This may just reflect my generally anti-extremist preferences.

I actually think the best solution for single member electorates is something that falls between FPP and compulsory SMT, namely the optional transferrable vote system used in Queensland. The parties cannot take it for granted that those voting for other parties will distribute preferences.

Garvinator
01-11-2004, 07:54 PM
Kevin, do you believe in compulsory or optional voting?

Bill Gletsos
01-11-2004, 08:23 PM
Kevin, do you believe in compulsory or optional voting?
Or even compulsory optional or optional compulsory voting. :lol: :whistle: :hand:

Kevin Bonham
01-11-2004, 08:24 PM
Compulsory registration but optional voting.

Garvinator
01-11-2004, 08:27 PM
Or even compulsory optional or optional compulsory voting. :lol: :whistle: :hand:
To Bill: and you accused me of posting just to increase my post count, this post has to be a contender of having no other value than increasing a person's post count :P :owned: :uhoh:

To Kevin; why do you feel that way, what point is there in someone registering if they have no intent to vote and how would you police it?

eclectic
01-11-2004, 08:31 PM
Compulsory registration but optional voting.

in response to gg's concerns about policing it at present we are only required to have our named marked off the roll before voting after that we need only put our ballot paper in the box having made out we shuffled papers around inside the voting booth or somesuch

i remember seeing a show about the late b a santamaria who on it said he did exactly that at two or so federal elections because no party or candidate appealed to him

eclectic

Bill Gletsos
01-11-2004, 08:41 PM
To Bill: and you accused me of posting just to increase my post count, this post has to be a contender of having no other value than increasing a person's post count :P :owned: :uhoh:
Actually it wasnt.
I had forseen Kevin's response as one possibility.
Hence my suggestions were valid options which you apparently had not considered. :hand:

Rincewind
01-11-2004, 09:24 PM
Not necessarily. A voter could like more than one candidate, in which case more voters voting 1 for A than B does not necessarily mean that A is more popular in total than B - it just means A is the one who is the most popular with the largest single block of voters. In a three-cornered race the two candidates who are most similar to each other are hugely disadvantaged.

This also happens in the preferential system especially if they don't co-distribute preferences due to some major falling out.


Or a voter could actually like none of the candidates, in which case A getting a number one vote only means that A was the voter's least non-preferred candidate, and says nothing about A's actual popularity. I have to say that this is the way I usually vote - great relish about who I am going to put last and discomfort about having to actually vote 1 for anyone at all.

That's how voters vote ni a preferential system. This is unlikely to happen in a FPP system. As I said in my previous post, a different system will cause a modification in voter behaviour.

Either way, I still contendthat neither system is more or less democratic than another. They are just different measures.


I would say so, mainly because I see avoiding the bad as much more critical than ensuring the best in politics. This may just reflect my generally anti-extremist preferences.

I actually think the best solution for single member electorates is something that falls between FPP and compulsory SMT, namely the optional transferrable vote system used in Queensland. The parties cannot take it for granted that those voting for other parties will distribute preferences.

I still think you are arguing that the FPP is not a good system, by some measurement of goodness. I don't take issue with that. I purely contend that neither system is any more or less democratic than the other. Unless you think otherwise, I don't think we have a dispute.

Kevin Bonham
01-11-2004, 09:32 PM
To Kevin; why do you feel that way, what point is there in someone registering if they have no intent to vote

The purpose is to protect those who intend to vote but don't get around to completing the formalities required by the necessary dates. Elections shouldn't be determined by which party's supporters were more organised in getting people registered a certain number of months in advance.


and how would you police it?

Registration - same as now.

Kevin Bonham
01-11-2004, 09:52 PM
This also happens in the preferential system especially if they don't co-distribute preferences due to some major falling out.

This is true, but it is only sometimes a problem, and even then only to the extent that voters follow the party ticket, whereas in FPP it is a problem every time a three-cornered contest occurs.

In Tasmania, handing out how-to-vote cards at state elections is banned.


