[OT) Elections - Was almost anything

Richard Russell richard at yellowgoanna.com
Thu Dec 19 10:21:29 CST 2002


On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 02:13:00PM +1030, Brian Astill wrote:

<snip>

> One system favoured by Saphologists (?) is multi-seat electorates. 
>  Imagine every  5 current adjacent electorates combined, with electors 
> casting thir vote to elect 5 people in each such large electorate.  The 
> outcome would be likely to be a far greater number of minor parties and 
> independents in Parliament, far more representative of the electors 
> views than is possible at present.

This is what Tasmanian has for their state parliament, IIRC. It's also
approximately how the Senate works (each state is a multi-seat
electorate). The trade-off for representing more people's veiws is
usually stability -- suppose we had a more representative system
federally, we'd end up with something like 35% libs, 5% nats, 40%
labour, 5% one nation, 5% green, 5% democrat, 5% independant, and you
wouldn't be able to form a government very easily -- you'd end up with
the same situation we often have in the senate, where the minority
parties hold a disproportionate amount of power, holding the majors to
ransom. Not that I neccessarily think that that's a bad thing, but it
doesn't make for a particularly stable or responsive government
(extreme cases include Israel, where coalitions are made and broken
regularly, and the government changes more often than they have
elections).

Personally, i like the preselection elections or whatever they are
(primaries?) in the USA, as it gives more emphasis on the person than
the party.

> The reason we don't have this or any other more representative system is 
> that it doesn't suit the major parties, and they unfortunately have all 
> the power.

and because the designers of our parliamentary system favoured
stability over representativity... :)

Anyway, how did this get so off-topic?

:)

rr

> <sigh>
> 
> Brian
> 
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Richard Russell
Yellow Goanna P/L
e: richard at yellowgoanna.com
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