That's how voters vote ni a preferential system. This is unlikely to happen in a FPP system. As I said in my previous post, a different system will cause a modification in voter behaviour.

I don't see why because in that particular paragraph I was referring to raw voter attitudes towards the candidates, to show that the candidate who wins in an FPP is not necessarily the most "popular".

It's true that parties modify their behaviour to deal with FPP; eg of two similar parties the one with the least chances may withdraw and endorse the other, and to some degree this serves as a de facto preferential system, but a very clumsy one and one that entrenches a two-party system. (This mechanism also counts against the "popularity" argument for FPP anyway because a lot of the votes a candidate gets might not have been #1s had a fuller range of candidates been encouraged to run in a different claim.)

I also don't like the way parties can exploit the vote-splitting problem to blackmail each other in an FPP system.


I still think you are arguing that the FPP is not a good system, by some measurement of goodness.

I think that it is, broadly speaking, a clumsier and less accurate measurement of the full range of voter opinions, and therefore less accurately democratic.

Rincewind
02-11-2004, 08:14 AM
I think that it is, broadly speaking, a clumsier and less accurate measurement of the full range of voter opinions, and therefore less accurately democratic.

I believe a preferential voting system allows one to more accurately gauge the full range of voter opinion. However, this does not make the system more democratic. If it did, then one could argue that a system with a net based plebiscite on every issue would be "more accurately democratic" than a system with a constitution and elected representatives who must operate within its framework. I don't accept that line of reasoning, but that may be because I have different idea on the meaning of democracy.

arosar
02-11-2004, 09:27 AM
In the following situation:

Barry = 25,000 votes
Kevin = 20,000 votes
Bill = 15,000 votes

Can we say that Barry has been "democratically" elected? Does Barry have a "mandate"?

AR

Goughfather
02-11-2004, 12:31 PM
Well, that's the question, Amiel. What exactly is a mandate, if one wants to play semantics? I would argue that simply getting over 50 percent of the two-party preferred vote does not constitute a "mandate" per se. Besides, we talk about a government having a mandate only to a certain extent. That is, the notion of a mandate is not binary - one may have a stronger or weaker mandate than another.

Theoretically speaking, the concept of FPP is simply that one's primary vote is considered far more important than his or her preferences, and that the best way to determine a government is by only taking one's first preference into consideration. The concept of preferential voting is that government is determined by taking into consideration which party citizens would not like to be governed by, if they had a choice. These are simply competing ideological positions, and I don't see anything wrong with suggesting that one approach may be superior to another.

Perhaps the most problematic aspect of FPP is that because the Australia and the US has a "two and a half party system", there often tends to be a fragmentation of voters with similar ideological positions. Ironically, by being one of the the three percent of voters who voted for Nader in the 2000 US Election, you actually contributed to the election of Bush (pretending that Bush was actually elected legitimately). The only way of preventing this kind of scenario would be to restrict the number of parties that contest the election. This could only be done by contravening the principle that all citizens are entitled to run for office.

Rincewind
02-11-2004, 01:14 PM
I don't see anything wrong with suggesting that one approach may be superior to another.

Nor do I. I just have a problem with "superior" necessarily = "more democratic".

arosar
02-11-2004, 01:54 PM
Nor do I. I just have a problem with "superior" necessarily = "more democratic".

Is not FPP 'less' democratic? For who should represent those who hate your guts Bazza?

AR

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2004, 03:05 PM
I believe a preferential voting system allows one to more accurately gauge the full range of voter opinion. However, this does not make the system more democratic. If it did, then one could argue that a system with a net based plebiscite on every issue would be "more accurately democratic" than a system with a constitution and elected representatives who must operate within its framework. I don't accept that line of reasoning, but that may be because I have different idea on the meaning of democracy.

That is a different issue. In comparing FPP with SMT and other systems the comparison is between two different methods of electing the representatives in an indirect democracy. In comparing FPP or SMT with internet plebiscites on every issue the comparison is between indirect democracy and direct democracy. Indirect democracy has the advantage that major parties are encouraged to research and promote policies that are non-disastrous because they will lose power if they make serious errors, even when the policies are initially popular. Direct democracy has no such safeguards and is simply a very very bad idea for a large and relatively uninformed polity, IMO. When you're comparing two different versions of indirect democracy this is not an issue and you can talk about which is the more accurately democratic. For proportional representation fans the more democratic system will be the one where the number of seats won most closely matches the proportional support for each party. For those who believe PR is unstable because it leads to minority governments (to me, this depends on the political culture of a given polity), the more democratic system can be the one in which the most preferred of the two main parties is most likely to win a majority.


Theoretically speaking, the concept of FPP is simply that one's primary vote is considered far more important than his or her preferences, and that the best way to determine a government is by only taking one's first preference into consideration.

You could have weighted preferential systems - for instance the first vote is worth 1, a distributed second preference is worth 1/2, a distributed number 3 is worth 1/3 etc. I don't know anywhere that uses that kind of system presently. That sort of thing would have a lot of the drawbacks of FPP but would at least give some explicit value to a preference below number 1.


The concept of preferential voting is that government is determined by taking into consideration which party citizens would not like to be governed by, if they had a choice.

Not necessarily. Preferential voting does guarantee that a party least preferred by over half the electorate does lose, but a party can be acceptable to virtually the entire electorate and yet still lose to a party strongly disliked by nearly half. Success in preferential voting requires a balance between positive support and restraint of negative sentiment.


Perhaps the most problematic aspect of FPP is that because the Australia and the US has a "two and a half party system", there often tends to be a fragmentation of voters with similar ideological positions. Ironically, by being one of the the three percent of voters who voted for Nader in the 2000 US Election, you actually contributed to the election of Bush (pretending that Bush was actually elected legitimately).

I read a lot of the debate about Bush's election in 2000 in the debate about Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Apparently you can actually get a little device where you play around with different options for the various court decisions that could have been made and it tells you who wins, and generally Bush wins but there are some combinations of decisions under which Gore would have won. Probably the most serious shadow over the legitimacy of Bush's election are the issues involved in enrolment.

Rincewind
02-11-2004, 04:21 PM
That is a different issue. In comparing FPP with SMT and other systems the comparison is between two different methods of electing the representatives in an indirect democracy. In comparing FPP or SMT with internet plebiscites on every issue the comparison is between indirect democracy and direct democracy. Indirect democracy has the advantage that major parties are encouraged to research and promote policies that are non-disastrous because they will lose power if they make serious errors, even when the policies are initially popular. Direct democracy has no such safeguards and is simply a very very bad idea for a large and relatively uninformed polity, IMO. When you're comparing two different versions of indirect democracy this is not an issue and you can talk about which is the more accurately democratic. For proportional representation fans the more democratic system will be the one where the number of seats won most closely matches the proportional support for each party. For those who believe PR is unstable because it leads to minority governments (to me, this depends on the political culture of a given polity), the more democratic system can be the one in which the most preferred of the two main parties is most likely to win a majority.

I think when comparing two different democracies, whether they use preferential or FPP voting is a long way down the tree of whether that democracy is good or bad. They are just different ways of measuring public opinion. Whether majority preference is best measure through a primary vote or casting of preferences is not a lay-down argument - especially when voters are instructed on preference casting at the ballot box.

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2004, 07:31 PM
I think when comparing two different democracies, whether they use preferential or FPP voting is a long way down the tree of whether that democracy is good or bad. They are just different ways of measuring public opinion.

I tend to agree with this but I am accustomed to strongly separating the "liberal" and the "democratic" components of liberal democracy in discussing whether a society is "democratic" or not.


Whether majority preference is best measure through a primary vote or casting of preferences is not a lay-down argument - especially when voters are instructed on preference casting at the ballot box.

"Instructed" seems a slightly loaded word. "Advised" would be better, except in the case of the voter voting above the line in the Senate. Preference direction in lower house elections doesn't make such a huge difference anyway, eg only about 10% of Greens voters change their vote if the how-to-vote card is altered.

The one argument for FPP we haven't mentioned so far is that it is inexpensive and quick to count. It shows you how little I think of FPP that I reckon this is the least worst argument for it.

Rincewind
02-11-2004, 07:54 PM
The one argument for FPP we haven't mentioned so far is that it is inexpensive and quick to count. It shows you how little I think of FPP that I reckon this is the least worst argument for it.

This isn't an argument for FPP but what happens in the Australian preferential system if there are, say, 3 candidates and 2,999 correct ballots cast.

1000 ballots are marked A C B
1000 ballots are marked B C A
500 ballots are marked C A B
499 ballots are marked C B A

?

Garvinator
02-11-2004, 07:58 PM
This isn't an argument for FPP but what happens in the Australian preferential system if there are, say, 3 candidates and 2,999 correct ballots cast.

1000 ballots are marked A C B
1000 ballots are marked B C A
500 ballots are marked C A B
499 ballots are marked C B A

?
wouldnt A win as after the first round of preference counting, A has won more than 50% of the vote?

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2004, 08:19 PM
This isn't an argument for FPP but what happens in the Australian preferential system if there are, say, 3 candidates and 2,999 correct ballots cast.

1000 ballots are marked A C B
1000 ballots are marked B C A
500 ballots are marked C A B
499 ballots are marked C B A

?

C is excluded and A wins by one vote on C's preferences.

That is what I meant about preferential voting requiring a balance between gaining positive and avoiding negative sentiment. C did extremely well on the latter but not well enough on the former, even though had C also received just one of the 2000 votes that went to A and B, C would have won.

I have been trying now and then to figure out a system that eliminates this problem by treating a vote as having net worth of zero at any time, carrying +1 value at the top end and -1 value at the bottom end, then exhausting from the system in the middle. However determining how what order to correctly elect or exclude candidates under this sort of system is extremely difficult to do.

Rincewind
02-11-2004, 08:50 PM
I have been trying now and then to figure out a system that eliminates this problem by treating a vote as having net worth of zero at any time, carrying +1 value at the top end and -1 value at the bottom end, then exhausting from the system in the middle. However determining how what order to correctly elect or exclude candidates under this sort of system is extremely difficult to do.

Have you considered a system where voters are given a number of voting points to allocated (more or less) as they wish.

For a starting point lets say there are n candidates. Let the number of voting points equal n(n-1)/2. And set the maximum vote to any one candidate = (n-1)

Say for a three horse race you would get 3 voting points and could vote 2 points to 1 candidate and 1 point to another or 1 to each candidate (a legal informal :) )

In my example above, you might get

1000 bollots cast as A=2, C=1
1000 ballots cast as B=2, C=1
500 ballots cast as C=2, A=1
499 ballots cast as C=2, B=1

Final tally is

C = 3998
A = 2500
B = 2499

C wins by a landslide.

Things become more interesting as the number of candidates contesting the election increases. For example in a four horse race you would get 6 points and be able to vote "3, 2, 1" or, if you prefer, "3, 3". ;) (NB this is non-exhastive)

Kevin Bonham
03-11-2004, 10:32 PM
Have you considered a system where voters are given a number of voting points to allocated (more or less) as they wish.

I haven't considered it, but I just did - for about a minute. :D

The main problem is that it encourages meaningless candidate proliferation - by running more candidates from the same party in a close race you increase your chances of somebody getting up.

Suppose there's 100 voters and you know 51 of them like party A and 49 like party B. If each party just runs one candidate, A wins. But if party B goes into teddybear-chasing mode and runs B1 and B2, then A will get 102 votes, but B1 and B2 will get 51 votes between them from party A supporters, and 147 votes between them from party B supporters. The best possible result for A is to win with 102 votes to B1 and B2 on 99 each, but if A's supporters don't put B1 ahead of B2 more or less exactly as often as B's supporters put B2 ahead of B1, then one of B1 or B2 will win. Indeed, party B's supporters can ensure at least a 1/2 chance of victory by meeting in secret prior to the election, picking one of their candidates at random, and all voting maximum for that candidate, without telling party A.

It gets worse. Party B can do even better by also recruiting the all-time teddybear killer B3, and simply secretly telling all its voters to vote, say, 3 votes for B1, 3 for B2, 0 for B3. Now unless nearly all party A's voters vote 3 votes to each of A and B3, one of B1 or B2 wins. So that's at least a 2/3 chance for team B.

Team B can do even better when running three candidates by taking a long list of possible strategies, each of which strongly favours one of their candidates but with variation in how it treats the other two, and picking both the strategy and the candidate favoured at random.

The other obstacle to it is that voters are fairly stupid creatures on the whole and the informal rate from adding-up failures would be pretty high.

Alan Shore
04-11-2004, 05:37 AM
Can you believe this man is our Prime Minister?

http://img38.exs.cx/img38/8715/Johnny1984.jpg

:eek:

Kevin Bonham
04-11-2004, 03:51 PM
Does anyone else remember when Howard was Opposition Leader and the Bulletin ran a cover with a pic of Howard and (in reference to his approval rating at the time) "Mister 14% - Why Does This Man Bother?"

Well, I guess we now know why.

Rincewind
04-11-2004, 05:20 PM
The main problem is that it encourages meaningless candidate proliferation - by running more candidates from the same party in a close race you increase your chances of somebody getting up.

I though parties could only run 1 candidate per seat. Isn't that the "point" of preselection?

The adding up problems could be solved by electronic lodgement.

Kevin Bonham
04-11-2004, 11:38 PM
I though parties could only run 1 candidate per seat. Isn't that the "point" of preselection?

Ever heard of the Liberal-National Coalition? They often run a candidate each in the same seat but in practical terms they're two candidates from the same party, except on specific issues.

Furthermore, I don't know if there is such a limit. I remember that in the 90s in some very large rural seats some major parties would run two candidates in order to cover the whole electorate. One candidate would focus on the major rural centres where most of the votes were and the other would spend weeks bombing around all the homesteads. In most seats, no-one would bother running two simply because it is a waste of resources (and in most cases votes, because the preference swapping will never be 100% in practice).


The adding up problems could be solved by electronic lodgement.

That's probably true. Actually I must confess ignorance of the current state of the adequacy-of-electronic-voting debate; when the issue was being pushed about four years ago every IT worker I knew thought it was a basket case and I haven't really kept in touch with it to see how well the concerns about it have been overcome.

Rincewind
05-11-2004, 07:37 AM
Ever heard of the Liberal-National Coalition? They often run a candidate each in the same seat but in practical terms they're two candidates from the same party, except on specific issues.

I still consider them a coalition of two parties with the liberals calling the shots and the nationals clinging to their liebestraum of relevance. My impression, these days, is that they usually don't run candidates in competition, although there is nothing stopping them doing so.


Furthermore, I don't know if there is such a limit. I remember that in the 90s in some very large rural seats some major parties would run two candidates in order to cover the whole electorate. One candidate would focus on the major rural centres where most of the votes were and the other would spend weeks bombing around all the homesteads. In most seats, no-one would bother running two simply because it is a waste of resources (and in most cases votes, because the preference swapping will never be 100% in practice).

I hadn't heard of this practice, but thanks for the counterexample. Perhaps an election rule could be introduced which limited it to one candidate, per seat, per party.

Desmond
27-07-2010, 10:06 AM
Possibli time to close this poll.

Garvinator
27-07-2010, 10:18 AM
I think John Howard will win this election, considering that it was held six years ago he is a chance!

Kevin Bonham
27-07-2010, 12:25 PM
Furthermore, I don't know if there is such a limit.

That ludicrous by-election where the Fred Nile group ran nine showed that there wasn't, but I believe this has now been reformed.